Seahawks won't have many needs in 2023
But Pete Carroll will have resources to load the roster either way: Seaside Joe 1356
On Friday, I wrote about how the Seahawks were able to keep important free agents in place, extend DK Metcalf, and acquire three important players in the trade with the Broncos in large thanks to the difficult decision to release Bobby Wagner. The end result of the offseason? Seattle’s starting lineups on offense and defense has roughly 15 new faces this season, give or take a few depending on the week.
To emerge from their Week 11 bye with a 6-4 record given that amount of turnover year-over-year, I don’t know if that’s impressive or if fans overrate continuity. But I do know that the Seahawks starting lineups will be much tougher to crack in 2023.
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What actual and immediate needs will the Seahawks have next year?
As long as the Seahawks keep Geno Smith, which is all but a foregone conclusion, the 2023 offense is basically the same as the one you will see against the Raiders after the bye.
The only free agents are Rashaad Penny, Austin Blythe, Phil Haynes, Drew Lock, Marquise Goodwin, Kyle Fuller, and Travis Homer.
In my opinion, the most-likely outcome is cutting Gabe Jackson to save $6.5 million and using that money to re-sign Haynes. Seattle’s given Blythe a second chance and if the team is satisfied, I’d expect a simple re-up. I can only speak from the experience of what I see and what I hear, but I feel as though the team could use an upgrade at center. However, Carroll’s never been one to invest in the center position.
I don’t envision changes at wide receiver, including keeping Dee Eskridge and attempting to re-sign Goodwin. Today is Goodwin’s 32nd birthday, but it feels as though Pete talks about him as if he’s a guy just starting to get his feet wet. Marquise Goodwin is a world class athlete (I’ve never written these words because I assume we all know this already, but Goodwin is a former Olympian and one of America’s all-time greatest in the long jump) so it’s not a stretch to think that he’s still one of the fastest players in the league.
I selfishly hope that the Seahawks do spend an earlier-than-day-three draft pick on a receiver. But there shouldn’t be much more extra room to spread the ball around next season, it’s not an immediate need.
Seattle could re-sign Penny, although this time I could see him being enticed by other opportunities that could allow him to get more touches next season. Keeping Drew Lock will also be a priority, depending on if there are any teams that want to give Lock a chance to start.
If the Seahawks re-sign Smith, Lock, Goodwin, Blythe, and Haynes, which seems reasonable, then the only need would be running back depth. The team could re-sign Homer, who is also a key player on special teams, but will another opportunity give him a chance to be more integral on offense? For immediate needs, I’d place priority on a center, followed by a backup quarterback if Lock leaves in free agency. Most everything else is kind of jammed up, but you can’t have too much wide receiver depth.
The biggest name unrestricted free agents are Cody Barton and Poona Ford, followed by Bruce Irvin, L.J. Collier, Justin Coleman, Josh Jones, Artie Burns, Darryl Johnson, and Teez Tabor.
The Seahawks do have a lot of projected cap space next season according to OvertheCap.com, but Geno Smith could end up getting a large chunk of that. However, I don’t see names on this list that will destroy Seattle’s chances to retain 100% of the players who they want to retain. I think Ford is definitely one of those players, and we’ll see about Barton. He might be able to get more guaranteed money elsewhere, as the Seahawks need to consider paying Jordyn Brooks as soon as next year.
Then Johnson and Collier could be the next priorities, with Irvin probably an easy sell to return if he’s feeling up for it.
The team isn’t going to stop looking for defensive linemen, no matter the needs. Interestingly though, where would Jalen Carter fit in if the Seahawks manage to re-sign Ford? He, or Will Anderson, would get their reps in for sure, but the Seahawks aren’t in a position to necessarily start a rookie on their defensive line or at edge rusher next season. Ideally, Darrell Taylor would start playing a lot better, Boye Mafe would keep improving, and then you’ve got Uchenna Nwosu (extension candidate), Shelby Harris, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Poona, Irvin … all of a sudden, Seattle’s got starting talent and depth on the front-seven again.
Miraculously, there isn’t an apparent need at cornerback, except for depth and potentially added competition for Mike Jackson, Coby Bryant, and Tre Brown. The Seahawks should have all three safeties back. The draft will mostly be about stashing as many great players on the roster who could develop into stars in two or three years. Maybe more guys like Tariq Woolen and then you never know, you might not have the luxury to wait.
K Jason Myers
The Seahawks will also need to re-sign Myers, while Nick Bellore seems to be a Pete favorite who will return if he wants to keep going.
Potential 2023 extensions
G Damien Lewis, OLB Uchenna Nwosu, TE Noah Fant, TE Colby Parkinson, ILB Jordyn Brooks
For a team that has turned over almost 75% of the two starting lineups from last year, the Seahawks might only be looking for depth next season. Tell a friend.