The Seattle Seahawks have a window to re-establish themselves as an NFL powerhouse. Thanks to the surplus of draft capital that came over as part of the Russell Wilson trade, the surprise ascension of veteran quarterback Geno Smith and a stellar 2022 draft class, the team’s timeline to become a contender again has moved up quite a bit. With another strong offseason of making the right moves, they can close the gap with the 49ers and become one of the NFC’s most dangerous teams.
Here is our 10-point plan to improve Seattle’s roster this offseason via free agency and the draft.
Re-sign QB Geno Smith
The first order of business is the most obvious one. Geno Smith may be 32 years old, but he played well enough last season to be worth re-signing and starting Week 1 in 2023. The devil will be in the details – but most importantly they need to avoid using the franchise tag, which would be brutal for their cap space this year. It should be a two-year deal worth no more than $40 million per season that serves as a bridge for the next potential franchise quarterback…
Draft a QB anyway
At the combine earlier this week both Pete Carroll and John Schneider would not rule out drafting a quarterback this year even if they re-sign Geno Smith. That’s the right plan to have, especially with a top-five pick and a strong class of quarterbacks to choose from. With Geno slotted to start for now, it makes the most sense to draft a roll-the-dice QB who has potential but needs more time in the oven. Prospects who fit the description include Anthony Richardson, Hendon Hooker and Will Levis. Ideally, they would replace Drew Lock as Smith’s primary backup and prepare to replace him in 2024 or 2025 at the latest.
Re-sign RB Rashaad Penny
Sadly, Pete Carroll seems to share some of Mike McCarthy’s old-fashioned ideas about running the ball and how it correlates to winning games. However, it never hurts to have a multiple attack. The best option to lead this run game is still Rashaad Penny, who has no luck with injuries but when healthy is among the most-efficient and impressive backs in football. Re-signing Penny for another year wouldn’t break the bank and if he gets hurt again there’s always Ken Walker there to step up.
Draft a WR3 who thrives from the slot
As far as the passing game goes, the Seahawks desperately need a No. 3 option to complement the skillsets of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Specifically, they could use a slot receiver who runs sharp routes and specializes in adding yards after the catch. Some of the top slot receivers in this draft class are Zay Flowers from Boston College (who Geno Smith worked out with recently) and Josh Downs from North Carolina.
Draft a real weapon at TE
The Seahawks have three perfectly-decent tight ends on the roster already. However, if they are going to catch up with the most-productive passing offenses in the league they’ll need to find a real weapon at this position. They have more than enough draft capital to address their other roster needs while splurging on a tight end who can move the sticks and take some of the pressure off Tyler Lockett on third down.
Sign a proven veteran at C
With Austin Blythe announcing his retirement yesterday, the Seahawks are now in the market for a new starting center. While there’s nothing wrong with drafting his replacement – especially a highly-ranked prospect like Minnesota’s John Michael Schwartz – this position is all about experience and leadership – which means a veteran is the way to go. J.C. Tretter and Garrett Bradbury are their best free agent options.
Sign a game-wrecking DT
On the other side of the ball, it’s clear where the most help is needed. When they faced the NFL’s true contenders this past season the Seahawks were often dominated at the line of scrimmage, especially inside. Fortunately, they have plenty of options for upgrades. This is a deep class of free agents for interior defensive linemen, including both Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox. Signing a DT who can stop the run and pressure the QB would be a huge difference-maker for this defense.
Double up on EDGE in the draft
After they address their interior, the Seahawks also have to boost their edge group. Luckily, this is one of the deeper positions in the draft, which means they should be able to find impact edge defenders even as late as Day 3. In fact, they should go into the draft planning to double up at this spot. Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr., Clemson’s Myles Murphy and Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson are considered the best in this class.
Re-sign LB Bobby Wagner
No matter how much defensive line talent they add Seattle will still struggle if something isn’t done about the putrid linebacker corps. However, an unthinkable stroke of good luck has made Bobby Wagner available once again. Re-signing Wagner would erase the team’s biggest mistake in years and replace their worst liability with the most consistent defender of the past decade. Good news: apparently, the Seahawks are keenly interested in bringing Wagner back.
Draft a boundary CB to pair with Tariq Woolen
Drafting for roster needs only gets you so far, though. The smartest teams in the NFL also take advantage of the uniqueness of each draft class and adjust their boards accordingly. While cornerback isn’t a huge need right now for Seattle, it is the deepest position in this class and it would be a waste to pass on it entirely. At some point in the draft, the Seahawks should look to find a potential long-term boundary LCB to pair with Tariq Woolen.