Seahawks appear to already have an issue at linebacker ahead of 2024 season

Seattle decided to rebuild their inside linebacker group this offseason, but there might already be an issue.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald
Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks inside linebacker duo of 2023 was not bad. Underperforming would never be part of the vocabulary when discussing a group that includes Bobby Wagner. Wagner is a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, and he played well enough in 2023 to earn Second-Team All-Pro honors. His off-ball linebacker partner, Jordyn Brooks, set career highs for sacks and quarterback hits.

Wagner and Brooks were far from perfect, however. They were not good in pass coverage and, therefore, were bad fits in new head coach Mike Macdonald's scheme. Macdonald requires his inside linebackers to cover well. Either that or the players won't play. Wagner, as great as he is and as much as his raw numbers might appear to be better than Seattle's recent acquisitions, does not mean he is a good fit in Macdonald's defense.

That also could mean that while Wagner might excel with his new team, the Washington Commanders, had he stayed in Seattle under the former coaching staff, his numbers might be artificially inflated because the scheme was so bad. A linebacker under Macdonald might only get 133 combined tackles, which is what Patrick Queen got last season when Macdonald was with the Baltimore Ravens, but they have to do less with as much efficiency as Wagner because the overall defense is better.

New Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jerome Baker is dealing with injuries

That is the hope anyway. In reality, the Seahawks might already have an issue.

The team signed Tyrel Dodson and Jerome Baker to replace Wagner and Brooks this offseason. Both Baker and Dodson have shown to be good in coverage and solid in run defense. They can also be productive in blitz schemes.

Baker, however, suffered a wrist injury in Week 18 last year and that required offseason surgery. After being injured, Baker also missed the Miami Dolphins' (his former team) playoff loss. Prior to the injury, Baker was dealing with another injury and missed Weeks 14 through 17.

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Baker has yet to practice with the Seahawks due to the wrist injury, but Macdonald also said the linebacker was struggling with recovery from the wrist injury and some lower body issues. The team does not expect Baker back before training camp in late July, and there is a chance that Baker is not ready for the start of the season.

Baker was only signed for one year. The Seahawks also have no real depth behind Dodson and Baker. In other words, Seattle could start 2024 with a real problem with its inside linebackers.

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