The Seattle Seahawks appear to be closing in on signing a veteran pass rusher, but the question is who the team will sign. NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported that the Seahawks are interested in Everson Griffen or Clay Matthews noting a “deal could happen soon.”
“While the Seahawks appear to have moved on from Jadeveon Clowney, who wants more than they’re willing to pay, the team has interest in two veteran free agent pass rushers: LB Clay Matthews and DE Everson Griffen. A deal could happen soon,” Silver tweeted.
The Seahawks still have one open roster spot, but it will be worth watching to see if the team could end up with both players. According to Over the Cap, the Seahawks have more than $17 million in cap space. With each player remaining unsigned, the Seahawks could potentially sign both with Griffen likely to demand a larger salary.
Pete Carroll Coached Everson Griffen & Clay Matthews at USC
Signing either defensive option would be a reunion for Pete Carroll who coached both players in college at USC. Griffen appears to fill a bigger need as an edge rusher, given the Seahawks’ current depth at linebacker. Matthews still makes sense as a rotational player given his ability to get to the quarterback.
Matthews had eight sacks in his 11th NFL season in 2019 with the Rams. Back in 2015, Carroll admitted that Matthews was “one of my big misses” noting he did not utilize the linebacker to his full potential while at USC.
“Maybe because of the way he came up, it took him a long time to develop, and didn’t recognize the great heart that he had, and unbelievable competitiveness and the great savvy that he demonstrates now,” Carroll told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s really one of my big misses. I should have figured that out a lot sooner than I did. He made the rest of it history and been an extraordinary player ever since.”
Griffen Notched 8 Sacks for the Vikings in 2019
Griffen is one of the top NFL defensive ends at getting to the quarterback. He notched eight sacks with the Vikings last season and the best stretch of his career came from 2014 to 2017 when Griffen had double-digit sacks in three of the four years. Both Griffen and Matthews would have led the Seahawks in sacks last season based on their statistics.
The Seahawks could have more clarity on both player by August 6 which is the deadline for players to opt-out of the upcoming season. Remaining NFL free agents are likely waiting to see what the market is as more players decide not to play in 2020. During a 2016 interview with the Star Tribune, Griffen praised Carroll’s coaching style.
“Pete Carroll was all about hard work,” Griffen noted, per Star Tribune. “He ingrained hard work into his players. He was a great coach I had at USC. He did a lot of great things for the college and for the players and he was a great coach. He had enthusiasm and was a real good coach.”