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Finding Free Agents: Vic Beasley would be a worthwhile reclamation project

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In our 2020 iteration of Finding Free Agents, we’ll attempt to answer three questions for each player: Why would the Seahawks be interested? What would their contract look like? What is the likelihood they reach free agency? Throughout the series, we’ll be focused on specific positions of need in Seattle: Wide receiver, offensive line, defensive tackle and EDGE.

In Vic Beasley’s sophomore season, it appeared as though the Falcons had a star: the pass rusher finished with 15.5 sacks to go along with six forced fumbles in a campaign that ended with him being named first-team All-Pro. In the three years since, however, the 27-year-old has just 18 sacks and three forced fumbles. He wasn’t helped by a brief move off-ball, but more and more, Beasley’s 2016 looked like an anomaly. So much so, in fact, that it was relatively surprising that Atlanta didn’t move on from him last offseason. This time around they are and one of the more intriguing EDGEs in a deep class will hit free agency.

Why would the Seahawks be interested?

Beasley has played his entire career in Dan Quinn’s defense, meaning the transition into Seattle’s defense would be seamless. While Beasley has yet to reach double-digit sacks since his outstanding 2016, his pressure rate has been solid for a secondary or tertiary rusher (in the 9-10 percent range), and as a 5-8 sack player, that matches expectations. The Seahawks wouldn’t sign him expecting him to be a game-changing LEO, but rather a solid speed threat off the edge. With a premier rusher on the other side of him, Beasley could find success working in one-on-ones and using his speed to loop inside.

With the exception of arm length, Beasley is in the 87th percentile or above in every size and athleticism area Seattle values in EDGEs. He has familiarity with the scheme and fits the profile. The Seahawks and Beasley make a ton of sense together, and that includes the contract fit.

What would Beasley’s contract look like?

In a perfect world, Seattle re-signs Jadeveon Clowney and pairs him with a top-tier speed rusher, such as Yannick Ngakoue. More likely, however, the Seahawks will land a high-priced pass rusher (be it Clowney or someone else) and pair them with a mid-priced pass rusher in a deep rotation. Beasley could certainly be that mid-priced piece. With an All-Pro season a distant memory, Beasley is highly unlikely to break the bank.

It’s going to make some folks shudder, but the one-year deal Seattle gave Ezekiel Ansah last spring offers a good point of comparison. Both had red flags—though stemming from different things—but both had production in their past, too. Ansah received $9 million, with health-related bonuses, last offseason. A deal for Beasley wouldn’t necessitate bonuses for him staying healthy, but a one-year deal in the $9 million range would be solid, and allow the Seahawks to fill out the defensive line around Beasley and whoever is leading the charge.

Will Beasley reach free agency?

Yes, as this truly wild tweet told us: