Seattle Seahawks: Evaluating the Bryan Mone extension
By Matthew Holm
The Seattle Seahawks signed defensive tackle Bryan Mone to a two-year extension worth $12 million earlier this week, to the joy of some and the chagrin of others.
On the one hand, Mone has been a valuable asset in run defense, and his unique size contributed to the Seahawks’ second-best run defense by yards per rush allowed. On the other hand, Seattle also re-upped Al Woods to a two-year deal a couple of months ago, and are widely rumored to be switching to a full-on 3-4 defense, and with both Woods and Poona Ford rostered, it’s fair to question whether Mone would even see regular snaps in the new defense.
Therefore, in order to assess whether it was worth extending Mone at a higher rate than Woods is set to make, we first must get a general idea of what a Pete Carroll-style 3-4 would look like.
What the Seahawks extending Bryan Mone means
The Seahawks may run an abundance of cover 2 and cover 4 concepts in the near future, as new assistant head coach Sean Desai comes from the Vic Fangio tree of 3-4 defenses, which utilize two-deep looks frequently. This means Seattle could end up dropping Jamal Adams into deep zones more often than we’ve seen in the past. That having been said, Adams has always reminded me a bit of Troy Polamalu, and Seattle could very easily run a blitz-heavy scheme with bigger ends.
Teams like the Steelers and Ravens have set up their defense in such a manner for decades, going all the way back to names like Kimo von Oelhoffen and Trevor Pryce. Poona Ford could very well make such a move to that 4-i position, lining up between the guard and tackle most plays, where he could use his extension and leverage to create more than a few blitzing lanes for Adams and Jordyn Brooks.
It’s also possible that one of Woods or Mone makes such a move — Desai’s defense in Chicago boasted the 330-pounder Akiem Hicks at defensive end, and Mone has played multiple positions under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, who often moved Mone around to play alongside Rashan Gary whenever possible.
Mone, six-foot-three, isn’t as tall as the six-foot-five Hicks, and he carries anywhere between 10-30 additional pounds on his frame, depending on where you get your information, but could offer some of the same disruption if given the chance.
There’s a lot about Seattle’s defense that has yet to be unraveled, and the Mone extension complicates things even further. The Seahawks also signed Quinton Jefferson for a second stint this offseason, and acquired Shelby Harris from the Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade. There should be a lot of Carroll’s famed competition to work out before we have an idea of what this defense will look like.
If Mone doesn’t win a starting spot on the defensive line before the season starts, though, the Seahawks will have paid almost $7 million in guaranteed money for a rotational nose tackle. That would be a difficult pill for any team to swallow but could be especially devastating for Seattle, pending a DK Metcalf extension and a long-term solution at QB.