Free-Agent Contracts Seahawks Must Pursue After Preseason
The Seattle Seahawks have been active on the transaction wire over the last week.
Seattle added Blessuan Austin and Sidney Jones IV and shipped Ahkello Witherspoon to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The moves made in the secondary were necessary to shore up the spots alongside Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs.
The Seahawks may need to bring in reinforcements at another defensive position to feel comfortable with their unit heading into the regular season. Linebacker Bobby Wagner underwent a minor knee procedure recently, and Ben Burr-Kirven is already on the injured reserve list.
Offensively, the Seahawks could look to some recently cut veterans to provide depth to the established stars at the skill positions.
LB Avery Williamson
Avery Williamson is one of the best defensive players on the free-agent market at the moment, and the Seahawks could look to the linebacker to provide some support around Wagner in the second level of defense.
Wagner did not practice last week due to a procedure he has undergone in each of the last five years, but he is expected to be back in practice this week, per NFL.com.
Even if the 31-year-old is fine, it would not hurt for the Seahawks to add insurance at the position to ease the pressure on Adams and Diggs in the deepest layer of the defense.
Their aggressiveness puts them closer to the line of scrimmage than most safeties, but if Seattle brings in another strong linebacker, its reliance on those two players for sacks and tackles will go down a bit.
Williamson had 111 tackles between his time with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020, and he has over 100 tackles in four of his six seasons in the NFL. Adding a player of his quality could be more than worth it to deal with a handful of tough assignments for Seattle's rushing defense inside the NFC West.
If the Seahawks add Williamson, they will at least have another answer to stopping Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook in the first three weeks of the season.
TE Tyler Eifert
The tight end position comes with some question marks ahead of the regular-season opener.
Seattle signed Gerald Everett in free agency, but he was not the No. 1 TE in the Los Angeles Rams offense last season.
Will Dissly is competing with Everett for snaps, but he only produced 251 receiving yards and a pair of scores in 2020.
If Pete Carroll and his staff are unhappy with the tight end production, they could look for a veteran player at the position to produce up to their expectations.
Tyler Eifert dealt with injuries toward the end of his tenure in Cincinnati, but he did play in 16 games in each of the last two seasons.
The 31-year-old hauled in 36 catches for 349 yards and a pair of scores last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that production went unnoticed by some because of where he played.
Eifert does not have to be a high-volume receiver, but if he provides an extra red-zone threat, it could help the Seahawks keep pace in some potentially high-scoring games in NFC West play.
Seattle may not be willing to make a move at tight end until it sees what Everett and Dissly can do, but it should at least have an eye on Eifert in case its current players at the position do not perform.
RB Latavius Murray
Latavius Murray recently became available after the New Orleans Saints released him.
The veteran running back is worth a look from the Seahawks because of the inexperience they have behind Chris Carson.
Murray could serve as a contingency plan for Carson, who missed a chunk of games during the 2020 campaign.
Rashaad Penny, Alex Collins and Travis Homer give the Seahawks some decent depth, but all three are unproven over a full regular season.
The potential addition of Murray would give Seattle a solid No. 2 running back and a power threat in red-zone situations.
The 31-year-old had a pair of 600-yard seasons with New Orleans and found the end zone on nine occasions in relief of Alvin Kamara in 2019 and 2020.
Seattle may be willing to trust its current crop of running backs, but if not, Murray would be a terrific alternative to Carson.
Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.