There are 3 teams in the NFL that are switching from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 this offseason. That means that there are guys currently on those 4 rosters who don’t fit their team’s new scheme. You know where I’m going with this, right? The Seahawks run a 4-3, and are in need of some defensive linemen and at least 1 LB. Feel free to connect the dots on your own.
The one problem here is that the teams that are making the switch (Eagles, Browns and Saints) are generally poor defensive teams, meaning there aren’t a lot of good players who might interest the Seahawks.
Brandon Graham is a name to keep an eye on. He’s locked up for 2 more cap-friendly seasons, and at 270lb isn’t likely to transition to from DE to OLB. Graham is a tremendous pass rusher and not a bad run stopper either. Graham would instantly upgrade the Leo position (with Clemons hurt) and be a nice upgrade to the defense.
MLB DeMeco Ryans is undersized for a 3-4 scheme and thus is likely going to be available. The Seahawks don’t need a MLB because they have a rising star in Bobby Wagner, but either Wagner or Ryans could play the WLB position that LeRoy Hill played at in 2012. Ryans would be a nice upgrade to the defense, but his $6.6 mil cap number in 2013 ($6.8 mil in 2014 and 2015) make his acquisition unlikely for Seattle.
Former Seahawk Darrell Tapp is a free agent is most likely wont be brought back. He wouldn’t cost Seattle anything in trade, but he’s not a great pass rusher (he’s a better run stopper for his size). There’s also a reason the Seahawks shipped him off to the Eagles in the first place, he doesn’t fit this scheme all that well.
Fletcher Cox likely stays on the line, and Trent Cole likely can adjust to being a OLB.
Oct. 21, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) tries to avoid getting sacked by Cleveland Browns tackle Kaluka Maiava (56) during second half action. The Colts went on to win, 17-13. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports.
Kaluka Maiava is the player who actually got me started looking into this. He is an unrestricted free agent and I seriously doubt he’s resigned. OLBs who aren’t pass rushers, and can’t move inside to MLB, have no place in a 3-4 defense. Maiava would be a great addition to Seattle’s defense. He’s undersized, but fast and good in coverage. I’d love him at Weak Side Linebacker for the Seahawks.
Juqua Parker likely makes the transition to OLB. Ahtyba Rubin likely becomes a 3-4 DE with Phil Taylor becoming the NT. Oter than that, the Browns front 7 isn’t all that interesting. Most of their talent lies in the secondary.
DE Junior Galette is a restricted Free Agent and may be allowed to walk w/o compensation (not being tendered a contract) since he is unlikely to make the transition to OLB. At 260 lbs, he’d make a great low-cost Leo or 3rd down pass rush specialist.
DE Tom Johnson is another guy who might be available for trade. he has 1 year left on his rookie contract which pays him only $555k. Johnson is 280 lbs, and is the decent inside pass rusher that could take the place of Jason Jones in the DT rotation. Like Jones, he’s isn’t good against the run.
Akiem Hicks and Brodrick Bunkley likely both stay and become a part of a new 3 man line. I don’t see anyone else in their front 7 that would interest the Seahawks.