The Seattle Seahawks already made two splashy moves to upgrade their defense this offseason and with the 2020 NFL season closing in, another big addition could be on the horizon.
Seattle recognized its defense needed to improve to contend for a Super Bowl this year. So, general manager John Schneider made a blockbuster trade for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and acquired shutdown cornerback Quinton Dunbar.
However, that might not be enough for the Seahawks. With several Pro Bowl talents available on both sides of the ball in free agency, another big move could be looming.
Seahawks expected to sign Clay Matthews?
Heading into the 2020 NFL season, Seattle’s pass rush remains the Achilles’ heel of its defense. While a lockdown secondary and great linebackers can making life tough for opposing quarterbacks, defenses capable of winning the Super Bowl excel at generating pressure.
It’s why this same front office struck quickly before the 2019 NFL season, trading for All-Pro edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. While Clowney didn’t generate as many sacks (three) as Seattle hoped for, he made the front seven better.
Clowney remains a free agent this late into the year. The Seahawks were open to re-signing him before he made a series of bizarre decisions this offseason that drove teams away and cratered the market for a talented defender.
With their eyes seemingly off Clowney, Seattle is targeting another edge rusher who could make a significant impact this season and would vastly improve their pass rush.
According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, many around the league believe Matthews will sign with the Seahawks this season. Seattle has previously expressed interest in the Pro Bowl edge rusher and after losing out on Everson Griffen, it makes a lot of sense to sign Matthews.
The Seahawks struggled mightily to generate pressure during the 2019 season. Seattle’s defense had the eighth-fewest quarterback pressures (126) and had the fifth-worst pressure rate (19.3%). It wasn’t for lack of trying, as the Seahawks blitzed 26.9% of the time last year.
This is where Matthews stepped in. Before breaking his jaw, ironically in a game against the Seahawks, he racked up incredible stats with the Los Angeles Rams. In 13 games, he generated eight sacks with 11 quarterback hits and seemed to thrive in a fun and competitive atmosphere.
While he is no longer the dominant force who made six Pro Bowls with the Green Bay Packers, he can still get after the quarterback. He’d also benefit from playing on a defense that can cover receivers, which forces quarterbacks to hang onto the ball longer and gives Matthews more time to get a sack.
If that wasn’t enough, he can reunite with Pete Carroll and will have the chance to get revenge on the Rams after they cut him this offseason. The fit makes sense for so many reasons, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if Matthews signs with the Seahawks.