Seahawks sign new defensive end on Thursday
Mario Edwards was better than Shelby Harris last season, 5/11/2023
The Seattle Seahawks signed defensive end Mario Edwards on Thursday, hours after restructuring the contract of Tyler Lockett and many weeks after releasing Shelby Harris. One could assume that the Seahawks then must like Edwards more than they like Harris and at the time being…I would say that’s accurate.
In 2022, Harris played in 562 snaps for the Seahawks and had 44 tackles, eight pressures, two sacks, six QB hits, and five tackles for a loss, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
Edwards, who is two years younger than Harris, played in 464 snaps for the Tennessee Titans and had 17 tackles, 14 pressures, three sacks, 11 QB hits, and four tckles for a loss.
It was Edwards’ eighth season in the NFL, having bounced around with five different teams, and he’s never played a 16-game season before, let alone 17. He was in 13 games for the Titans last season and here’s what Tennessee blog Music City Miracles had to say about his lone campaign there:
Edwards joined the Titans off the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad in late September. He immediately claimed a keynote rotational role as the Titans struggled with injury at the position throughout the entire course of the campaign. Edwards took advantage of his role by recording 3.0 sacks, 34 pressures and 23 quarterback hurries, per Pro Football Focus.
(Obviously how each site counts pressures and hurries is different, which is one reason to be skeptical of all these stats, but I don’t think it’s shocking to see him have better counting stats than Harris.)
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MCM’s final verdict was that the Titans “should make a valiant effort” to re-sign Edwards even though they felt that most of his production came because Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry are so good and commanded double-teams. It felt like a consensus opinion of Tennessee fans that Edwards should be brought back, but not with a sense of urgency and we saw the NFL follow suit as he is now being signed in mid-May.
Edwards joins a defensive line of Jarran Reed, Dre’Mont Jones, Cameron Young, Mike Morris, and Myles Adams, with Bryan Mone recovering from a torn ACL. It seems fairly easy to project Edwards as soaking up the leftover snaps from Harris’s exit, although it’s not too late for Seattle to keep the door open should be still be a free agent in August or September.
But clearly between the two, the Seahawks feel better about adding Mario Edwards than they felt compelled to keep Shelby Harris.
I'd say it has a lot more to do with money than like. Harris was due to make about $9 mil. this year. Being cut stings & taking a job from $9 mil to veteran minimum is a tough pill for these guys to swallow as it probably also entails going from starting to a back up/role player. (both are ego bruising).
Edwards, on the other hand, has been bouncing around at minimums since his rookie deal expired. Do they like Edwards more than Harris? Its hard to say but I doubt it. They definitely like his salary better though. The real comparison is starter to starter. Do they like Dre & Jarran better than Shelby? Obviously yes.
I don’t get the angst I read/hear about losing Ford, Harris, and Woods. None of the contributed to the pass rush but they were big parts of a bad running defense. All three are replacement-level players. At worst, they’ll be replaced.