2022 NFL free agency has developed in a way that means exciting opportunities are still available to teams as late as July in this offseason. That point extends to the Seattle Seahawks.
These unsigned veteran free agents are seemingly happy to wait on signing with teams, skipping the mundane offseason activities and maybe even enjoying higher interest once the inevitable injuries happen. Three free agent situations in particular are encouraging for the Seahawks, especially if certain scenarios happen.
With the NFL's offensive trends, it is no longer fantasy football to have three excellent pass catching options at the wide receiver position. So DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett should not necessarily exclude Seattle from adding another wideout, even if the Seahawks have a lot of youthful depth pushing for the No. 3 spot. If Metcalf’s contract negotiations continue to stall and his absence continues, exploring a veteran wideout becomes increasingly attractive.
Odell Beckham Jr. is easily the best name on the list. The 29-year old—who turns 30 November—is coming off ACL surgery, the injury he suffered in Super Bowl 56. Beckham in Seattle feels highly unlikely for a variety of reasons. He may well return to the Rams, where he clearly meshed well with the culture and team. And if not, the Green Bay Packers match. Aaron Rodgers will surely push for another receiver addition after the offseason trade of Davante Adams. Regardless of where Beckham ends up, the point is: Beckham will be in a position to pick from a variety of teams that are, frankly, more attractive spots than Seattle.
The next domino after Beckham is Julio Jones. If Beckham Jr. does return to the Los Angeles Rams, then it’s easy to envision the Packers moving on to Jones. However, if Beckham lands in Green Bay, Jones to the Rams makes less sense.
The 33-year old has struggled with injuries in back-to-back seasons, finishing 2021 with just 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown. That kinda makes Jones the perfect role-player fit in Seattle, where he would be a versatile veteran to fit in where needed—especially as a big dig problem for defenses.
The issue Seattle is likely to encounter pitching to free agent receivers is the perception around the Seahawks’ offense, specifically the quality of their quarterback position. For these two reasons, the team may well have to pay a premium for an extra receiver option. Such a cost would be hard to justify if Metcalf does go unsigned.
2. Offensive Tackle
Injuries, unfortunately, happen in the NFL. The Seahawks have myriad options at both left and right tackle heading into the 2022 season. They would have to suffer astonisghly poor luck for either spot—Charles Cross and Stone Forysthe, or Jake Curhan and Abraham Lucas—to crumble.
Hopefully all of the players enjoy perfect health. However, it is interesting that Seattle’s 2021 starters at the tackle spots, 37-year old Duane Brown and 30-year old RT Brandon Shell are still available. If untold catastrophe does strike, it’s nice to know that the Seahawks will have familiar options.
3. Pass Rushers
The Seahawks have made a concerted effort to get younger, something that has been particularly noticeable on the defensive side of the ball. Pass rush, however, is pass rush. Seattle has desperately lacked rush ability in the past few seasons and they must continue to acquire effective quarterback hunters at every available opportunity.
Adding a veteran who can contribute as a pure passing down rusher feels like the smartest move for the Seahawks. The best 2022 remaining options play on the edge. If they have experience and comfort with dropping into pass coverage that is a bonus—such as the unsigned Jason Pierre-Paul (33 years old, 2.5 sacks) or Justin Houston (33 years old, 4.5 sacks).
However, if the price and time is right, just adding an established sack artist to play on the edge is worthwhile. It was telling that Pete Carroll was more reluctant than John Schneider to announce Coby Bryant would wear the No. 8 jersey in his rookie season. Carroll, clearly, had Carlos Dunlap—the man who wore that number in 2021 for the Seahawks—on his mind.
There is a world that Dunlap returns to Seattle, despite his release earlier this year following 8.5 sacks last year. The 33-year old may well need to transition to a situational rushing role at this point in his career. Last season, Dunlap spoke about the importance of rhythm to him as a rusher and so this switch may prove challenging for the man on 96.0 career sacks. Perhaps Dunlap can change in order to reach his self-professed goal of 100 total sacks.