The Seahawks reportedly have interest in Everson Griffin and Clay Matthews as edge rushers for 2020. If Seattle has the choice, they should choose Griffin.
The Seahawks, according to Michael Silver of the Pass It Down podcast and formerly of Sports Illustrated, have moved on from trying to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney and have now set their sights on trying to bring in either Everson Griffin or Clay Matthews. Who knows? Maybe both. But if only one is an option, it needs to be Griffen.
The reason isn’t how old each player is. Griffen is 32 years old. Matthews is 34. Neither player is young enough to be a long-term option at who is going to lead the Seahawks in sacks for years to come. But in 2020 either player might help Seattle get pressure on the opposing quarterback, an aspect of the game they struggled mightily in in 2019.
But if Seattle doesn’t sign both Matthews and Griffen (and if they do, that is a win), then the answer to whom they sign should be Griffen. The reason for this is Griffen is a better run-defender. Seattle needs help with that too as the Seahawks struggled to stop the run most of the time last year and in pressuring the quarterback.
Run defense counts too!
Jadeveon Clowney is a great player for many reasons, but one of the more important ones is that he is a beast against the run. Griffen nor Matthews is Clowney-like when it comes to shutting down run games but Griffen is a heck of a lot better.
According to Pro Football Focus, last year Griffen played on 338 run snaps and had a grade of 63.3. Not great but decent. Matthews played on just 253 run snaps with a grade of 57.6. Not good. And while Matthews might technically be a linebacker, he would really be an edge rusher only with Seattle.
Actually, Seattle already has a player in the role Matthews would play: Bruce Irvin. Irvin came back to the Seahawks this offseason after years away on lesser teams. While it’s true that Griffen and Matthews both had 8 sacks last year, Griffen would be better for the Seahawks in 2020 because he isn’t just a one-note player.