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Seahawks Defensive End Hole – What is the Fix?

by Jake Luppino
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Seahawks Defensive End Hole

Seahawks Defensive End Hole – It is no secret that the Seattle Seahawks are in the market for a defensive end. It is arguably their last hole they need to fix in order to become a complete team.

After acquiring SS Jamal Adams from the Jets, the Seahawks solidified their backend. In the past two drafts, they selected multiple linebackers to add depth to an already solid linebacker core. Many argue that Bobby Wagner is the best linebacker football. In my personal opinion, there is no one better than him. He secures every tackle and is a great field general. During this offseason, Seattle brought back veteran LB K.J. Wright, who can still contribute while mentoring some of the younger guys. Their first-round pick in this draft was linebacker Jordyn Brooks. Last year they selected Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven.

Offensively, while it is known that the offensive line has had their struggles, the greatness of QB Russell Wilson masks up many of their holes. Last year, the Seattle offense was better than many expected and this year, with the expectation of Wilson being more involved, you can expect this Seattle offense to be one of the best in the league. Head Coach Pete Carroll has also recently reported that Seattle is keeping their eyes on both Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown. Either one of them can make an immediate impact on this offense.

Seahawks Defensive End Hole

The defensive line is what is causing many to hold off on predicting Seattle as the NFC Representative in Tampa Bay for the Super Bowl. Currently, here is what Seattle has to present on the edge: L.J. Collier (2nd-year player), Rasheem Green (3rd-year player), Branden Jackson, Benson Mayowa, Eli Mencer, Alton Robinson (rookie), Darrell Taylor (rookie). You can also expect both Bruce Irvin and Shaquem Griffin to be playing the role of edge rusher on certain downs or in certain packages.

Seattle definitely has young talent that they can bank on growing and developing, but they need a playmaker on the edge if they want to increase their chances of hoisting their second-ever Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The question remains, what are there options if they decide to pursue an edge rusher in free agency? Well, one of the major questions that remain is, where will Jadeveon Clowney sign? After a one-year stint with Seattle last year, Clowney was quoted saying that he loved Seattle, loved the coaching staff and that he would like to remain on the team. Obviously, that came with a large price tag that Seattle was not willing to purchase. There have been many different reports on what Clowney’s exact asking price is.

In early April, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that Jadeveon Clowney was dropping his asking price from $20 million to $17-18 million. Coming off another year with yet another injury-riddled season, many teams have been too hesitant to offer Clowney a deal with multiple years.

Yet, it seems that Clowney may not just be interested in money. Rather, he wants to play for a contending team. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Clowney rejected a deal offered by the Cleveland Browns. Supposedly, the Browns offered a “substantial” amount of money.

Clowney himself weighed in on what he is looking for:

I want to get that Super Bowl, by any means. That’s what I’m looking for. Who’s going to get me there? I’m not looking to get on a sorry team for no money. That ain’t gonna fly. I’m not going to fight through it all that just to lose 16 games and go home with my check. I hate that. That ain’t what I’m doing. If I can’t do that – I’m not going to no team that can’t win.”

The Clowney situation has definitely been one you want to keep your eye on as a Seahawks fan because although he does not reel in a lot of sacks, he is a disruptor and that much was evident throughout his short career with Seattle.

Another viable option was bringing in veteran DE Everson Griffin. It was recently reported that the Seahawks were interested in Everson Griffin as well as former Rams LB Clay Matthews. Shortly thereafter, the Dallas Cowboys signed Everson Griffin to a one year deal worth $6 million. This had many Seattle fans upset as earlier in the offseason, the Seahawks signed veteran Bruce Irvin to a one-year deal worth about $5.5 million. Many felt that money should have been spent on Griffin.

It is seeming more likely that Clowney will not return as a Seahawk for the 2020 season. This means that the Seahawks will use a roster spot on veteran Clay Matthews. I personally do not like that move.

I believe the fix is either offering Clowney $15 million for one year or just focus on developing the young talent and hope that someone has a breakout season. Rookie second-round pick, Darrell Taylor is dealing with injuries, but he is a speed edge rusher who is athletic and fits Seattle’s defensive scheme. Last year, we saw glimpses of what Rasheem Green can be.

We will see what happens this year as Clowney is the hottest free agent on the market and almost no one has any intel on what he is going to do. If the Seahawks manage to bring back Clowney (which I hope they do), then their chances of winning the Super Bowl skyrocket. If not, they will still be a good enough team to make a deep playoff run, but a playmaker on the edge can make all the difference in the world.

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