Seahawks should trade for star DT Cameron Heyward
By Geoff Shull
Reports have surfaced in recent days that Cameron Heyward is unsure of his future in Pittsburgh. The Seahawks shouldn’t hesitate with inquiring about the availability of the star defensive tackle.
The Seahawks came into the off-season with a dire need to improve the pass rush and run defense. To date, they have re-signed Jarran Reed, hoping he goes back to his 2018 form. For the defensive end, they signed several low key FA’s and selected two others in the draft.
I could be wrong, but I don’t feel the Seahawks have significantly improved in either pass rush, or run defense. If Cameron Heyward is available via trade, the Seahawks should not hesitate in pulling the trigger.
Player: Cameron Heyward
Position: Defensive Tackle
Current Contract: Final year of a 6 year, $59.2 million contract
Cameron Heyward was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He did not become a full-time starter until year 3. Since that time, he has become one of the most well-rounded defensive tackles in the league.
PFF has Heyward rated as the 40th best player in the NFL for the 2020 season. This wasn’t by accident; I am actually surprised he wasn’t ranked higher. He has been an absolutely menace over the last 3 years. Last season he earned the second-highest defensive tackle grade (91.5), behind only Aaron Donald (93.7). Check out his stats from the past 3 seasons.
Year 2017 2018 2019
Tackles 45 51 83
Sacks 12 8 9
TFL 16 10 11
Passes Defended 3 3 6
Missed Tackle % 7.7% 3.6% 6.9%
To put this into context, let’s examine Jarran Reed’s stats from his phenomenal 2018 campaign: 51 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 2 TFL, 0 passes defended, and a missed tackle rate of 10.5%. Anything under 7% in terms of missed tackles is considered elite. To paint a brighter picture, Bobby Wagner had a missed tackle rate of 5.9% last season.
2019 was a special year for Heyward. He made the All-Pro team for the second time in three years. This also marked his third consecutive Pro Bowl nod. He broke his personal record for most tackles in a season (83). In fact, Heyward led the NFL in tackles for defensive linemen last year. While he may be on the wrong side of 30, he clearly is nowhere near slowing down.