The Seattle Seahawks could look to a division rival as they retool their roster in a push to get back into the postseason in 2022. ESPN’s Brady Henderson mentioned Cardinals pass rusher Chandler Jones as one of the few players the Seahawks may be willing to break the bank for in free agency.
As the Seahawks transition to a more 3-4 heavy defensive scheme under new coordinator Clint Hurtt, the team could get aggressive in finding pass rushers who can also drop in coverage.
“Jones has been a Seahawks nemesis since joining the Arizona Cardinals in 2016,” Henderson explained March 7. “His 16.5 sacks in 11 games against Seattle are by far his most vs. any team. The last one was a strip-sack of Russell Wilson that Arizona returned for a touchdown in Week 18. Miller has five sacks in three games vs. Seattle, including one in the Los Angeles Rams’ December win over the Seahawks. What better way to make up ground in the NFC West than to sign an impact player away from another team in the division?”
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The Seahawks Are Looking to Add a ‘Game-Wrecker’ This Offseason
Henderson cited Hurtt’s own words about the Seahawks needing to add a “game-wrecker” as an indication that the front office may spend a little more than usual at the position. During a February 18 interview with Seattle’s 950 KJR, Hurtt admitted that the Seahawks needed to add another edge rusher.
“We got good pieces, [we need] continue to find another guy to be devastating, like an edge rusher that can be a game-changer,” Hurtt noted. “A game-wrecker is what we need.”
Jones Has Notched Double-Digit Sacks in 6 of the Last 7 Years
Jones has posted double-digit sack numbers in six of the last seven seasons, including 2021. Sacks are just one indicator of having a successful pass rush but it does show that Jones has a consistent knack at getting to the quarterback. Jones posted 10.5 sacks, 26 quarterback hits, 41 tackles and six forced fumbles in 15 appearances last season. The pass rusher’s recent resume includes a 19-sack season in 2019 and 17 takedowns in 2017.
The Seahawks will have plenty of competition if they opt to pursue Jones. Pro Football Focus has the 32-year-old pass rusher as the No. 5 ranked free agent and projects Jones will land a two-year, $33.5 million contract with $24 million of the deal guaranteed.
The Seahawks Will Have to Change Their Strategy to Have a Chance at Landing Jones
Seattle can begin negotiating with Jones and other free agents on March 14 while players are not able to sign new deals until March 16. The Seahawks traditionally are quiet when free agency begins, and time will tell if they divert away from this strategy given the team’s disappointing 2021.
“The Seahawks are not a break-the-bank team in free agency, and anyone who signs Chandler Jones would have to do that,” Henderson tweeted on March 2. “But he seems to fit the physical profile of the type of edge rushers they want in their new defense.”