The Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson needs all the help he can get; he’s asking for as much as the NFL rumor mill is working in hyperdrive. The franchise quarterback has been at the center of a trade that will not happen, but still puts the Seahawks in a particularly uncomfortable position.
The Seahawks have gotten away with their porous offensive line and lack of depth at skill positions largely because of Wilson. But as the quarterback strongly (and rightfully) voices his frustrations, Seattle is now on notice when it comes to addressing its most pressing needs. Wilson’s been sacked an egregious amount in the past few seasons; since the 2017 season, he’s suffered the most of any quarterback (188).
Seattle needs to bolster its offensive line and backfield—which continues to be a point of emphasis for head coach Pete Carroll—once free agency begins March 17.
Mike Davis, RB, Carolina Panthers
Seattle’s insistence on running the ball means it also needs to put effort into rebuilding its backfield. The Seahawks love bringing former players back and can fill their need at running back with Davis. Davis is coming off a two-year contract with the Carolina Panthers (after spending seven games of the 2019 season with the Chicago Bears) and had his most productive season to date in 2020. Davis was the Seahawks’ leading back in 2017 and then fell behind Chris Carson the following season; but with Carson also set to become a free agent (and still Seattle’s RB1), the Seahawks will have to address the position regardless.
Matt Feiler, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m too entrenched in Seahawks’ history to think I could predict any one of their 2021 NFL Draft picks. Seattle can address its offensive line during the draft, but there’s a lot of talent set to hit the market too; and the Seahawks would be better off with proven veterans than leaving the future of their quarterback in the hands of inexperienced, unpolished talent. Feiler has been widely discussed as a free-agent target for Seattle—and for good reason. Feiler, who will be available after five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, can strengthen the Seahawks’ left side. He can effectively switch between tackle and guard, offering a strong skill set that has been largely undervalued. Seattle can get a good return on the lineman who was once the fifth-highest-graded right tackle, according to Pro Football Focus.
Austin Blythe, C, Los Angeles Rams
Let’s stay on theme here and continue up front with a narrative-based target. Similar to the storyline Davis would offer, Blythe has his own (and much more recent) connection to Seattle. The Seahawks recently hired Shane Waldron as their offensive coordinator; he formerly worked as the Rams’ passing-game coordinator. Blythe just finished his fourth season with the Rams. Blythe isn’t the biggest center; he weighs just under 300 pounds. But he’s comfortable and very familiar with Waldron’s system, which was a selling point for both Carroll and Wilson. Seattle needs an upgrade here, and while others have been named (including Kansas City’s Austin Reiter), Blythe provides the necessary mobility and versatility the Seahawks can benefit from.
Click here for three defensive free agents the Seahawks should also target.