The Seahawks stayed true to their past free agency trends and were very quiet on opening day. There are still quite a few big ticket players Seattle can target in day two of the NFL free agency.
Before I go into the bulk of the article, I want to talk real quick about Jadeveon Clowney. From the sounds of it, John Schneider and Clowney have a mutual interest in bringing the defensive end back to the Seahawks. Clowney appears to have promised to allow the Seahawks to match any deal that comes his way.
With the first day’s free agency off the books and Clowney’s camp yelling, for all to hear, that he wants $21 million or more. To me, it sounds like Clowney has been underwhelmed with the offers he has received thus far and is trying to bait teams to throwing more money at him. It’s completely possible that his injury history and lack of hard stats (sacks) are scaring off away from spending big on the talented DE. Seattle may be just be biding their time hoping his lackluster market allows him to come back to Seattle somewhere closer to Arik Armstead’s APY contract ($17-$18 million per year).
Dante Fowler, DE
Seattle has been looking for its next LEO since Cliff Avril’s career ended prematurely. Dante Fowler has all the intangibles that the Seahawks look for off the edge. He has the speed, agility, and football IQ that would make him an interesting option with high upside. Over the last 2 seasons, Fowler has amassed 15.5 sacks and an average QB pressure rate of 11.5%. To me, it looks like Fowler is just now figuring out how to flourish in the NFL, any team that signs him will be reaping the vast benefits as he continues to develop (just 25 years old).
Projected contract: 3 years, $42 million
Bryan Bulaga, RT
With George Fant signing with the Jets, and Germain Ifedi looking to be the next in line to be paid at offensive tackle, Bryan Bulaga seems to be a perfect stop gate player for the Seahawks. He is a seasoned veteran, coming off one of his best seasons in recent memory. Green Bay has already addressed the right tackle position in free agency, so it appears there is no going back. He plays the run and pass very well and the longer he last on the open market the more likely he could be had for a below market value contract.
Projected contract: 2 years, $18 million
Everson Griffen, DE
As soon as Griffen was cut, there were a flurry of rumors that Seattle could be a potential landing spot. I mean, after all, he played for Coach Carroll at USC some time ago. Griffin is coming off a 8 sack season, where he had a QB pressure rate of 11.7%. Over the last 5 seasons Griffen has averaged 9 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, and a pressure rate of 11.1%. Going into his age 32 season, it doesn’t appear he is slowing down anytime soon.
Projected contract: 3 year, $37.5 million
Robert Quinn, DE
Quinn has long been rumored to have a mutual interest with Jerry Jones in returning to the Cowboys. However, with Jones firmly focuses on bringing back some his young talent (Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott), it is quite possible that Seattle could come in with an aggressive offer to lure Quinn to the Pacific Northwest. Last season, Quinn accumulated 11.5 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles and an impressive QB pressure rate of 16%. He also led the NFL in ESPN’s Pass-Rush-Win-Rate at 33%.
Projected contract: 3 years, $45 million
Of course, all these defensive ends are in the hopes that Seattle can re-sign Clowney. They would all fit into the LEO position and compliment Clowney’s skill set perfectly. One of the signings would be focused on getting high potential (Fowler), others as proven entities/stop-gate players (Griffen/Quinn). They all could all be had for a modest contract. There is plenty of cap space to bring in any 1 of the 3 defensive ends AND Jadeveon Clowney. Let’s hope John and Pete get to work today, trying to secure our defensive line.