Seahawks make another sneaky good free agent signing while filling a need

Seattle continues to make moves that could pay off big.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks have historically waited to make a big splash in free agency, at least until 2010 when general manager John Schneider came to Seattle. 2023 was a bit different and Seattle seemed a lot more aggressive. This could have been seen as the start of a trend, especially with Seattle clearing so much cap space ahead of 2024 free agency.

But any potential trend in 2023 did not roll over to this year. That might have worried 12s, too. The team had holes at tight end, linebacker, safety, and along the interior of the offensive line. As this past week progressed, though, Seattle made some potentially solid moves that made the team better. This includes signing linebacker Tyrel Dodson.

But Seattle has found a partner for Dodson in Jerome Baker. He is reportedly signing a one-year and $7 million deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Baker has spent his entire six-year career with the Miami Dolphins before reportedly signing with the Seahawks. He has at times been terrific with pass rush and has a high of 7 sacks in 2020. But where Baker excels is in pass coverage.

Seattle Seahawks add linebacker Jerome Baker

Seattle has made an obvious choice this offseason to let go linebackers who did not cover well such as Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks. As good as Brooks and Wagner were in some aspects, such as being good tacklers, they were terrible at covering over the middle of the field. Too many times in the last few years, whoever was playing linebacker would allow too easy of first downs, especially in third and long situations, with passes thrown directly over the middle of the field into an open space where a linebacker or two should have been.

With Dodson and Baker, and under the direction of new head coach Mike Macdonald, Seattle should not have coverage issues with their linebackers. Drastically improving that issue alone is going to make the defense much more efficient. Wagner allowed 11.1 yards per completion in 2023 and had allowed more than 10 yards a completion in most of his recent years. Brooks allowed 9.7 yards per completion this past season but 11.2 and 12.8 in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Baker has not allowed more than 8.7 yards per completion in any season since 2019.

Dodson and Baker might not end up being Pro Bowlers (though under Macdonald, they could) but they will help the Seahawks' defense be better. Seattle's offense is good enough to win, and they just need help from the defense. With the changes made in free agency, Seattle should be a good bet to make the playoffs next season.

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