Seahawks Sign $12 Million Starter After Career Year Indicating Key Change

Derek Carr

Getty The Seattle Seahawks are overhauling their defense.

The Seattle Seahawks continue to make moves in free agency as the team announced the signing of former New York Giants starting safety Julian Love. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Love signed a two-year, $12 million contract with Seattle as the team bolsters their secondary. The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta reported that the Seahawks plan to keep Jamal Adams but may utilize the star more at weak-side linebacker when he returns to the field, indicating a possible part-time position change for the strong safety.

Love joins a growing list of new Seahawks signees including pass rusher Dre’Mont Jones, defensive tackle Jarran Reed and linebacker Devin Bush. It is a bit of a bargain move for the Seahawks as Spotrac projected Love’s value to be a five-year, $39.8 million deal with an average annual salary of $7.9 million heading into free agency.

Love is joining the Seahawks after a career year with the Giants setting a personal best with 124 tackles, six tackles for loss and two interceptions in 16 starts during the 2022 season. The defender earned a solid 70 grade from Pro Football Focus for his play in 2022. Seattle continues to overhaul an underwhelming defensive unit as the recent moves come following the release of several players from last year’s roster including Shelby Harris and Quinton Jefferson.

The Seahawks Took Advantage of the Lack of a Safety Market by Signing Julian Love to a Bargain Deal

The addition of Love gives the Seahawks some insurance behind Adams who is recovering from a season-ending quadricep injury he sustained in Week 1. Seattle is also attempting to bring back Ryan Neal who is a restricted free agent.

Love has experience playing both safety and corner in the NFL. The Seahawks took advantage of the lack of a safety market emerging in free agency allowing the team to land Love at a discount.

“This [lack of a safety market] played into Seattle signing Love,” Condotta tweeted on March 17. “Seahawks found the combination of player and price too good to pass up.”

Seattle Could Move Jamal Adams to Linebacker: Report

According to Condotta, the addition of Love does not indicate the Seahawks have a desire to move on from Adams. The three-time Pro Bowler still has three seasons remaining on his $70 million contract, but the team does have an out in the star’s deal after the 2023 season, per Spotrac. The signing does indicate Seattle is not confident Adams will be available for the start of the season, and the Seahawks may utilize the defender more at linebacker when he does return to the field.

“My understanding is that the Julian Love signing has nothing to do with Seahawks wanting to move on from Jamal Adams,” Condotta said in a series of tweets. “But it is a hedge against him not being available to start 2023 season, and also could allow Adams to play more WLB [weak-side linebacker] when he returns.

“…Seahawks envisioned Adams doing a lot of that in 2022. He was playing WLB on the play in which he was hurt. Seahawks also just really enamored with Love, who they got for a contract a lot less than some speculated he’d be able to command.”

Seattle continues to be linked to a potential reunion with Bobby Wagner following his release by the Rams. It will be worth watching to see if the Seahawks are able to bring back Wagner now that the team has used the majority of their available cap space.