Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider has been known to strike at the 11th hour with blockbuster deals just before the season begins. Last summer, it was the acquisition of Jamal Adams days before training camp kicked off. The Seahawks landed Jadeveon Clowney the previous year in an attempt to boost their pass rush.
While the pass rush has been a constant source of consternation for Seahawks fans, the front office invested heavily in the unit this offseason. The Seahawks added former 49ers starter Kerry Hyder along with Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith. Seattle also re-signed Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has been praising former Tennessee pass rusher Darrell Taylor who missed his entire rookie season with a leg injury.
Heading into the season, the area of glaring weakness is in the secondary as the Seahawks lost two starting corners in Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar via free agency. ESPN’s Brady Henderson suggests the Seahawks cannot be ruled out in potential trade talks for disgruntled corners Stephon Gilmore and Xavien Howard.
“And what about the possibility of Seattle solving the issue by acquiring a big-name cornerback via a trade?” Henderson wrote. “You can never rule that out with general manager John Schneider, who in three of the last four summers has dealt for Sheldon Richardson, Jadeveon Clowney and Adams. The New England Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore and the Miami Dolphins’ Xavien Howard are the kinds of difference-makers the Seahawks are missing, but it would be difficult, if not out of the question, to trade for either given the combination of draft capital and money it would take. The Seahawks are already without a first-round pick next year because of the Adams trade, and they’re about to give him a top-of-the-market extension.”
Carroll on Potentially Adding a CB: ‘Right Now I’m Looking at the Guys That We Have’
Carroll often has the same response to rumors involving the Seahawks roster: “always compete.” For now, it is expected to be some combination of Ahkello Witherspoon, DJ Reed, Tre Brown and Pierre Desir who will start for the Seahawks at cornerback in Week 1. Carroll admitted that so far the team’s intention is to see how the current players on their roster perform in camp.
“Well you can always add,” Carroll said, per ESPN. “But right now I’m looking at the guys that we have and I’m looking at Tre [Flowers] battling over there on the other side with D.J. and with Pierre and then Tre Brown, he’s just getting going. Tre Brown has not done anything to discourage from being in the competition as well. It’s just going to take us weeks. We’ve got weeks. We’ve got games, we’ve got all kinds of time to figure this out.”
Howard Led the NFL With 10 Interceptions in 2020
Howard is the top corner who is potentially available for trade. The Dolphins corner requested a trade at the starting camp as he continues to seek a new contract. Howard led the NFL last season with 10 interceptions, but the Seahawks do not have a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to offer Miami in a trade.
“Less than a day after CB Xavien Howard requested a trade, two playoff teams called the #Dolphins inquiring about trading for Howard, source said,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted on July 28. “Others have, too. Howard, by the way, practiced fully today and has handled himself like a professional.”
Gilmore is seeking a new deal from the Patriots, but it is unclear if New England is willing to move the corner. The Patriots veteran has not been practicing during training camp but has still been involved behind the scenes. As Henderson suggested, do not be surprised if the Seahawks strike on a last-minute deal to bolster their secondary.