The Seattle Seahawks are surprisingly contending in the NFC West midway through the 2022 season. Quarterback Geno Smith has been spectacular leading the Seahawks offense, which has averaged 34 points over the last four games.
Seattle also has some surprising playmakers on defense. Rookies Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant have been terrific, combining for 4 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles.
But the defense is still an area where the Seahawks can improve. Some analysts expect Seattle will do that via a trade before the NFL trade deadline on November 1.
NFL writer Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report argued on October 27 that the Seahawks should explore acquiring defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi.
The 28-year-old helped the Cincinnati Bengals win the AFC Championship last year. This season, he’s played well as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What Ogunjobi Would Bring to Seahawks
The biggest asset Seattle could add on defense is run stoppers. The Seahawks are 26th in rushing yards allowed per carry, 30th in rushing touchdowns yielded and tied for last in total rushing yards allowed this season.
Standing at 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, Ogunjobi offers teams a big body to plug in the middle of their defensive line. But not only can he help stop the run, he could also improve the Seahawks’ pass rush, which is tied for 10th in the NFL with 17 sacks.
“Ogunjobi proved last season with Cincinnati that he can be an asset against both the run and the pass,” Knox wrote. “In 16 regular-season games, he racked up 49 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks and 24 quarterback pressures.”
This season, the veteran defensive tackle has earned his best player grade from Pro Football Focus since his 2017 rookie year after the Cleveland Browns made him a third-round pick. Ogunjobi has been below average against the run overall in 2022 according to PFF, but his run defense has improved in October (Week 7 against the Miami Dolphins being the exception).
This season, Ogunjobi has 19 combined tackles, including 2 tackles for loss, 7 quarterback hits and 0.5 sacks.
Will Ogunjobi Be Available at the NFL Trade Deadline?
The veteran defensive tackle is playing on a 1-year deal, which makes him an obvious rental player option. But the question, as it is with every trade, is whether he will be available and for what price.
The Steelers haven’t posted a losing season since 2003. They aren’t an organization used to selling, and it’s worth wondering if they will hold onto their assets to maximize what they can get out of quarterback Kenny Pickett’s rookie season.
Ogunjobi joined the Steelers on a 1-year deal worth $8 million. The good news is his base salary is only $1.535 million, making him an affordable option for the Seahawks as well. Seattle only has $1.134 million remaining in salary cap space, which is the least amount in the NFL according to Spotrac.
Another factor in the potential deal is Ogunjobi’s health. He didn’t practice on October 26 and is on the Steelers injury report with a knee issue.
The Seahawks would obviously need insurance Ogunjobi is healthy before dealing for the defensive tackle.
Whether it’s Ogunjobi or another defensive tackle, adding to the defensive line before the trade deadline makes sense for the Seahawks. On October 26, Knox argued Seattle could also be interested in Washington Commanders defensive lineman Daron Payne.