Valentine's Day is right around the corner and so is the NFL free agency period and draft. Since we're gearing up to celebrate our nation's day of love, it seems only fitting to share your feelings with the world. In an offseason that will be critical to the Seahawks to either extend their honeymoon period or creep ever closer to an ugly breakup, it is important to communicate your expectations to those involved.
The Seahawks are coming off a 12-4 season which included an NFC West division championship but were still left window shopping in late January after a shocking wild-card round loss to the Rams. Perhaps more shocking than the early exit was the primary reason for Seattle's demise: a struggling offense that went from all-world in the first half of 2020 to a neutered, sputtering scrap heap down the stretch.
The Seahawks have a limited amount of cap space and just four draft picks this offseason, so creativity will be important for general manager John Schneider. With these limited resources, you have to be sold that a player is going to give you maximum return on your investment. In other words, you have to love the player. So which players should the Seahawks love?
Offensive Free Agent "Crushes"
Corey Linsley, C Green Bay Packers
After blossoming into a pleasant surprise to start 2020, Seahawks center Ethan Pocic struggled down the stretch, turning in an uneven performance. The former second-round pick now heads into free agency and the Seahawks should be looking to upgrade the position. The NFC West is filled with dominant defensive lines and protecting Russell Wilson should be their main priority.
Linsley, who turns 30 years old in July, is a seven-year veteran with 99 regular season starts at center for the Packers under his belt. Linsley is coming off a fantastic season in which he was named first-team All-Pro, earning an 89.9 Pro Football Focus grade while allowing just one sack in 734 snaps. Linsley has experience in a Shane Waldron style offense and provides a massive upgrade to an offensive line that needs to get better. Seattle will need to move some money around to accommodate Linsley, however. PFF predicts he will get a three-year contract worth around $11 million in average annual salary.
Curtis Samuel, WR Carolina Panthers
The most unheralded need for the Seahawks entering 2021 is at receiver. The Seahawks boast one of the best - if not the best - receiving tandems in the league with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. But behind them, there isn't much help. Seattle needs to address this issue while finding a receiver who can play in the slot and outside, has a skill for creating yards after the catch, and has been used in the jet sweep or motion game that Waldron could bring over from the Rams.
You probably see where I'm going with this, but Curtis Samuel brings it all to the table. In 2020, Samuel hauled in 77 catches for 851 yards, all while adding 200 rushing yards on 41 attempts. He's tough over the middle, finds soft spots in zone defenses, and can create mismatches all over the field. Samuel earned a 77.0 grade from PFF and for roughly $8 million a year, he's exactly the type of player that can elevate Wilson and this Seahawks' passing game.
TE Gerald Everett
One of the more common complaints surrounding the Seahawks' offense in 2020 was the lack of involvement from the tight end position. While this concern was a little bit overblown thanks to Seattle's use of a true three-headed monster, it is hard to argue that the offense got enough from that group.
Gerald Everett is a classic "move" tight end who brings athleticism, familiarity with the new run blocking scheme, and decent production despite being the Rams' second tight end. Everett can fill the same role in Seattle as Colby Parkinson's comparison to Tyler Higbee is hard to ignore. Will Dissly will be two years removed from his Achilles tear and the addition of Everett could give the Seahawks a lethal tight end corp.
Offensive Draft "Crushes"
Javonte Williams, RB North Carolina
Selecting a running back with one of just four picks is sure to send certain Seahawks social media communities into a frenzy, but the undeniable truth is that Seattle needs to address the position. While it appears that Rashaad Penny is a good fit for the new run scheme, he's proven unable to stay healthy. With Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde set to hit free agency, Seattle needs to protect themselves.
Javonte Williams is a Seahawks running back if you've ever seen one. He's below six foot tall but weighs in at 220 pounds - measurables Seattle has chased in the past. He runs hard, has improved in the passing game, and doesn't carry the usual wear-and-tear of college runners. Williams churned out 1,140 yards and 19 touchdowns on just 157 attempts in 2020, adding 305 yards and three touchdowns in the passing game.
Williams is stout, physical, and agile enough to replace Carson's running style and is a great compliment to Penny's slashing style. Who doesn't love physical running backs with some wiggle?
Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
The Seahawks already have one physical freak in their WR room, but there is always room for more. In high school, Moore ran a 4.33 with a 42-inch vertical jump. He squats 600 pounds and has the elite shiftiness to play a crucial role in the new offense. Moore has the talent of a first-round pick, but his 5-foot-9, 180-pound frame is a concern and after an unbelievable freshman season where he caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns, he was only able to play seven more games from 2019-2020.
Moore can't help a team from the training room and this history could knock him down enough for the Seahawks to pounce. He's fast, strong, runs like a running back, can cut on a dime, and is the home run hitter the Seahawks need and fans want.
Hunter Long, TE Boston College
Long isn't the flashiest player on the market, but he is exactly what Seattle needs at the tight end position. He plays hard, has a good set of hands, is a solid route runner, and has been used in a variety of different ways at Boston College. He was also the most targeted tight end in all of college football in 2020.
Long isn't going to blow anybody away with his athleticism. He's a good athlete but doesn't carry a dominant trait. He's the perfect "move" tight end that will fit perfectly in Seattle's heavy use of 11 and 12 personnel scheme. Long looks like a Seahawk, he plays like a Seahawk, and Russell Wilson would love throwing to him.