The Seattle Seahawks have just one regular season game left this season. They still have a shot at the playoffs, of course, but good organizations always think about what is currently happening with the team plus have an eye on the future. General manager John Schneider wants to win now, obviously, but he wants to keep winning in the future and that means thinking about potential free agent options in the coming offseason.
Seattle has a few position groups to worry about in free agency. I will get more in that in a moment, but two of them are linebacker and tight end. Safety might also be an area of concern.
And no. I do not have a quarterback on this list. If Seattle is to move on from Geno Smith, they need to find their next quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft and not in free agency.
No. 1 - Safety Xavier McKinney
There is a decent chance Seattle might need to replace both of the safeties they presumed would be the starters for most of the 2023 season. Jamal Adams has remained oft-injured and horrible in coverage. He missed a couple of games late in the season before finally being placed on injured reserve. The defense, especially the secondary, seems to have better communication and stay truer to their assignments without Adams on the field.
Free safety Quandre Diggs had a horrible start to the season but seems to be better without Adams too. Maybe he is more comfortable playing next to Julian Love because at least with Love he knows the other safety is covering his assignment and is less free-styling. But Diggs is set to be paid $21,262,500 in 2024 and he will be 31 years old; a bit old for a free safety. Seattle could save $11 million by releasing Diggs.
But signing McKinney isn't about Adams and Diggs' performances. McKinney is simply a fantastic player who is a combination of the best of Adams and Diggs. Need someone to cover the deep part of the field? McKinney can do that. Need someone to play in the box defending the run? McKinney can do that as well. McKinney also has missed just 6.4 percent of his tackle attempts in 2023, a good number for a defensive back. The New York Giants could franchise tag him, but that seems unlikely.