Heading into the offseason, the Seahawks’ biggest area of need remained bolstering one of the NFL’s worst pass rushes. The team finished next-to-last in the NFL with 28.0 sacks while ranking near the bottom of the league in pressure rate and quarterback hits.
But rather than aggressively spend on top-tier edge defenders, including re-signing free agent Jadeveon Clowney, Seattle took a different approach by signing several mid-level veterans instead.
Among those signed in free agency, the Seahawks brought back former first-round pick Bruce Irvin, who produced a career-high 8.5 sacks for the Panthers in 2019. He's expected to play SAM linebacker while also seeing snaps as a defensive end, occupying a similar role to the one he had during his first stint with the team.
Though Irvin is the most heralded rusher coming back to the Pacific Northwest, however, Seattle also re-signed Benson Mayowa to a one-year deal worth $3 million plus incentives in a sneaky good move that has gone under the radar.
Mayowa, 28, originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Idaho and signed with the Seahawks after rookie minicamp prior to the 2013 season. A bit of a late bloomer, he's coming off a strong season statistically, posting a career-high 7.0 sacks for the Raiders. In the season prior, he had 4.0 sacks for the Cardinals.
Though he hasn’t been a full-time starter at any point in his career, Mayowa will enter his second stint in Seattle as a potential Week 1 starter at the LEO defensive end position while rookies Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson adapt to playing at the next level in reserve roles.
Check out my latest film breakdown as I analyze Mayowa's significant improvements as a pass rusher as well as underrated skills as a run defender and where he may fit into the Seahawks plans in 2020.