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Seahawks Analysis: 7 Free Agent Targets to Replace Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams

After releasing two former Pro Bowlers in Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams, the Seattle Seahawks have big holes to fill at the safety position, but a deep free agent class should help efforts to replace them.

Choosing to move on from two of their longest-tenured veterans for salary cap purposes, the Seattle Seahawks released former Pro Bowl safeties Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams on Tuesday, suddenly making the position a major question mark for the franchise moving forward.

In the aftermath of Adams and Diggs' exit, the Seahawks currently only have one safety with starting experience on the roster in Julian Love, who made the Pro Bowl last season. Away from the five-year veteran, the team only has Jerrick Reed II, Ty Okada, and Jonathan Sutherland on the roster, and those three players have 29 combined NFL regular season defensive snaps between them, leaving a substantial void in new coach Mike Macdonald's secondary.

Luckily for Seattle, this year's crop of free agent safeties may be the deepest position group on the market with several standout defenders under 26 years of age available to potentially sign as long-term successors for Diggs and/or Adams. Among those players, Baltimore safety Geno Stone already has emerged as a top target given his previous experience playing for Macdonald.

Which safeties could Macdonald and the Seahawks bring on board to rebuild their secondary following the departure of Adams and Diggs? Here are seven players to keep an eye on when free agency begins next week:

*All stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus unless otherwise noted.

**Projected market value from

Geno Stone, Ravens

Projected Market Value: $7.2 Million/Year

Baltimore Ravens safety Geno Stone (26) catches an interception against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium.

Leading all NFL safeties in interceptions in 2023, one of Geno Stone's picks came against the Seahawks in a Week 9 blowout victory.

Earning major praise from Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta, who said he "might be the best seventh-round pick we've ever had," Stone overcame adversity early in his career to become an All-Pro caliber free safety playing in Macdonald's scheme. Starting a career-high 11 games in 2023, he picked off seven passes for Baltimore's top-ranked defense, leading all NFL safeties. Quarterbacks averaged just 7.1 yards per reception and a 53.3 passer rating when targeting him, ranking in the top-five at his position in both categories. Poor tackling was a major problem for him, as he finished with the third-worst missed tackle rate among qualified safeties, but at 25 years of age, his best football should be in front of him. With his cost likely being affordable, reuniting with Macdonald would be an ideal fit for both the player and the Seahawks.

Xavier McKinney, Giants

Projected Market Value: $10.4 Million/Year

On the opposite end of the spectrum from Stone, McKinney came into the NFL as a highly-regarded first-round pick from Alabama, but injuries held him to just six games as a rookie. He rebounded nicely, however, intercepting five passes and racking up 93 tackles in 2021, showing off his immense versatility with over 100 snaps at free safety, slot cornerback, and in the box. While he didn't quite equal his career-high in interceptions last season, he easily turned in his best all-around campaign, eclipsing 100 tackles with three picks while allowing no touchdowns and ranking third among safeties with a 52.1 passer rating in coverage. Due to his first-round pedigree and positional flexibility, he will be more expensive than Stone, but he could be well worth the price tag playing the role of disruptor in Macdonald's defense.

Kamren Curl, Commanders

Projected Market Value: $14.4 Million/Year

After falling to the seventh-round in the 2020 NFL Draft, Curl quickly became a full-time starter as a rookie in Washington, tallying 88 tackles, three interceptions, and two sacks while seeing extensive action at both safety spots and slot cornerback. Since then, the former Arkansas standout hasn't registered a pick in the last three seasons and allowed seven touchdowns in coverage, failing to replicate his rookie production. With that said, playing on a bad defense didn't help his cause at all and he has been an excellent tackler in run support for most of his career. Just 24 years old, while he won't be mistaken for McKinney in regard to versatility, he can play multiple positions at a high level and would bring the physicality Seattle desperately needs in the wake of Adams' departure.

Julian Blackmon, Colts

Projected Market Value: N/A

Another day one starter coming out of the 2020 draft, Blackmon instantly jumped into the lineup for the Colts at free safety, intercepting a pair of passes and producing 42 tackles in 15 games. An injury limited him to only six games in 2021, but since then, he has emerged as one of the better young free safeties in the game. Breaking out with a career year in 2023, he picked off four passes, recovered two fumbles, and registered 88 combined tackles, earning an All-Pro vote in the process. He ended the year on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, but he should be fully healthy in time for free agency and the playmaking 25-year old would be a great target to replace Diggs in center field in Seattle.

Jordan Whitehead, Jets

Projected Market Value: N/A

Though he has six years of NFL experience under his belt, Whitehead will only turn 27 years old later this month and has over 2,000 career snaps at both safety positions on his resume. Last season wasn't his finest, as Pro Football Focus charged him with seven touchdowns allowed, 17.5 yards allowed per reception in coverage, and 20 missed tackles. But at the same time, he intercepted three passes and generated four pass breakups while producing 91 combined tackles, posting quality numbers compared to his peers. Given his relative youth and positional versatility, Whitehead could be one of the best values on the market for teams such as the Seahawks who may be looking for dual-threat defenders that can excel at both safety spots.

Ashtyn Davis, Jets

Projected Market Value: N/A

Selected in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of California, Davis has had a roller coaster career so far. He found his way into the Jets starting lineup late in his rookie season, but struggled giving up three touchdowns and a 139.6 passer rating in coverage. He made some improvements in 2021, intercepting two passes and forcing three fumbles in 14 games, but that wasn't enough to maintain his starting job. After barely playing any defensive snaps in 2022, he shined as a sub-package defender for the Jets last season, intercepting three passes and producing four pass breakups on just 218 defensive snaps. Just 27 years old, his ball skills offer intrigue as a starter at free safety and if the Seahawks don't want to break the bank, he could be a fun under the radar possibility to supplant Diggs.

Ryan Neal, Buccaneers

Projected Market Value: N/A

Unlike the rest of this list, Seahawks fans should be quite familiar with Neal, who played four seasons with the organization from 2019 to 2022. Filling in admirably for Adams on multiple occasions, the former undrafted signee out of Southern Illinois garnered All-Pro votes in 2022 when he made 66 tackles, an interception, four tackles for loss, and six pass breakups in just 10 starts. After not being able to afford keeping him last offseason, though he would not be returning to the same defensive scheme he previously excelled in, he would be a natural fit in the short-term to plug and play at the strong safety spot while also offering special teams contributions at an affordable price.