Seahawks' Last-Minute Guide to 2021 NFL Free AgencyMarch 14, 2021
Seahawks' Last-Minute Guide to 2021 NFL Free Agency
Most of the offseason buzz surrounding the Seattle Seahawks has been about Russell Wilson's future with the team.
If the Seahawks do not trade their franchise quarterback, they need to find ways to improve the offensive line around him. Seattle should look at the offensive interior as its top priority in the upcoming NFL free-agency window.
Defensively, the Seahawks need to shore up the cornerback spots with Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs locked into the starting spots at safety.
Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar are slated to become free agents, but if the Seahawks could retain one or both of those players, they should be in decent shape moving forward.
Offensive Line Upgrades Are Needed
Wilson has been sacked 146 times in the past three seasons.
That total is simply unacceptable for a team that expects to be in playoff contention every season.
The good news for the Seahawks is there are a handful of quality offensive linemen on the free-agent market, and they have $17.1 million in salary-cap space to work with. Seattle's cap situation was made easier through the release of Carlos Dunlap.
To find the right upgrades, the Seahawks may have to go away from their typical strategy with unrestricted free agents. According to ESPN.com's Brady Henderson, "the Seahawks haven't brought in a UFA for more than $20 million in overall base value since Sidney Rice and Zach Miller in 2011."
Trent Williams, Joe Thuney and Corey Linsley are the top free agents at the positions, but they will all likely cost a large amount because of the high levels they have played at throughout their careers.
The recently released pair of Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher may be worth looking at. They could come at cheaper prices since they are coming off season-ending injuries with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Kevin Zeitler and Kyle Long are among the interior options Seattle could chase as well if it feels Thuney is too expensive.
With an abundance of options available, Seattle should take a swing at landing at least one of the top offensive line free agents.
Cornerback Needs to Be Top Defensive Focus
The release of Dunlap opened up some breathing room on the cap for Seattle to potentially bring back Griffin and Dunbar.
Seattle is set at safety for 2021 with Adams and Diggs and could have security there in the long term if it gets a new contract done with Adams.
Before that comes into focus, the Seahawks need to figure out who his running mates will be on the outside of the secondary.
The Seahawks could choose to bring in new players since they gave up the second-most passing yards in the NFL in 2020. Only the Atlanta Falcons conceded more.
If they go in that direction, the Seahawks could look to Troy Hill, Bashaud Breeland or Chidobe Awuzie to fill the position.
If they stick with Griffin and Dunbar, the Seahawks must make adjustments within their scheme to avoid another high concession.
With Matthew Stafford entering the NFC West, Kyler Murray likely getting better with another year of experience and Jimmy Garoppolo back at full strength, the Seahawks will be pushed in every divisional contest.
What Happens at Running Back?
Seattle opted not to use the franchise tag on Chris Carson, which opens the door for him to leave in free agency.
If Carson departs, the Seahawks would be stuck in a tough situation at running back since Carlos Hyde is also set to hit the market.
Seattle could take the risk of going with a combination of Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas and Rashaad Penny, but it may need some more experience at the position.
No member of that trio recorded over 500 rushing yards in a single season. Carson had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018 and 2019 and earned 681 yards in an injury-plagued 2020.
Seattle could take a look at Aaron Jones, but the team may not be able to afford the top free-agent running back with other needs to fill.
Marlon Mack, Kenyan Drake and Duke Johnson are among the experienced players Pete Carroll and his staff can look at.
The Seahawks can always take the draft route since a first-round selection is not required to land a premier running back.
Regardless of what they do, the Seahawks must make sure they have enough support for Wilson to make sure the quarterback does not have to do all the offensive work on his own.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90. Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference. Contract information obtained from Over the Cap.