Three 2023 free agents the Seahawks must target on defense

Cincinnati Bengals At Buffalo Bills Afc Divisional Jan 22 463
Cincinnati Bengals At Buffalo Bills Afc Divisional Jan 22 463 /
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Cameron Sutton would be sweet for the Seahawks
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Seahawks free agent target no. 2: Cameron Sutton

I’ll start with another player that would be a great fit for the Hawks, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, except for one little problem. They already have a great free safety in Quandre Diggs, and all Ryan Neal did at strong safety was earn Pro Football Focus’ top grade. Hopefully, Jamal Adams will be back at full strength, and Clint Hurtt can see his three-safety sets perform as well as expected. Gardner-Johnson can also play slot corner, but Coby Bryant should have that locked down with another year of experience. If it looks like Adams’ recovery isn’t progressing, then I’d take CJGJ in a heartbeat.

But the Hawks will likely have no issues at safety. Obviously, the right cornerback position is in the best hands in the league with Tariq Woolen. Michael Jackson wasn’t Bad, but he wasn’t exactly a Thriller, either. Sorry, but you know I had to go there. While Woolen tied for the league lead in interceptions (with Gardner-Johnson), Jackson had just one pick. PFF graded Woolen at 71.6, and Jackson at just 60.2. Woolen led the NFL in passer rating allowed (a ridiculous 48.7), while Jackson was at 75.1.

All that is to say that Cameron Sutton, currently of the Steelers, would be a terrific bookend for Woolen. At 5’11” and 188 pounds, he doesn’t fit the Seahawks prototype nearly as well as Woolen, or Jackson, for that matter. All he does is produce. PFF graded him at 71.6, the same as Woolen. I think that’s absurd, but it does reflect that he’s far more than competent.

He’s played in at least 15 games every season since 2018 and has posted passer ratings allowed below 80 in three of his past four seasons. That includes a rating of 65.3 last year, when he broke up 15 passes and picked off three more, all career highs. Perhaps best of all, projects his market value at a pretty cap-friendly $7.6 million per year, with a three-year deal most likely. Compared to the expectation of $13.3 million for Gardner-Johnson, or a probable $16.5 million for Jamel Dean, another top corner, and Sutton looks like the best fit for the Hawks.