The Seahawks Signed Dre’Mont Jones & Jarran Reed

We have exciting news! I can’t remember the last time the Seahawks were involved with a major signing on the first day of free agency. Not for an outside player anyway. The Seahawks are an organization that likes to draft and develop, they’re an organization that likes to take care of their own guys. Other than that – and the occasional big splash trade – we usually buy low and test the waters on an older veteran, or a lesser name coming off his rookie contract.

It’s a smart way to do things, but it can also be infuriating. What happens to those teams who “win” free agency? They’re often coming from a real dark point; that’s why they have so much money to spend in the first place. And, you’re not getting the proper value out of guys on bigtime second or third contracts, compared to those on rookie deals especially, but also compared to past-their-prime veterans who might have a little something left in the tank. So, you don’t often see a lot of future success from those teams who “win” free agency. Once in a while, a team will get everything right, but that’s pretty rare. More often than not, if you’re not just as inept (remember that Philly “Dream Team” they compiled some years back), then you’re mortgaging the future like the Rams did. Which is great, they won a Super Bowl. But, now they’re set to be one of the worst teams in football, and that’s gotta be tough to swallow as a fan.

Conversely, as you can see, it’s not like the Seahawks’ way has paid dividends either. All too often, we’ve eschewed one impact signing in an attempt to scattershot a lot of minimum deals. Instead of signing one impact offensive linemen, we’d sign three mediocre duds. Instead of going for one impact pass rusher, we’d overpay defensive tackles (Poona, Mone) who can’t get to the quarterback, and then sign whoever else was left on the scrap heap (Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods).

Everyone likes to point to Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril as the last time the Seahawks got it right in free agency. That was EONS ago! The last outside free agent who actually made a positive impact was Uchenna Nwosu; before him, there was nobody.

Seemingly every year, we head into free agency with a decent amount of money to spend, and seemingly every year, we walk away shaking our heads at the moves the Seahawks have done.

Well, not this time! This time, we signed Dre’Mont Jones away from the Denver Broncos, for 3 years and $51 million. He gets a $20 million signing bonus, which puts his 2023 cap hit at around $10 million. Assuming he plays well, his 2024 cap hit is under $20 million. And if he’s a jackpot, we’ll probably extend him before 2025 comes into play.

6’3, 281 pound defensive tackle who has 22 sacks in his 4-year career, 18.5 over the last three seasons (no less than 5.5 per year). But, it’s obviously not just sacks that makes him one of the most sought-after defensive linemen in this free agency class. He can play all over the line, and he’s a menace against both the run and the pass. He’s basically everything we’ve been looking for since Clinton McDonald left, on the low end. On the high end, the sky’s the limit. I dunno, maybe Aaron Donald is the limit; he’s probably not Aaron Donald.

Nevertheless, he’s the best defensive tackle we’ve had in ages. Sam Adams maybe? Rocky Bernard? It goes back a ways. (I don’t count Michael Bennett here, though maybe I should; I always saw him as a defensive end who slid inside on passing downs to give us an extra outside rusher).

Not only is Dre’Mont one of the best and most impactful free agents, but he also fills a VERY huge need on this particular team. Shelby Harris and Quinton Jefferson were both released as cap casualties. Poona Ford is probably moving on (after not really fitting into the new 3-4 scheme), and Bryan Mone might be out with injury all year. So, as much as we all like Al Woods, there’s a lot of work left to do.

And just when I thought we might settle for some guy making the minimum, we bounced right back the next day and brought back Jarran Reed on a 2-year, $10.8 million deal. This isn’t just any old man off the streets. This is someone who has been remarkably healthy and available (other than a stint when he was suspended). He had a stretch with the Seahawks where there was real pass rush ability and potential (surpassing 10 sacks one year), but by and large he’ll give you a little bit of that, while also presenting a stout front in run defense.

What makes all of this truly thrilling is seeing what will come from the #5 overall pick. If Jalen Carter falls to us? And we get to play him, Reed, and Jones side by side by side? With Nwosu on one end and Darrell Taylor or Boye Mafe on the other? Or, we end up with Will Anderson as an end with those guys? We could really have something here!

Give Me (The Seahawks) Your Future First Round Picks!

I’ve lamented the Seahawks’ pick from the Broncos dropping from 3 to 5 long enough. It’s time to join the real world. We have the 5th pick; it is what it is.

We don’t know how this is going to play out, but it’ll probably be a lot different than how it looks now. Right now, it appears there are two stud defensive linemen who tower above all the rest of the prospects: Jalen Carter and Will Anderson. I’m living under the assumption that, at 5, we won’t be able to draft either of those guys. Unless there’s someone else out there I haven’t heard about who’s ready to shock the world, that drops us a tier before we get to make a selection.

The only way we’re getting one of those guys is if quarterback-needy teams jump ahead of us. Right now, the order is Chicago (doesn’t need a QB), Houston (does), Arizona (doesn’t), and Indy (does). Chicago could trade down with either Houston or Indy and get a bounty, while still getting one of the top two defenders in the draft. Arizona probably SHOULD trade back – considering they only have five picks total this year – so we’ll see. There’s maybe an outside chance – if, indeed, there are three or more elite-level quarterbacks coming out of this draft – that the Seahawks could stick at 5 and get the defender of their dreams.

But, I’m not ready to get my hopes up. So, for the sake of argument, I was really enthralled with this idea. I would – IN A HEARTBEAT – trade back with the Carolina Panthers to get their 9th pick, 93rd pick, and a 2024 first rounder. Breaking in a rookie quarterback and a brand new coaching staff? Sign me up! I bet the Panthers will stink even worse next year!

Do you know how much fun I’ve had rooting against the Broncos every week in 2022? I want that all the time! My number one objective is the Seahawks winning. But, having a second high-level objective – as a fan – is a total joy.

The fact of the matter is, I would trade back with anyone in the top nine this year, if it meant getting another first rounder next year. I would do this every single year if we could!

The question of whether or not the Seahawks would be unwilling to play this kind of long game – considering the raised expectations for 2023 – is legitimate. But, we already have (to my understanding) ten picks in the 2023 draft (in spite of what the rest of the Internet says, Bob Condotta tweeted out recently that we do, in fact, have a seventh rounder). There’s only so many rookies we could possibly play in any given year, on top of the 2022 class that’s already taking up a good portion of our playable roster. I’d rather have an extra guy in 2024 at the top of the draft looking to bust through onto our starting ranks, even if it means we take a slight step back in the first round this year. A Top 10 pick should still be pretty damn good, even if he’s not necessarily a Top 5 guy.

So yeah, count me in. This year, next year, to infinity and beyond.