The Seattle Seahawks may be sticking with the quarterbacks they have after Baker Mayfield was traded to the Carolina Panthers. However, that doesn’t mean that general manager John Schneider isn’t looking to add a star veteran somewhere else on the 90-man roster before the start of training camp.
One position where the Seahawks could add a veteran is on the edge at outside linebacker or defensive end to help rush the passer. There have already been reports that the team could reunite with Carlos Dunlap, but another interesting name has surfaced who is currently a free agent.
Devin Csigi with Field Gulls gave a list of a few free agents that the Seahawks could make a run at, mentioning that the 33-year-old pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul would be a great fit.
“Pierre-Paul would bring some veteran leadership to a position group that is overall very inexperienced,” Csigi said. “Whilst it is important for Mafe, Smith, and Taylor to receive as much playing time as possible for their development, having a veteran leader who is a two-time Super Bowl champ in the room is a major positive. Not only would he be able to impart some of his knowledge onto them, but he would also be able to take some of the pressure off of them.”
How is Jason Pierre-Paul Still a Free Agent?
Considering the importance pass rushers play in the NFL, it’s a bit of a surprise that Pierre-Paul has still gone unsigned. There could be reasons for that behind the scenes, but any team picking up the 33-year-old in 2022 would be getting an established veteran.
ALL the latest Seahawks news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Seahawks newsletter here!
Pierre-Paul has been part of iconic defenses for both the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers since being drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Over the course of his career, Pierre-Paul has won two Super Bowls, been selected to three Pro Bowls, been named a first-team All-Pro, and racked up 91.5 career sacks.
Despite all of that success, JPP is coming off one of the worst seasons of his NFL career. The veteran pass rusher played in 12 games and picked up only 2.5 sacks. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he also had just 29 pressures, the fewest he’s had in a single season since he was a rookie in 2010.
That lack of production last season was concerning, but if Pierre-Paul can stay healthy and value a role as a mentor for a team with younger pass rushers, then the Seahawks would make a lot of sense.
Seahawks Could Also Stick With Youth at Pass Rusher
If the Seahawks decide that they don’t need to sign a veteran to help with the pass rush, they’ll be relying on a handful of young plays to get after the quarterback.
One player ready for a breakout 2022 season is Darrell Taylor. The former Tennessee Volunteers pass rusher was a second-round pick in 2020, but missed the entire season with injury. He saw his first NFL action last year, racking up 6.5 sacks and 13 QB hits. With a full season under his belt, Taylor is hoping to take the next step this year.
A pair of rookies at outside linebacker could find roles on Seattle’s defense as well. Boye Mafe was a second-round pick this year out of Minnesota, showcasing impressive explosiveness and bend around the edge in college. Although his technique still needs some work, Mafe’s athleticism offers impressive upside to make him a premier NFL pass rusher.
Tyreke Smith, Seattle’s fifth-round pick out of Ohio State, could also have an impact as a rookie. He’s only 22 years old, and his length and effort could impress coaches enough in training camp and preseason games for him to become a rotational player this season.