Seahawks Swing and Miss with Everson Griffen
The title says the Seahawks "swing and miss," on Everson Griffen, but did they even swing? Or did they just get caught looking for strike three?
Griffen, after a decade with the Vikings, is taking his talents to Jerry World to play for the Cowboys. Not only did the Seahawks fail to sign another proven pass rusher, but they let him go to an NFC rival whom the Seahawks play during the regular season and very well could lock horns with in the playoffs.
The most damning part of this scenario is Griffin's deal is reportedly for one year worth $6 million. According to OvertheCap.com, Seattle has just over $15 million of cap space. It's unfortunate that the Seahawks could not find a way to sweeten the offer and out-bid the Cowboys. It looks as if Dallas swooped in and sealed the deal with the Seattle and Minnesota playing tug-of-war for his services.
Whether or not Seattle made an official offer to Griffen is unclear, but they've been linked to the veteran for several months.
It is well documented that Griffen played at USC when Pete Carroll was at the helm for the Trojans from 2007 to 2009. The Seahawks no doubt looked into Griffen, given the equally as documented struggles they endured in the pass rushing department in 2019, with 28 sacks all season and the sack leader being Rasheem Green with a measly 4.0.
Griffen, a 10-year veteran, has been to four Pro Bowls, including last year at 32 years old after posting 8.0 sacks and 24 quarterback hits. With Jadeveon Clowney still remaining unsigned, Griffen was assumed to be a decent consolation prize with his 74.5 career sacks, which is 15th among active players. He actually has more sacks (26.5) than Clowney (21.5) in the last three seasons.
It's not as if Seattle has completely abandoned trying to improve the pass rush, as they signed Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa, who collected a combined 15.5 sacks last year. However, they still lack a true five-tech defensive end that could compete with Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier, two young and impressionable players.
Now, if they want to acquire upper-class pass rush talent, they must look elsewhere. They will face Griffen and the Cowboys in Week 3 at CenturyLink Field.
The pressure cooker is now turned up a bit warmer in needing to bring in another option to put opposing quarterbacks on their backs. Clowney remains an option as well as some interior defensive linemen such as Damon Harrison or Marcell Dareus. The Seahawks are also reportedly interested in aging six-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews, but the fit in Seattle's scheme is not ideal, especially with Irvin already on the roster offering similar positional versatility.
There is a chance the Seahawks feel good with the horses they already have in the stable, but skepticism will abound until proven otherwise in game action. Assuming they don't magically bring back Clowney, they could wind up regretting not finding a way to lock up Griffen when they had a chance.