2023 free agent acquisition Jarran Reed appears to have been moved to nose tackle full-time and will most likely be the starter at the spot for the Seattle Seahawks entering the 2023 season. But while Reed fixes one issue - the hole in the middle of the Seattle defensive line - his move might create a problem at another spot, defensive end. How should Seattle find the player to start on the same defensive line as Dre'Mont Jones and Reed?
Seattle did sign Mario Edwards, Jr. this offseason as well. But Edwards hasn't proven to be a good full-time starter that can be consistently good against the run and the pass. He is solid against the run, and that should help the Seahawks address a need from 2022 when they were horrible at stopping another team running the ball.
The Seahawks don't currently have another defensive end on the roster who has proven he can be good enough to play with Jones and Reed. Seattle has a little bit of money to spend as well, possibly around $6 million after the practice squad is accounted for, and maybe a little buffer to account for potential injuries. Jadeveon Clowney is still a free agent. Maybe Seattle should try to bring him back.
Seahawks should make a smart move and bring back Jadeveon Clowney
I will own up to a few things by suggesting Seattle bring back Jadeveon Clowney. One is that I have fond memories of how well he played at times for the Seahawks when Clowney spent the 2019 season with the team. The Week 10 game of that season might still be one of the best I've ever seen one player dominate without actually recording a sack. Clowney had 5 quarterback hits and forced fumble and fumble recovery in Seattle's victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
But Clowney is still only 30 years old and should have at least a couple of years left where he can play at a relatively high level. Yes, he gets hurt too much. But he also does play the majority of his team's games in an average year. And because of his injury history and having a relative down year in 2022, his asking price should be affordable for Seattle.
The Seahawks should offer Clowney a one-year deal and make him part of a rotation with Edwards and Jones and possibly rookie Mike Morris. Clowney can get pressure on opposing passers but he is fantastic against the run (Pro Football Focus - subscription required - gave him a very good run defense grade of 74.3 in 2022). Plus, he played next to Reed in 2019 so he should have that familiarity.
Seattle's edge rusher group is better now than it was in 2019 as well so the team won't have to rely on Clowney to chase down quarterbacks as much as it did four years ago. Clowney can provide decent pass rush and help stop the run and that is going to make the defensive line better than it is right now.