Seahawks succeed in addressing pass rush in free agency


Shortly after officially announcing the signing of defensive end Cliff Avril Thursday afternoon, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider discussed what the team was hoping to accomplish in free agency and if they still planned to be active in the free agent market.

With defensive end Chris Clemons’ timetable still uncertain due to a torn ACL suffered in January, adding to the team’s pass rush was Schneider’s biggest priority. The signing of Avril seemed to fully address the problem.

“We really wanted to help our pass rush as much as we possibly could,” Schneider said. “After that, really just kind of focus on our own guys and see what comes next, see what’s down the line.”

But Schneider wasn’t satisfied. Soon after, the Seahawks added another weapon to their defensive line in signing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Michael Bennett to a one-year deal. The team friendly deals given to Avril and Bennett allows Seattle to improve their defense immediately and still take care of their own players when their deals come up over the next few seasons.

Avril signed a two-year deal worth $15 million while Bennett’s was a one-year deal for just $5 million. The commitments to both players are short-term and allows Seattle the flexibility to re-sign players such as quarterback Russell Wilson, cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and other key pieces who will have their rookie deals expire or come up for renegotiation over the next few seasons.

With their primary need fully addressed by signing two of PFT’s top 11 players on our Top 100 list, Seattle may not be as ambitious through the free agent market the rest of the way. However, Schneider wouldn’t rule out making another move if the right opportunity shows itself.

“You never know what’s going to pop up,” Schneider said.

47 responses to “Seahawks succeed in addressing pass rush in free agency

  1. If “succeeding” means over paying for big named free agents, then yes, the Seahawks succeeded.

    But I always thought that in football, success is determined on the field.

  2. Seattle has always been quiet in free agency throughout the years, so this past week has been really exciting. Schneider is doing a great job filling in the gaps to make our team a real competitor. Next season should be a good one. Go Hawks.

  3. I thought we all understood more that Avril is overrated? You must have missed that part again. Unless the rest of the Detroit d-line was included in that signing this well be a bust.

  4. No one outside of Seattle would have expected the Schneider/Carroll combo to work so well, but I think this has as much to do with Russell Wilson. He’s probably the best recruiting chip the Seahawks have ever had.

  5. @kws001

    Good point, Wilson is a good recruiting chip but we a
    Had a pretty good team with Hasselbeck and Alexander as well, we did go to the SB after all, but for some reason still couldn’t bring in players to sustain a multi-year run.

  6. Seahawks, Niners, Seahawks, Niners, Seahawks, Niners,blah, blah, blah….can’t wait for the games to actually start. They aren’t the only teams in the division and only one team lost only one divisional game last year.

  7. Avril is more like Ray Edwards than Reggie White. Edwards largely benefited from playing along side of other All-Pro’s who drew the additional blockers allowing Edwards to artificially pad his stats. Same deal with Avril playing along side Nick Fairley and Suh.

    To think Avril is the answer is your first mistake, to pay $ 7.5 million to try to find out is even a bigger mistake.

  8. Wilson struggles next year and the team no one cares about outside of Seattle crawls back reality.

  9. seahawks80 says:
    Mar 15, 2013 7:06 AM
    If we stay healthy we should be in contention, going to be a fight with SF for the division all year.
    As a Niner fan, thank you for not being over the top and calling a Championship a guarantee. You guys have had an amazing off season already, are a very scary team and yes, it should be a fight all year.

    Althooooough, the Cardinals did sign Mendenhall AND Stanton. They could take the West……….ok, now I’m being over the top.

  10. With their primary need fully addressed by signing two of PFT’s top 11 players on our Top 100 list…………………

    I just spit coffe out my nose laughing….2 of PFT’s top 11 of our top 100?

    Are you guys really a football site? Are Kiper & McShay working there now?

    What did Sherman have to say about this with his over Aderralled mouth?

  11. Ummmmm, did you forget about Richard Sherman? I’d take him over Russell Wilson, and that’s not a slight to Wilson AT ALL, Sherman is the best CB in the league, hands down. (And this is coming from a Falcons fan who cussed him the entire divisional round playoff game)

  12. Avril was horrible against the NFC west last year. Absolutely horrible. 1 game against each opponent and the dude had a total of 3 tackles, 1 assist tackle, and 1 sack in those 4 games.

