Top 5 2023 free agents Seahawks should sign for future success
By Lee Vowell
Number 4: Seahawks need defensive tackle Daron Payne
I am going to go with another defensive tackle here. The Seahawks have enough draft capital to pick up pieces of need elsewhere for the most part. But the interior of the defensive line is one that has multiple players who are aging and the unit could still be upgraded by veteran talent. Seattle also needs at least one other defensive tackle that can create interior pressure.
This is where Payne comes in. Payne is a true interior defender and while he is solid against the run, he can create inside havoc for opposing offensive lines trying to pass protect. Payne has played for five seasons but is still only 25 years old. In those five years, Payne has 19 sacks. In three of those years, he has at least 4.5 sacks. In 2021, he had 15 quarterback hits and is already in double-digits this season.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Payne has been a better pass rusher than run stopper in the last two years. But prior to 2021, Payne graded out as near-elite in stopping the run. The point, Payne is capable of being great in all facets of his game.
Of course, Payne isn’t going to be cheap. A player of his age and ability to pass rush is an extremely valuable commodity. That said, the Seahawks do have quite a bit of cap space for 2023 whereas some other teams don’t. Spending money on Payne would be a wise thing to do.