NFL Free Agency rolls on this week, and while most of the big-name, big-money free agents have signed, the secondary market will be a big one to watch. Seattle is typically very active here and already has some visits lined up with role-playing type guys like RB Lance Dunbar and defensive linemen Sealver Siliga, Sammie Lee Hill, and Brandon Thompson.
Dunbar looked like he'd have a big role in the Cowboys offense last year and after their Week 1 win over the Giants, Jason Garrett heaped praise on him, saying that "Anytime we've given him opportunities in the past, he seems to be productive with them. Either as a runner or as a receiver, coming out of the backfield and also when he lines up outside, he's just a darn good football player."
Dunbar is a scat-back type of third-down running back, and at 5'8, 195, he's outside the parameters of a normal, bigger Seahawks back. However, third-down backs typically are used more in the passing game and Dunbar is a good receiver. In just four games last year before he tore his ACL and MCL on a kick return, he had 21 catches for 215 yards (he had just 5 carries, for contrast). That's an 80-catch pace for a full season.
There's a pretty cool "film room" session with former NFL Scout Bryan Broaddus right here that shows what kind of player he is.
He has some zuzu to him, and would be a very interesting replacement for Fred Jackson, plus a potential backup kick returner to Tyler Lockett. That said, his season is in question because of the injury. We'll see.
Sammie Lee Hill:
Hill is 6'4, 328 pounds, formerly a nice rotational player on the defensive line for the Titans and Lions. He's a quality run-plugger and would be a very interesting addition for the Seahawks if signed. I remember really liking him when he was a free agent back in 2013. He's 29 years old.
Formerly with the Seahawks, Siliga has also played for the Broncos and then spent the last three seasons in New England, where he was mostly a rotational defensive lineman. He's a big dude -- 6'2, 325, and would be a good bet as replacement for Brandon Mebane at nose tackle.
Thompson has been a key rotational backup for the Bengals the last few years but this is still kind of a strange one. As Sheil Kapadia points out over at ESPN, Thompson played just 183 snaps and was active for just nine games last year for the Bengals, then suffered a torn ACL regular-season finale. This puts his 2016 season in jeopardy, or at least part of it, anyway.
The Seahawks have also previously hosted defensive end Chris Clemons, offensive linemen Ted Larsen and J'Marcus Webb, defensive tackles Al Woods and Cam Thomas, and linebacker Craig Robertson. They were set to host free agent left tackle Kelvin Beachum today, but there are also reports that he's in Jacksonville today, so we'll have to watch that situation to see if his visit was cancelled.
So far no signings out of this group, but that could change this week. Stay tuned...