The 2022 regular season is still a few months away, and while the Seattle Seahawks are getting ready for OTAs, general manager John Schneider will continue to make roster moves to fill out the 90-man roster.
One position where the Seahawks could use some help is on the defensive line. Former Seahawks quarterback and Seattle Sports 710AM radio host Jake Heaps shared his thoughts on a few free agents the Seahawks could pursue at that position, including former Chicago Bears star Akiem Hicks.
Hicks was an imposing presence on Chicago’s defensive line, racking up 31 sacks since joining the Bears back in 2016. Heaps mentioned that Hicks would be a good fit, but also explained why the veteran is still a free agent.
“Because there are question marks about his health,” Heaps said. “His age, his health and durability at this stage, it’s much in question.”
What Akiem Hicks Could Bring to the Seahawks
If the Seahawks want to add a veteran presence to the defensive line, there isn’t a better option than Hicks available in free agency.
The 32-year-old was a third-round pick back in 2012, going to the New Orleans Saints and spending his first four seasons with the franchise. He had limited production, however, never surpassing more than 4.5 sacks in a season.
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After being traded to the New England Patriots in 2015, Hicks signed a two-year deal with the Bears the following offseason. He became a star in Chicago, playing all 48 games in his first three seasons and racking up 23 sacks over that span.
Injuries and age have started to catch up to Hicks, but when healthy he’s been a formidable presence up front. He’s not only a dangerous pass rusher, but he’s a technically sound run defender who can wreak havoc in the backfield.
The Seahawks have some veteran players on the interior of their defensive line, including Poona Ford, Al Woods, and Quinton Jefferson. However, if healthy, Hicks would likely be Seattle’s best interior defender.
Other Available Defensive Linemen
While Hicks is the most appealing free agent on the defensive line, Heaps mentioned a couple of other names still available who would be interesting fits for the Seahawks.
Another impressive veteran Heaps mentioned was 34-year-old defensive end Mario Addison. Despite his age, Addison was a dominant pass rusher for the Carolina Panthers just a couple of seasons ago, recording 39 sacks from 2016 through 2019. However, Addison recently signed with the Houston Texans, so he is no longer on the market.
The other name that Heaps mentioned was a former Seattle playmaker in Jadeveon Clowney. The former No. 1 overall pick played one season with the Seahawks back in 2019. He only played 13 games in the regular season, but he picked up three sacks and a career-high four forced fumbles to go along with a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Clowney also stepped up for the Seahawks once the playoffs began in 2019. He had 12 total tackles and 1.5 sacks in two playoff games, making him a key contributor on defense. He’s still only 29 years old and has begun to embrace a role as a run defender with solid pass-rush ability, so a reunion in Seattle could be beneficial for both sides, but Heaps isn’t confident that it would happen.
“I just don’t see that happening. I don’t see them bringing in Clowney or wanting to do so at this point.”