What the additions of Kerry Hyder, Benson Mayowa mean for the Seahawks

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Joe Fann
·3 min read
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What the additions of Kerry Hyder, Benson Mayowa mean for the Seahawks originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The Seahawks made two moves on Tuesday to add to their pass rush, signing Kerry Hyder and Benson Mayowa.

Hyder signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal with $17.5 million upside, per Adam Schefter. Pro Football Talk added that the first two years are worth just $6.5 million with a third year valued at $10 million. That will help Seattle manage limited cap space this offseason. Hyder posted a career-high 8.5 sacks for the 49ers in 2020. He previously posted 8.0 sacks with the Lions in 2016.

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger said prior to the start of free agency that Hyder would be one of his favorite bargain free agency in this year's market.

Mayowa signed a four-year deal that voids after the first two seasons. It's the third deal of that nature John Schneider has negotiated in the last week with Chris Carson and Ethan Pocic being the other two. The voidable years allows Seattle to pay a portion of the deal during the voidable year, thus making the players more affordable in the short term. Mayowa had 6.0 sacks in 2020 and played his best ball toward the end of the season, notably once Carlos Dunlap arrived.

Attending to the pass rush was Schneider's final significant order of business during free agency. So what does it mean for Seattle now that Hyder and Mayowa are in the fold?

For starters, the Seahawks must have created some cap space, likely via contract restructures since no extensions have been reported. Over the Cap has Seattle $2.7 million in the hole before accounting for Hyder and Mayowa.

The next question is what this means for Dunlap's potential return to the Pacific Northwest. Hyder might be more of a 5-technique, leaving the door open for Dunlap to return at LEO, but that move is likely to be cost prohibitive. It seems more likely that any additional edge rush addition would be at a lower cost, maybe someone like Aldon Smith or even Jadeveon Clowney.

Seattle's defensive line is now full of depth with uncertain ceilings. Darrell Taylor has a clear path to dominating reps at LEO if he's able to stay healthy and showcase the traits that led to the Seahawks coveting him in last year's draft. Alton Robinson, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green and Jarran Reed round out the pass rush alongside Mayowa and Hyder.

There's also potential that Seattle moves on from Reed as a cap casualty. The Seahawks could view him as expendable, especially if Collier were to move inside full time following the addition of Hyder. Making such a move would save Seattle $8.975 million with $5 million in dead cap space. Reed's $13.975 cap number in 2021 is the fourth-highest on the roster.

Both Hyder and Mayowa are quality pieces, especially considering the team's cap limitations. The moves also clear up a bit of the uncertainty regarding what Seattle's pass rush will look like in 2021, though a few questions still remain. The Seahawks defensive line isn't one that will be feared on paper, but there's enough potential to be marginally intrigued.