A theme has arisen from how the Seattle Seahawks have handled free agency this month. Not so much with the newcomers, but the message has been loud and clear that consistency is king with the Seahawk incumbents.
- Jarran Reed
- Shaquill Griffin
- Greg Olsen
- Jacob Hollister
- Carlos Hyde
- David Moore
- Carlos Dunlap
- Chris Carson
- Poona Ford
- Benson Mayowa
Ethan Pocic will stand as the great exception to this theory; his is a very obvious “positional continuity + need = ok, fine” type scenario.
However just look at what the team has done (and allowed to happen) with some of its big contributors over the past three years.
Jarran Reed was paid for the 10.5 sack season, which he followed up with 2.0 and 6.5 sack seasons (much of the 2020 season productivity after Dunlap’s arrival), including a ZERO tackle for loss 2019.
Shaquill Griffin had a solid rookie season, a very mediocre sophomore year, then a Pro Bowl alternate third season. He then declined in every advanced metric except yards per completion and missed tackles. Completion percentage? Up. Touchdowns allowed? Up. Air yards, yards after catch, and games played were all worse in 2020.
Greg Olsen needs little explanation. He was wildly inconsistent, injured, gave the New England Patriots a touchdown, vanished from game plan, etc. Sad.
Jacob Hollister has a significant drop problem and I wish him the best.
Carlos Hyde missed two games, then missed three games, then missed a game again.
David Moore somewhat highlights this list as he has been one of the most boom-or-bust players on the roster. Moore turned in one of 2020’s least-likely catches, but also had five games with one or fewer receptions.
Whether it was merely inconsistency last year, or over the course of a career, the Seahawks have made their decision not to pay up for players with somewhat volatile production. And to their credit they’ve done it across the board.
Meanwhile, John Schneider has brought back those he knows are dependable.
Carlos Dunlap is the Cincinnati Bengals’ franchise leader in career sacks, and had two or more pressures in five of his eight games in Seattle.
Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny serve to further illustrate, as Schneider was not comfortable with letting Carson walk, and will put him again in front of his first-round running back. Penny has been too inconsistent with vision and injuries, while Carson is easily one of the most solid backs in the NFL.
Poona Ford may not be as high-end talented as Reed, but was credited with only two missed tackles on the entire year to Reed’s five, and had more tackles for loss than Reed. He had 64% the QB pressure rate as Reed for what will be something around 30-35% of the cost.
I think Benson Mayowa is exactly what Seattle wants as a No.2 or even No.3 guy on the edge, and his production doubled once Dunlap arrived.
So about this linebacker I’ve heard of...
There’s not much to takeaway in all this, it’s interesting how uniform Seattle has been in evaluating their own guys this offseason.
However, it does beg the question.
If you had to poll Seahawk Nation their pick for most consistent player of the three biggest free agents this offseason, I wonder if it wouldn’t be one K.J. Wright at the top by a landslide.
So, with it being the trickiest decision across the board - Wright’s age, a phenomenal backup in place, the nature of the position, the money Wright’s reportedly asking for, the fact that all the other decisions have been made - will Schneider continue this trend? If the goal is to bring only the most consistent players back to the roster, well then all action green neon signs point to K.J. Wright.