What does Dwight Freeney’s signing mean for the Seahawks?
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks got some defensive help with the signing of Dwight Freeney. Seattle has just 12 sacks through six games. Seattle needs more pass rush. Have they got it with the new signee?
The Seahawks are not getting sacks in 2017. Seattle has lost Cliff Avril possibly for the season. Michael Bennett is playing with an injury and in pain. Frank Clark has been good, but not always great. Seattle needs help getting to the quarterback.
Bennett leads the the Seahawks with four sacks. But, as I mentioned, Bennett is banged up with a plantar fascia injury which will probably last all year. Clark is second with 2.5 sacks. Again, he has been good. But that many sacks is not great.
Enter Freeney. Yet, he is 37 years old. How much can really be expected of him? Playing for a good Atlanta Falcons team last year, Freeney had just three sacks. Since 2012, Freeney has just 19.5 sacks. The Seahawks have won a Super Bowl since then and almost another. Not that he is expected to take over where Avril left off; Freeney has not been an Avril-type player in a long time. But he can add quality depth to help Clark and Bennett.
The real expectation for Freeney is to play maybe 20-25 snaps a game and to do one thing really well. That is, of course, put pressure on the opposing quarterback. If Freeney can do that he will allow interior rushers Jarran Reed (having an excellent season) and Sheldon Richardson to have the freedom to have more one-on-one assignments. This is really the biggest plus of Freeney. He could free up others to do what the Seahawks want them to do: Use their talent to beat the other guy.
Related Story: Seahawks gameday grades vs. Giants
Still, Freeney is 37 and is a few years removed from being really good. How much he actually helps in Seattle remains to be seen.