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The Seattle Seahawks have been searching for some help on their defensive line for some time. Specifically, they're hoping to upgrade their exterior pass rush.
The Seahawks used to have a feared two-man edge rush duo of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, but those days are long gone. In recent seasons, the team has cycled through the likes of Jadeveon Clowney and Carlos Dunlap via trades, but neither lasted more than one season for the team.
Seattle needs to add a top-tier pass rusher to their line, and that's why CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora thinks the team needs to pursue an upgrade in free agency.
Who does La Canfora think is the best fit for the Seahawks? His choice is Cincinnati Bengals edge rusher Carl Lawson, and this is the argument he made for Lawson.
[Lawson] is far removed from his surgery now and he was a beast in the second half of the season – check out his pressures per drop-back numbers – despite being part of a Cincy defensive line in which he was the only dude you had to worry about.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports
La Canfora has a good point, as Lawson was able to log 44 pressures last year, per Pro Football Reference, which was tied for fourth-most in the NFL with Chris Jones behind only T.J. Watt, Joey Bosa, and Aaron Donald. No matter how you look at it, that's high-level production.
The sack numbers (5.5) may not look great, but the pressure numbers are more important. He also had two forced fumbles last year, and as La Canfora pointed out, it's not like Lawson had much help on the Bengals' defense. With some extra help from Jarran Reed on the interior line and Bobby Wagner at the linebacker spot, Lawson could make an impact for the Seahawks if they pursue him.
We'll see if Lawson ends up being on the shortlist of the Seahawks free-agent targets. However, given their lack of cap space and Russell Wilson's request for Seattle to improve their offensive line, it may be hard for them to offer Lawson a competitive deal in free agency -- unless Lawson's value is depressed by a stacked edge-rusher market.