The Seahawks have one clear question mark on the defense. That is at cornerback. Seattle should go all out for Stephon Gilmore at this point. And there could be a couple of different ways for Seattle to be able to get Gilmore.
One, as we wrote about earlier this week, was that Gilmore might end up being a post-June 1 release by his current team the New England Patriots. Gilmore is a great cornerback but he is also expensive. He has a cap hit of $16.2 million, though he is due to make $7.3 million this year. He had his contract restructured to make room for the Patriots to sign other players.
Two is that Gilmore could simply be traded for. Seattle and New England have a recent history of a couple of trades so a Seahawks and Patriots deal would not be unusual. Gilmore is also in a walk year and will be 31 years old during the season so Bill Belichick might simply look to get value for a player that New England is unlikely to retain after this coming year.
Seahawks need to go after Stephon Gilmore
Seattle has improved its defensive line this offseason, especially the pass rush. No, K.J. Wright is unlikely to return but Jordyn Brooks is ready to take his place. Safety is set with Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs. But cornerback? That could be the difference between Seattle going to the Super Bowl or missing the playoffs altogether.
In most other divisions of the NFL that might seem like a silly statement. But this is the NFC West. Every team is capable of winning the division and making a deep run in the postseason. That means one or two or three good teams is not going to make the playoffs at all.
Gilmore is a four-time Pro Bowler and a two-time First-Team All-Pro. In the last three years, his highest QBR-allowed is 75.7. This was in 2020. That said, Pro Football Focus has Gilmore graded at 58.5 in coverage for last year and the 61st-best cornerback overall. This means two things.
Forst, it shows PFF’s grading scale can sometimes be silly. Secondly, it may show that Gilmore might be more tradeable for the Patriots than people think. 31 years old for a cornerback is getting a little old.
But the fact is, Gilmore is a great cornerback and Seattle needs him this coming year and maybe in 2022. Seattle needs a shutdown corner and that is what Gilmore is. With one shutdown coupled with a better pass rush, the defense could be very good. The offense should be better for the Seahawks this year and special teams is among the league’s best. Seattle needs to go get Stephon Gilmore and do it now.