Seattle Seahawks: 10 Free Agents Pete Carroll Should Target
The Seattle Seahawks are entering this year's draft with only three picks, each late in their respective rounds (25, 57, 98). While Pete Carroll and John Schneider may come away with some gems despite the odds, most of their options for upgrade are in this year's free-agent class.
Among the options to target are some incredible intangibles. Every fan would love to have a Peyton Manning or Michael Vick, a Santonio Holmes or Ahmad Bradshaw on their team. Realistically, though, names like these are out of reach.
Among the rest are many viable targets for Seattle to focus on come March (or whenever the new CBA is in place).
CB Nnamdi Asomugha
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Nnamdi Asomugha is the most obvious free agent target for the Seahawks. Asomugha is arguably the best corner in the league and could add volumes to Seattle's defense.
Seattle's cornerback slot has been somewhat of a question opposite Marcus Trufant. Kelly Jennings, a free agent this year, saw most of the starts at that position and has frequently exhibited rookie qualities that may be better suited for a relief position.
Plus, the depth in that position has been dramatically disappointing (remember Nate Ness in the Oakland game?...yikes).
Asomugha will be expensive, sure, especially considering the possibility of that sneaky contract clause that put him on the market in the first place, but for the Seahawks, whose defense ranked among the worst in the league in 2010, it's worth it to take the option.
OT Adam Koets
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New York Giants backup tackle went down early in the season with a knee injury (at Qwest Field, actually).
The Giants have plenty of lineman (Shaun O'Hara, Kevin Boothe, Chris Snee, and Rich Seubert) who are able to play where Koets has been filling in (center) and Koets' absence through the rest of the season may be enough to leave him overlooked when Tom Coughlin goes about re-signing free agents.
The injury coupled with his limited field time (three regular season games and one postseason match) over his four-year tenure in the NFL should make Koets a veritable bargain.
OG Harvey Dahl
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Atlanta Falcons guard Harvey Dahl is considered to be one of the meanest players in the league. But, that's only because he plays to win, through the whistle, on every play.
Dahl is the type of player that every team should want to have. He's the type that no one else wants to face, that gets the job done no matter what, and who doesn't cut corners. He may be the physical embodiment of Pete Carroll's go-the-distance ideals.
Plus, he would add much-needed size to an otherwise undersized Seahawks offensive line.
RT Willie Colon
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Seahawks right tackle Sean Locklear was one of many players who negotiated a pay cut in order to stay with the team once Carroll came. Part of the negotiation included shaving his previous five-year contract down to three years and he’ll be hitting the free agent market in 2011.
This is a golden opportunity to replace him.
Steelers’ right tackle, Willie Colon, was placed on injured reserve last June with an Achilles injury. While full recovery is expected, its a nine- to 12-month process.
Clearly, the Steelers, who will be vying for their seventh Super Bowl title on Feb. 6, did fine without him and have given no indication (before or after the injury) that they intend to go out of their way to sign him to a long-term contract.
Colon is only 27 years old and, provided this injury has no long-term repercussions, could bring some leadership, strength, and size to Seattle’s perennially patchy offensive line.
FB Le’Ron McClain
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Baltimore FB Le’Ron McClain had a great season in 2008, amassing over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving and earning the team 11 touchdowns. Mysteriously, though the Ravens haven’t used McClain on nearly as many plays over the past two years (he has just over 200 total yards for 2010).
As a result, he does not expect to be re-signed and is likely in the market for a team that will give him more opportunities.
The Seahawks tend to use their fullback option in a traditional sense—as an extra screen instead of a ball carrier—but, with an FB like McClain (instead of Robinson, a quarterback-turned-fullback) Seattle could have a third punch in their run game to keep defenses on edge.
WR Mike Sims-Walker
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Despite his solid route-running and ability to get open on plays, Jacksonville WR Mike Sims-Walker is not the favorite target and the plays called frequently leave him out.
Still though, despite his number of receptions being cut by a third from last year to this, he still has seven touchdowns and has stayed consistent, averaging 13 yards per catch.
Sims-Walker’s constant search for open field could be a big addition to Seattle’s receiving corps, who seem to be, in some instances, content to run routes and rely on personal size and yellow flags to make or break big plays.
A big target like Sims-Walker who wants to make the big plays and who wants to be a difference-maker, a go-to guy, plays directly into Pete Carroll’s “Always Compete” philosophy and could do wonders to keep Seattle’s existing rising stars honest.
WR Sidney Rice
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Now that former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is calling the shots in Seattle, wouldn’t it make sense to have one of his main tools running the routes?
Despite spending most of 2010 watching the games rather than playing them due to a hip surgery in August, Rice is a hot commodity this year.
He’s only 24 years old and in 2009 (as a part of Bevell’s offense) he finished the season with 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns.
With only 280 yards over the six games he played in 2010, he improved his average yards per reception from 15.8 in 2009 to 16.5.
He’s another tall target the Seahawks’ offense could benefit from.
TE Bo Scaife
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Tennessee’s tight end Bo Scaife is likely in the market for an offense where he can be more of a difference-maker.
Seattle’s offensive scheme frequently features tight ends and Seattle is a team that has been to the playoffs double the amount Tennessee has during Scaife’s NFL career.
A team that competes regularly and is on an upward trend instead of starting a spiral is likely to be tempting.
For Seattle, Scaife would work as an occasional alternative to ultra-capable starter John Carlson.
Cameron Morrah, all but a rookie, is learning on the fly and doing fine but, someone with more experience and a winsome attitude will ultimately earn the ‘Hawks more Ws and more options on offense.
LB Mathias Kiwanuka
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Perhaps the top option in 2011’s free agent class is the Giants’ LB Mathias Kiwanuka.
Kiwanuka went down early last season with a herniated disk in his neck but, had time (in a three-game span) to earn himself four sacks.
Seattle’s sack leader, Chris Clemons, would benefit from some help of this nature, and a member of one of the league’s long-standing top defenses could do the trick in pass defense and against the run.
DT Derek Landri
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The Carolina Panthers draft first this year and are likely to pick up Auburn DT Nick Fairley. In the meantime, current Carolina DT Derek Landri hits free agency and may be looking for a place where he won’t be overshadowed by a high-profile rookie, and won’t be so potentially expendable.
Landri had a great season as one of Carolina’s top defensive playmakers. He finished 2010 with 43 tackles and three sacks.
Landri was a part of Notre Dame’s team during their last significant season (2006) and was a stand out member of that defense.
He has oft demonstrated his ability to play through pain (a handy skill on a team as susceptible to the injury bug as Seattle is), and shows versatility and effectiveness beyond his relatively small size (6’2”, 290 lbs).
With a tackle like Landri, Seattle’s defense could survive the loss of a key player (see, Red Bryant, Colin Cole) with more resilience than it illustrated this last season.
Current Seattle Free Agents
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Seattle has many free agents they’ll need to focus on in addition to the rest of the market.
It’s already been made clear through multiple press conferences and the addition of Darrell Bevell to the coaching staff that Carroll intends to re-sign QB Matt Hasselbeck.
WRs Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu have already signed three-year contract extensions. Brandon Stokely is likely to follow.
Doing everything possible to keep kicker Olindo Mare and returner Leon Washington seems like a given after their respective 2010 performances.
DL Brandon Mebane shouldn’t be overlooked, either.