The Seahawks defense has been revitalized in the past two weeks. They could still use some help, though. Here are three top safeties they could add before the trade deadline.
The Seahawks defense has made a remarkable turnaround in the past two weeks. They moved from worst in the league, complete with abysmal performances against the Lions and Saints, to shutting down the Cardinals and controlling the Chargers. One very big reason for that improvement has been the emergence – sorry, the re-emergence – of safety Ryan Neal. As Lee Vowell noted in his analysis of the Hawks three stars in the win in Los Angeles, Neal was an absolute force at strong safety.
I agree with Lee – Neal has to continue to get all the snaps moving forward, and Seattle has to re-sign him, too. Looking at 2023, that would give the Seahawks three starting safeties, and that’s just fine. That’s how they started this season, with Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, and Josh Jones.
Neal should have been the third man all along, but that’s spilled – and very sour – milk. But for the rest of 2022, the Seahawks could definitely shore up their defense with a third safety. Here are three of the best options they could pick up before the November 1st trade deadline.
Seahawks should add a safety, but none of these guys quite fit
Before I give you my three best options for safety, let me run a few also-rans past you. The first name I eliminated was Bears safety, Eddie Jackson. Is he good? Oh, definitely; through seven games, he has three picks, three pass defenses, and forced two fumbles. He’s only allowed a 53 percent completion rate, has a Pro Football Focus (subscription required) grade of 77.6, and his passer rating allowed is a ridiculously good 42.8.
So what’s not to love? Well, he’s on a $58.4 million dollar contract that will void in 2025 and carries a cap number of $15, $16, and $17 million for this season and the next two, respectively. The Hawks simply can’t afford him.
The next man out is another name that’s been thrown around a lot as a trade target, the Raiders Johnathan Abram. The money is much better here as Abram’s cap number this year is just under $3.6 million. The problem: he’s a free agent next year so that deal isn’t locked in, and he’s been pretty awful this season.
He does have 40 combined tackles but hasn’t forced a turnover despite six starts this year. His passer rating allowed isn’t terrible – 91.3 – but that’s the best of his career. Oh, and PFF has graded him at 47.8 for 2022. That’s a hard pass.
My last almost-but-not-quite pick is Will Harris of the Lions. At a cap of $2.7 million for this year, the money is right. Two issues: like Abram, he’ll be a free agent in 2023, and his performance isn’t as strong as my three finalists. He’s playing cornerback this year but has played both safety spots in past seasons. If he was better at strong safety, he’d still be there. That versatility does play in his favor, though, as the Seahawks would be using him in dime packages for the most part.
Still, he only has two starts out of five games this year, and the stats show why. He’s allowed a 78 completion percentage and a passer rating of 106.8. His PFF grade is somehow still 67.7. Not terrible, but we’re about to see players with far better numbers.