2022 Seahawks free agent review: Uchenna Nwosu, the awesome

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

We’ve covered the good and the bad. While there may have been an ugly signing or two, I prefer to celebrate the Seahawks’ awesome addition of Uchenna Nwosu.

I probably don’t need to reiterate this, but the Seahawks had a pretty darn good season in 2022. If you’re not aware of that, I have no idea why you’re reading an article about the Hawks. If you disagree with that assessment, we need to talk. For a team that moved on from two first-ballot Hall of Fame players – who were also the leaders of the offense and defense – but the Hawks played terrific ball.

Yes, they had their issues, but overall, this was a much more satisfying season than 2021. There’s no doubt in my mind that much of the credit for the Seahawks’ success must be given to Geno Smith, named Pro Football Focus’ Comeback Player of the Year. We have to make sure we reserve several accolades for Pete Carroll, who somehow wasn’t even considered a candidate for the AP’s Coach of the Year award. Yet this was hardly a two-man job. Football is often called the ultimate team sport, after all. The Hawks certainly got big contributions all over the roster.

Seahawks hit the jackpot with Uchenna Nwosu

If you read my reviews of the Hawks’ free-agent newcomers, you know that John Schneider and Carroll made a few good signings. Seattle got good to great performances from all three players at a relatively reasonable cost. They also made a few pickups that were frankly bad. Then again, those few bad offers were all of the low-risk, high-reward variety, and cost very little money.

Uchenna Nwosu fits neither category. At a salary of $19 over two years with $10 million guaranteed, Nwosu hardly fits the low-risk group. I’d say he wasn’t exactly in the reasonable-cost category, either. His contract with Seattle, their biggest free agent contract of 2022, was more than the second, third, and fourth-highest offers made. Those contracts brought back Quinton Jefferson, kept Rashaad Penny, and added Austin Blythe. Obviously, the Seahawks expected big things from the former Chargers linebacker.

They got very big things from Nwosu, indeed. His previous highs with San Diego were 40 tackles – eight of those for a loss – 17 quarterback hits, and five sacks. That was on 782 snaps, by the way. To say he thrived in DC Clint Hurtt’s scheme would be a gross understatement. Yes, he was in for 904 snaps with the Seahawks. That’s a bit over 15 percent more playing time. That doesn’t come close to explaining his improvement across the board.

That small bump in playing time doesn’t explain how he jumped in total tackles to 66 and his tackles for a loss to 12. Those are increases of 65 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The difference in his attacks on the quarterback is just as dramatic. His QB hits skyrocketed from 17 to 26, a 53 percent jump. His sacks climbed from five to nine and a half, a jump of 90 percent. Nwosu became a legitimate force for the Hawks, who desperately needed someone to pressure the quarterback.

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Uchenna Nwosu more than fits the bill for the Hawks. He added intimidation and swagger to the Hawks’ defense, qualities Seattle certainly needed. I expect his next season to be even better as the Seahawks add some much-needed power and speed to the defensive line. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nowsu make an equally large jump next season, proving he was the prize of the Hawks 2002 free agent class.