The free agent market is drying up quick, but the dream scenario still exists for the pass rush-needy Seahawks.
Even after signing Bruce Irvin on Wednesday, Seattle still must land a cornerstone to its pass rush. Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen are the top remaining options left in free agency. Let's be clear, both are fantastic players and would drastically improve the Seahawks defensive line. However, should one or both sign elsewhere, Seattle could be in trouble.
The Seahawks would then have to turn to trade targets Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue, who have been franchise tagged by the Ravens and Jaguars, respectively. Those options wouldn't come cheap. A trade would require valuable draft capital, and then it's likely that Judon or Ngakoue would immediately want a new contract rather than play on the tag worth $16 million.
Disregard the DeAndre Hopkins heist by Arizona. That trade was an outlier. The Ravens and Jaguars presumably wouldn't be letting either pass rusher go for merely a late-round pick. Earlier in the week, the Ravens traded tight end Hayden Hurst for a second-round pick, and so that should be the ballpark of a potential price tag when trading for Judon or Ngakoue.
Having to go the trade route and give up draft picks would be a tough look for Seattle after missing out on so many options in free agency, should that end up being how things play out. It's conceivable that the Seahawks could find a way to acquire two of the four aforementioned players, but that would require a few cuts to create cap space. Seattle currently has $18 million in cap space according to overthecap.com. Don't get too hung up on that number as there are always workarounds to create additional cap room.
Here's a quick capsule on all four players.
2019 stats: 4.5 sacks (playoffs included), 58 pressures and seven tackles for loss.
2019 PFF grade: 80.8
Note: Clowney is coming off of offseason core muscle surgery, but he should easily be full go for the start of 2020. It's not seen as a serious surgery.
2019 stats: 9.5 sacks (playoffs included), 70 pressures and 11 tackles for loss.
2019 PFF grade: 76.0
Note: Griffen played for Pete Carroll at USC, and so a reunion would make a lot of sense.
Age: 27 (will be 28 in August)
2019 stats: 9.5 sacks, 63 pressures and 14 tackles for loss.
2019 PFF grade: 69.2
Age: 24 (will be 25 on March 31)
2019 stats: 8 sacks, 51 pressures and 13 tackles for loss.
2019 PFF grade: 72.0
Note: Ngakoue has sent everyone in Seattle into a tizzy by posting a picture on Instagram story that looks like he's at SeaTac International Airport. It would be curious if he indeed is currently in Seattle. The NFL has banned all official player visits amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond that, he's still under Jaguars team control due to the franchise tag.
Yannick Ngakoue posted a pic on his IG story that looks a lot like SeaTac airport 👀 pic.twitter.com/Hk3cEp5bKP
— Curtis Rogers (@AKidFromKent) March 18, 2020
Seahawks likely down to four options for pass rush help originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest