The Seahawks have some solid young pieces on defense but overall in 2022, the defense was not good. Plus, the question might be asked: Even assuming players like Jordyn Brooks are actually good, how good are they really? Because Seattle needs to upgrade in areas where it can and one of the units that definitely needs to be better is linebacker.
Brooks, of course, also was injured late in the season so it remains to be seen how quickly he can come back from a knee injury. Maybe he needs almost a year off and if that is so, along with Cody Barton being a free agent, the Seahawks don’t know who will be their starters at the beginning of next season. Seattle might need to address that need in the 2023 NFL draft.
Or the Seahawks could sign a high-impact veteran linebacker. With other parts of the defense being so young, having a guy who has been around a bit to hold down the middle of the defense might be a good idea. If the Seahawks choose to sign a free agent LB, one of the following guys might be the best choice.
Seahawks should think of signing a veteran linebacker this offseason
Premium players: Tremaine Edmunds, Lavonte David
Team-friendly options: Bobby Okereke, Drue Tranquil, Devin Bush, Rashaan Evans
Tremaine Edmunds (Bills)
Edmunds would serve as a massive upgrade in the run defense for the Seahawks. But assuming Jordyn Brooks is still the linebacker of the future in Seattle, Edmunds could be too expensive for the Seahawks. Also, Edmunds’s playstyle is too similar to Brooks’s and could result in a lack of pass coverage ability at the linebacker position, making this unappealing to Pete Carroll.
Lavonte David (Buccaneers)
In Tampa Bay, Lavonte David has been an all-pro caliber player for 11 seasons. Tampa is losing Tom Brady, so it will make little sense to bring back an aging guy like David. At a projected market value of 9.7 million dollars a season, Lavonte David would be a massive defensive upgrade for Seattle while Brooks is recovering. What may be more important is that David’s experience and ability could even take some pressure off Jordyn Brooks when he returns.
Bobby Okereke (Colts)
When talking about unsung heroes at the linebacker position Bobby Okereke should be near the top of the list. Darius Leonard has overshadowed Okereke, but Bobby has shown incredible effort and ability over the past four seasons as his running mate. At a shallow projected market value of 3.3 million dollars per year, Okereke could be the hidden gem Seattle needs.
Drue Tranquil (Chargers)
Drue Tranquil only got a little of an opportunity during his first three seasons with the Chargers, but boy, did he show out in the final year of his rookie contract. Tranquil had 146 tackles to lead the Chargers team this year and had a vital role on the defense all season long. Due to his newfound performance, his projected market value is only 4 million. This player is the type of guy John Schnieder salivates over.
Devin Bush (Steelers)
Coming out of college Devin Bush had as high a ceiling as any prospect at the linebacker position. Since then, Bush has struggled to stay on the field, worked in pass coverage, and has yet to show much growth over his career. A talented project guy like Bush is a perfect Pete Carroll fit. With Bush sitting at barely 25 by the start of next season and at merely a 3 million dollars projected market value, I could see the Seahawks bringing him in.
Rashaan Evans (Falcons)
Seattle now has a significant need for a starting linebacker after the Jordyn Brooks injury; Rashaan Evans could be an excellent addition for the Seahawks. Last season was Evans’s first year as the full-time starter in Atlanta and his first year with the Falcons; he started every game and finished the season with 160 tackles. Evans projected market value is at 4.5 million dollars at the moment, and I’d be surprised if John Schnieder doesn’t jump all over the opportunity to scoop him up if he’s there.