Seahawks should have interest in this recently released All-Pro safety

Seattle might need to replace two safeties this offseason.

Jane Gershovich/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks need to create cap room even though due to the hike in the cap this offseason, Seattle now has a little bit to spend. That extra space does not include signing draft picks and practice squad players. Plus, Seattle needs to fill out its roster with quality instead of the simple quantity of players it has the money for.

Two players who could be released by Seattle ahead of free agency could be safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs. Moving on from Diggs and Adams would save around $18 million combined. That should be too much to pass on for Seattle. In the case of Adams, the Seahawks should release him as he hasn't proven he can stay healthy enough to earn a roster spot and is terrible in coverage.

If Seattle waives Adams and Diggs, they need potentially a couple of players to replace them. That is unless Seattle thinks a player already on the roster, such as Jerrick Reed II, can step up to take starter-number snaps. Even so, Seattle needs to sign one safety in free agency.

Seattle Seahawks should go after Kevin Byard in free agency

One who should interest them, and especially new coach Mike Macdonald, is Kevin Byard. Byard was released on Friday by the Philadelphia Eagles after Philly traded for him during the 2023 season. For the first five-plus seasons, he played for the Tennessee Titans.

The drawback for Byard is that he is not young as he will be 31 years old before the 2024 season begins. He did have a slip in the quality of his coverage in 2023, but he was still better than Adams and about equal to Diggs. But Byard was much better overall than Adams or Diggs. For instance, while Diggs whiffed on 12 percent of his tackle attempts, Byard missed on only 3.9 percent.

Making tackles has always been Byard's best skill. His highest missed tackle percentage is 7.2 but that came in 2018. In four of his last five seasons, he has missed 3.9 percent or fewer of his attempts. That is special.

Byard is also a two-time First-Team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler. That was in 2017 and as recently as 2021. As Macdonald likes to play three-safety sets more than any other coach in the NFL, adding Byard would mean an overall upgrade over Adams and Diggs and Byard could be coupled with Julian Love to make Seattle's safety group much better in 2024.

Plus, Byard, who had made at least $9.1 million in every season since 2019, is going to take a hit in what he is offered. His main issue is his age. The Seahawks can likely afford him and offer him a one-year deal. Byard could then be a bridge for Seattle's next long-term safety, but he would be a great veteran voice in the locker room and help Seattle fix its tackling issue from recent seasons.

Read more from 12th Man Rising