    He clearly showed that he didn’t have what it takes to beat the left tackles 1 on 1 in the NFC west last year. That would scare the crap out of me if I was a Seattle fan.

  13. @kws001

    Good point, Wilson is nice recruiting chip and we have some very good young players to go along with him which I guess Schneider and Carroll should get credit for. We had a good run with Hasselbeck, Alexander and company as well but for some reason couldn’t build on it. Before anyone says it, in no way am I comparing Wilson to Hasselbeck.

  14. They’re taking care of business:
    * Blazing fast receiver? Check!
    * Pass rushers? Check!
    All we have left to get is one more linebacker and a TE that is more of a blocker to free up Miller for more receiving and we are in an extraordinary position for that Super Bowl run.

  15. Looks like seattle is going to continue the tradition of…..wait they dont have any tradition or rings..carry on….seattle seahawks. …zero time superbowl champions.

  16. Love these moves. LOVE ‘EM! Yeah, both guys have question marks, Bennett has only really produced for one season, and Avril is said to be a product of the talent around him in Detroit.

    Some people see those as negatives, but I see them as positives. Why? It means they have something to prove. Adding to the motivation is the short nature of the deals they signed; if either or both excel, they’ll be back on the market for a bigger payday in 1-2 years.

    Conversely, if either or both bust, they’re off the books before Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner have to renegotiate their contracts.

    Schneider is awesome.

  17. 2 years ago when the Seahawks “cleaned house” I was really apprehensive about what was going on with my team. I mean they got rid of nearly everyone I knew and brought in a bunch of people I didn’t and some I didn’t want. I told my friends that it was too much change too fast and that it would be awhile before I could get behind this team. Let me tell you it didn’t take long. Since last year, I am 100% on board. Let the train leave the station! Schneider and Carroll have made this a fun and exciting young team stacked with talent. We are in a position to not only win but to win now. I no longer question what these 2 do, I am just happy to sit back and go along for he ride. Later haters you can eat our blue and green (and wolf grey) dust. GO SEAHAWKS!!!

  18. Love all the hate from angry/jealous fans of other teams. Avril overrated? We shall see, but how was that detroit secondary last year? Burnt toast. Now how is seattle’s secondary? Top 5 Legion of Boom will give pass rush plenty of chances to get sacks. LMFAO Gotta take all this uneducated football talk from some on this site as a sign seahawks are moving in right direction! Sounds like ya’ll been watching too much first take. Lets go HAWKS!!!

  19. noeffinway says:
    Mar 15, 2013 7:15 AM
    I thought we all understood more that Avril is overrated? You must have missed that part again. Unless the rest of the Detroit d-line was included in that signing this well be a bust.

    And I guess you missed the part where it says Avril signed a two year, 15m deal.

    Not exactly breaking the bank.

  20. Just have to replace Leroy Hill and his legal issues at LB.

    As a fan, certainly can’t complain as all the pieces seem to be there. Difference of one or two wins last year, early in the year when Wilson had a limited play book, would be solved with these additions and or playing the way they did the last half when they looked unstoppable.

    But, not going to sneak up on anyone this year either and expectations on the outside are going to be extremely high to deal with.

    Bring on September.

  21. I think the Rams will be tougher than the Niners next year. Seattle still needs to sign or draft a defensive Tackle to replace Branch. If Seattle finds someone to complement Mebane inside, someone stout against the run but able to collapse the pocket, their defense will be complete and they will win forever (or at least next year).

  22. This is really awesome. Seattle drafted better than any team 3 years in a row. The only possible misses has been James Carpenter at 25 but he looked monstrous at LG and he was still healing last year. When it came to pass rusher I am glad they got young proven veterans because rookies take time. We have Bruce Irvin who is serious talent and had a great 8 sack rookie year as situational rusher but he still needs to develop. PFT GM’s talk overpay- I think John Schneider has a better resume for this job than any of you. The fact we were the top rated defense and addressed two of our very few needs before the draft at 7.5 million- 5 million & 3 million has every Seahawk fan excited. I don’t know what can be more explosive the offense or defense. Go Hawks!

