Proposed trade has Seahawks tipped to make huge upgrade at edge rusher

Seattle could be much better on defense under new head coach Mike Macdonald but one trade could make the unit elite.
Seattle Seahawks to potentially add an edge rusher
Seattle Seahawks to potentially add an edge rusher / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Are the Seattle Seahawks in "quarterback purgatory"? That is the question to keep in mind when understanding why CBS Sports believes that Seattle should make a move for an elite edge rusher during the 2024 season. There is a bit of a stretch to the theory and that makes the likelihood that the deal will get done a bit complicated.

Douglas Clawson of CBS Sports admits to being a "big Geno Smith fan," though Clawson still has Smith listed as an "average-to-above average" QB who probably is not capable of leading his team to winning a Super Bowl unless some other part of the team is really good. For example, Trent Dilfer was an OK quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, but the Ravens' defense was good enough to get the team a Super Bowl ring for the 2001 season.

Smith is better than Dilfer, especially athletically, but Clawson doesn't see Smith as being the rare quarterback whose teams don't make a conference championship game in their first six seasons and then suddenly wins a Super Bowl. Again, not without Smith having a lot of help. This is where the trade proposal comes in.

Proposed trade would likely be a bad idea for the Seattle Seahawks

Clawson believes that during the 2024 season, the Seahawks should make a move for Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Khalil Mack. Adding Mack to what Clawson sees as a Seattle defense with talent and better direction under new head coach Mike Macdonald could improve the unit enough that the defense carries Seattle to a deep run in the playoffs. Mack had 17 sacks in 2023, and he only has two seasons of less than 8 sacks since he began his career in 2014.

Clawson also believes Seattle could try to acquire Matthew Judon from the New England Patriots or Haason Reddick from the New York Jets. The issue with Reddick is that New York could be quite good this season and moving Reddick would not make much sense. Judon is more of a pure pass rusher who doesn't consistently help much in run support.

There are two problems with Clawson's idea of Seattle adding Mack. One is that he does not offer a theory of what Seattle would send Los Angeles in return. The Chargers might want a first-round pick in 2025, but the Seahawks are still rebuilding the roster, and giving away a high pick for the 33-year-old Mack seems nonsensical. Seattle is trying to win long-term, not just one year of greatness followed by mediocrity again.

Next. 3 trades that could make Seahawks Super Bowl contenders. 3 trades that could make Seahawks Super Bowl contenders. dark

The other issue is that assuming Mack has another excellent season, Seattle will be taking a chance he can acclimate to Macdonald's scheme quickly, augment the defense immediately, and then Mack will be a free agent. Likely, an expensive one.

Seattle has cap issues next offseason already. Mack's cap hit this season is $25,395,000. He is still one of the best edge rushers in the NFL and should get paid a lot in 2025. Seattle cannot afford him, and taking a chance he will be fantastic for one-half of a season while parting with a high draft pick seems wrong.

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