Seahawks might have made the best signing of the free agency period

Seattle found a great player to fill a position of need.

Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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12s can begin to exhale a little more. Some might have been disappointed by what the Seattle Seahawks did early in free agency after clearing off tens of millions of dollars in cap space. Seattle began free agency by bringing back two of their own and then signing potential backups. But on Thursday, Seattle made two potentially excellent moves.

One was a trade for quarterback Sam Howell. He should be the backup to Geno Smith and while Howell is far from perfect (he led the NFL in interceptions in 2023 with 21), he does have starting experience and is a fairly accurate passer. He also played behind an atrocious offensive line this past season so maybe he is even better than what he showed.

But Seattle's best move this week, and possibly the best move of free agency overall, was that the team signed linebacker Tyrel Dodson, according to Bleacher Report's Jordan Schultz. The Seahawks had an obvious need at inside linebacker as they literally had zero proven veterans on the 2024 roster. But Dodson doesn't just fill one of those spots, he excels everywhere that Seattle hasn't in recent years.

Seattle Seahawks get a steal of a signing in Tyrel Dodson

Getting his first chance at real playing time in 2023, Dodson became the highest-graded linebacker in the league, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). But specifically where he did well - against the run and in coverage - is where most Seattle linebackers have struggled. Bobby Wagner was fantastic in nearly every aspect but was not good in coverage. Jordyn Brooks was bad in coverage as well, but wasn't good at stopping the run.

Assuming Dodson owns his new responsibility (and he should but he has only been a full-time starter for one season and that was because of an injury to another player), he could turn into a multi-time Pro Bowler for Seattle, especially under the direction of new head coach Mike Macdonald. Dodson is 6 feet tall and 237 pounds but quick and strong.

It should be noted that one reason he might not have gotten a chance earlier in his career with his former team, the Buffalo Bills, is that he went undrafted out of college and then was suspended for six games of his rookie season after he was arrested on domestic violence and disorderly conduct charges. He ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. He has not had off-field issues occur since then.

Terms for Dodson's contract had yet to be announced at the time of this article but one would not expect the deal to be high dollar. But Dodson should make an immediately positive impact on the Seahawks' defense and help create a better version of the unit than Seattle has had since the mid-2010s. Plus, with Dodson on the field, 12s should not have to see so many 10-15-yard completions for first downs between the linebackers anymore.

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