2023 NFL free agency: Ranking 5 defensive back options for the Seahawks
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll might be the planet’s premiere DB guru, or at least he’s right up there with Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh in their ability to find and develop quality talent on the back end. Seattle’s secondary is in strong shape heading into 2023. In Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams they have one of the league’s top starting safety combos plus a superb backup in Ryan Neal. They also have the most-talented young cornerback in the sport in Tariq Woolen, setting a strong foundation for the future.
However, this group isn’t a finished product just yet. With that in mind, here are five free agent DB options for the Seahawks to consider this year.
Buccaneers CB Jamel Dean
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Mike Jackson did reasonably well this past season and as a restricted free agent he’ll be easy to re-sign. We have no problem bringing Jackson back, but there’s also no reason why the Seahawks shouldn’t try to find themselves an upgrade. Jamel Dean (6-foot-1, 206 pounds) is just 26 years old and is one of the finest cover cornerbacks in football. He also has a good amount of experience for his age. In 57 games, he’s totaled seven interceptions and 41 pass breakups. Putting Dean together with Tariq Woolen could set Seattle up for success for a long time along both boundaries.
Cardinals CB Byron Murphy
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The Seahawks love their former Washington DBs and Murphy is developing into a quality corner. He’s still only 25 years old, so he has plenty of time to get better, as well. Murphy is a good run defender for his position and can play in the slot as well as on the boundary, offering depth at both spots.
Rams S Taylor Rapp
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The rather large bill has come due from the Rams’ all-in approach to the 2021 season and now they’re having a fire sale. Rapp is young (he’s 25) and good at what he does, but LA will have a hard time paying anybody this offseason, even their most deserving players. If he becomes a free agent Rapp is worth a look even with Seattle’s great depth at safety. Another Huskies product, Rapp has nine interceptions and 23 pass breakups in 57 games so far.
Chiefs S Juan Thornhill
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The Chiefs would be nuts to let a 27-year old athlete like Thornhill actually test the market. However, they’re currently $3.5 million over the salary cap, so they’re going to have to make cuts somewhere. In the unlikely event Thornhill becomes available, the Seahawks should at least call. In four seasons Thornhill has already totaled eight interceptions and 20 pass breakups and his best football is probably still ahead of him.
Steelers DB Damontae Kazee
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Kazee may be one of the most underrated DBs in the league and he’s only gotten better with time in the NFL. This past season in Pittsburgh he posted two interceptions in nine games and only allowed a 45.5 passer rating in coverage. He also missed a grand total of zero tackles. Kazee can line up at multiple spots and has tremendous range, making him a quality fit for almost any defense.