One Seahawks player should be angry at ESPN's free agency idea

Seattle has greater needs than what ESPN proposes.

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Navigating free agency is going to be a tricky proposition for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. The team is still likely to make moves in order to create more cap room. This might mean releasing a veteran (or three) currently under contract in 2024 or reworking a deal or two. Once more money is made, general manager John Schneider can then sign players based on how he has prioritized Seattle's needs.

Most 12s likely assume that Seattle needs to find an interior lineman or two, and get help along the defensive line, potentially at safety, and at linebacker. Another good edge rusher would be great as well, but also might be too expensive. One position that I keep seeing pop up on sites as one of the Seahawks' biggest needs is cornerback and I do not think that is correct.

In a recent article by ESPN's Aaron Schatz on key free agency moves each NFL team should make, he has Seattle going after a cornerback, too. He does write that he thought of suggesting a pass-rusher or interior offensive lineman for Seattle, but he decided against it. I am not sure why as those two spots are in greater need for Seattle than cornerback.

Seahawks CB Michael Jackson should be peeved by recent ESPN article

One Seahawks player who should be irritated by the article is Mike Jackson. Jackson might not be the flashiest of players and definitely is not a household name in the league - if he was, sites would not be saying that Seattle needed to add another cornerback - but he has been solid for Seattle when he has had the chance to start the last two years. He also should be the kind of corner that head coach Mike Macdonald likes a lot.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Jackson was the 20th-best corner in the league in 2023. He graded well in both coverage and run defense, but not as well in pass rush. If I were a coach, I would much rather have a cornerback who does well in the first two categories and cares a bit less about rushing the passer. Jackson also, as opposed to most of his teammates the last two seasons, is a good tackler.

He might not have been quite as good in 2023 as he was in 2022 - he allowed completions on 68.8 percent of his 32 targets instead of the 61.1 on 90 targets he did in 2022 - but he only allowed 2.3 yards per catch after the ball was caught. If a receiver does catch a pass with Jackson covering him, Jackson normally makes a quick tackle.

Schatz sees the Seahawks potentially adding Cincinnati Bengals free agent Chidobe Awuzie and having Awuzie play one outside corner spot opposite Riq Woolen while Devon Witherspoon continues to play in the slot. Awuzie is not a bad player, but PFF also sees him getting a contract that pays him as much as $10.5 million per season. The Seahawks making that offer would be ridiculous. The team would be wiser to spend money on other position groups.

Jackson is a restricted free agent that Seattle will probably bring back. If they place a tender on Jackson it might be one for right of first refusal which means if Jackson stays with Seattle he would get paid $2,985,000. That is still far less than Awuzie. Awuzie is not a bad player but he does not play a position where the Seahawks have a grave need, especially with Jackson likely already on the roster.

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