Could Cassius Marsh Return to Seahawks for Third Stint?
With free agency underway, the Seahawks are working behind the scenes to improve their pass rush, which was considered as one of the worst units in the entire league in 2019.
While Seattle was able to re-sign bounce back candidate Jarran Reed to a two-year $23 million deal, they failed to bring back one of their most productive pass rushers in Quinton Jefferson, who signed with the Bills on Tuesday.
After producing a career-high 3.5 sacks during the 2019 campaign, Jefferson cashed in on a solid season by signing a two-year, $13.5 million deal with Buffalo. In addition, there’s a growing sense that the Seahawks will also have a difficult time re-signing Jadeveon Clowney.
Regardless of what happens with the three-time Pro Bowler this spring, general manager John Schneider will still need to add a few more edge rushers to Seattle’s defensive line before the start of next season. The team has been linked to Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon as trade targets as well as free agent Everson Griffen.
But if they're looking to add another rusher at a very affordable price, could he look to bring back a familiar face who has already spent two different tenures with the Seahawks?
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, defensive end Cassius Marsh spent training camp in the Pacific Northwest and played in all four of Seattle’s preseason games. However, the sixth-year pro soon became the odd man out after the Seahawks acquired Clowney from the Texans in a late August trade.
As a result, Marsh became one of the many players who were cut by the Seahawks as they attempted to squeeze their roster down to 53 players. Luckily for the 6-foot-4 defensive end, he was picked up by the Cardinals shortly after and was able to stay healthy throughout the entire season.
During the 2019 campaign, Marsh played in all 16 regular season games for Arizona, producing 36 total tackles, 11 quarterback pressures, seven tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits along with 2.5 sacks.
While these results won’t get you out of your chair, they don’t effectively represent Marsh’s talent level, as he played in just 38 percent of the Cardinals' defensive snaps this past season.
In 2018 with the 49ers, Marsh played in all 16 regular season games and was on the field for a career-high 51 percent of the total defensive snaps. During that time, the 27-year old produced career-highs in total tackles (38), sacks (5.5), quarterback pressures (31), and hits (14).
Based on these metrics, there’s a good chance that Marsh could be an effective player for the Seahawks in a rotational role if they could provide him with consistent playing time next season.
Since Arizona utilized the UCLA graduate in a minor role and paid him just $1 million this past season, he probably wouldn’t cost much compared to other defensive ends available on the free-agent market. So, Seattle could likely save a little cap space if they were to sign him and he could be available in May when the compensatory pick deadline passes.
Despite being released by the Seahawks in 2019, Marsh has proven that he can still make an impact on defense and special teams and he's still fairly young. If he stays healthy as he has the past two years, then he could prove to be a bargain and actually hang around for a third stint in blue and green.