  23. How can all of you idiots claim seattle paid to much to these pass rushers??? Avril turned down 10 million a year plus and Bennett made over 10million last year. Truth is they both took less money then they felt they were worth because seattle is turning into that destination where free agents want to come. All of you haters are simply comical. All seattle has done is address the teams needs specifically. This team was as scary as possible last year without Percy and Avril and Bennett. If you watch the NFL or have the slightest clue you can see what’s happening up here. Russell is in the film room right now getting ready to torch the league next season. Like Pete Carroll and John Schneider or not you have to give it to them. They sure have built one hell of a squad! And they are still the second youngest team in the league!! Man it’s gonna suck for all of you haters becuse they are gonna be in it for a long long long time. Can’t wait!!!!

    GO HAWKS!!!

  24. My favorite is fans of teams that have Super Bowl rings that were won before they attended games and before ANYONE in the current teams organization was even IN the organization. What do Super Bowl rings from the 70’s have to do with the current team? Go ahead and let us know.

  25. Before everyone turns this into the 49ers and the Seahawks in a two team race, let’s not forget that before being bitten by the injury bug the Cardinals were looking good and they’ve upgraded several spots on their roster and have a new head coach. The Rams are minus Amendola, which is a big blow, but still have a pretty good defense and are looking to upgrade on their line. And they managed to hang with San Francisco pretty well last year.

    The assumption that players who played well under other systems on other teams will play well on yours is tempting, but not really proven. This division is going to be pretty wide open. Strong, but wide open.

  26. Avril and Bennett are no Reggie White. However, Seattles d line is pretty much congruent to detroits’ talent wise, and our secondary is far more supreme than detroit. I dont really see either of these guys dropping in stats.

    Percy was declared a cancer in Minnesota. I understand that no one wants a vocal person in their locker room. Christian ponder is not a wr’s dream tho. After watching the vikings back him ip with cassel, it only looks like they are aiming for mediocrity in the Minnesota passing game. Thats somethong percy realized before everyone else.

    Not saying the Hawks will win the super bowl next year, but this is looking like a perfect storm. Outside of the hawks, bronocs, and niners, lots of other teams seem like they could be pedestrians next year.

  27. Seattle has already fixed their weaknesses and haven’t even hit the draft yet. ……
    They drafted Harvin with three of their picks.

  28. No one seems to think the Rams has a chance in hell in this division and I’m sure they love that

  29. Let’s be clear there is not just one recruiting chip in Seattle:
    1) A Young, Winning Team
    2) Salary cap space because great drafting has top notch players locked into low contracts.
    3) The facility at VMAC is only 5 years old and state of the art.
    4) Despite fans disdain for Carroll as a college rah rah coach, players love to play for this guy, and he has a pretty good recruiting record.
    5) Washington has no income tax, so the players get more money on lower contracts.
    6) Pass rushers are attracted to a defense that plays in the loudest stadium with an amazing secondary, esp. on a short term deal where they can rack up sacks and go get a big payday when the TV money bumps up the salary cap.
    7) The team has a young franchise QB.
    8) Oh yeah, this team is a legit Super Bowl contender.

    The people that think the Hawks overpaid for Avril and Bennett, just aren’t looking at all the numbers. These guys are coming at DISCOUNTS on short deals to cash in in a year or two.

  30. Just a little reminder about Mr. Schneider’s credentials. He was the director of player personnel at Green Bay before he got this gig. He was instrumental in building their most recent bowl team & they are still benefiting from his genius. For the people that think he’s over paying, Browner couldn’t make an NFL roster (see CFL), Sherman: 5th rounder, Doug Baldwin: undrafted (reception leader his rookie year). That’s just a few of his hundreds of transactions the last few years, so you’ll have to excuse us fans if we put our faith in him & don’t listen to you.

    This is the most complete Seahawk team that had ever taken the field & that’s before the addition of this incoming class. Finally, to all you haters out there, we’re all living rent free inside your heads & we do appreciate the hospitality.

  31. @saintsfan26

    Last time you came to our field, Marshawn Lynch was pushing your weak players around.

    Come back for more if you want. Please make bets on who is going to get hurt. I can promise it will not be us.

  32. People wanted to call this an arms race between Seahawks/Niners but its not even close. Pete Caroll got a nuke and Jim Harbaugh now holding an old frying pan.

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