Skip to main content

Seattle Seahawks free agent targets who can help the team win in 2023

The Seattle Seahawks have the great fortune of heading into NFL free agency with plenty of money to spend and are arguably one of the most well-positioned teams for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Specifically, Seattle has $24.74 million in salary cap space, which is among the top 10.

In regard to the upcoming NFL Draft, the Seahawks find themselves in the seemingly unimaginable position of sitting with the fifth overall pick — thanks to sending quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos and his subsequent disaster of a season.

So even if they do re-sign free agent quarterback Geno Smith, if you’ve heard anything head coach Pete Carroll has had to say, it’s possible they could still take another signal-caller with that fifth overall pick. They could also trade down — get more picks — and still take a quarterback somewhere around the No. 9 slot.

It’s an endless sea of opportunities and an embarrassment of riches for an already good football team.

But one thing Seattle can’t lose sight of in all the excitement is the team’s number of glaring needs. The Seahawks’ defense gave up a hard-to-believe average of 4.9 yards per carry in 2022. Knowing that stat alone, it feels like a miracle that a run defense that performed so poorly — even by video game standards — actually ended up participating in an NFL playoff game.

So it came with great understanding when Carroll plainly stated that Seattle’s defense is “going to have to become more dynamic up front” and “need guys to be an issue for the opponents.”

Expect a lot of that aforementioned salary cap space to go right there.

Naturally, and in no particular order, this brings us to seven free agents Seattle should be calling on the moment league rules allow them to do so.

Related: Seattle Seahawks mock draft 2023: Building around Geno Smith

Javon Hargrave, defensive tackle

NFL: NFC Championship-San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave spent his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and his last three with the Philadelphia Eagles. Housing a major sense of defensive pride has basically been oozing out of his pores since day one. If the Seahawks are serious about improving dramatically up front and bringing in some true disruptors, it’s difficult to think of a more fitting player than Hargrave.

Holding the nickname “Gravedigger,” Hargrave has gotten better every year and has really leveled up over these last two seasons, tallying a combined 18.5 sacks, 34 QB hits, and 19 tackles for loss.

The following play didn’t result in a sack, but that’s exactly why it was chosen. This is a prime example of the type of instant chaos Hargrave is capable of providing.

Fans of the Rams, Cardinals, and 49ers absolutely do not want to see this nightmare of a matchup twice a season.

Having just turned 30 in early February and holding some high-level playoff experience, Seattle would be wise to do everything it can to convince the veteran to venture out West.

Related: Bold predictions for 2023 NFL free agency: Destinations for more than 50 top players

Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle

NFL: Super Bowl LVII-Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What better way to fix those problems on the defensive line than Hargrave bringing along a familiar friend?

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has spent all 11 of his NFL seasons with the Eagles. So it kind of feels like if the 32-year-old is ever going to leave Philly, it’s either happening now or he’ll finish his career there. But yes, it just so happens that Hargrave and Cox work very well in tandem.

It would be quite a heist if the Seahawks’ front office could pull this off. But even managing to nab one of the two would be no small victory.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2023: From 1-400, Derek Carr, Bobby Wagner join growing market

Ben Powers, offensive line

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Guard Ben Powers is only 26 and coming off a season in Baltimore where he did not allow a single sack. It’s a little scary that the four-year player out of Oklahoma is just entering his prime and has already reached this level of reliability.

While Carroll specifically noted shoring up the problems on the defensive line, keeping your quarterback’s jersey stain-free in order to launch it to route-running expert Tyler Lockett and the freakish DK Metcalf 30 times a game will pay plenty of dividends too.

Related: Seattle Seahawks ‘keenly interested’ in signing All-Pro defender this offseason

Marcus Peters, cornerback

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no question the Seahawks have some awesome youth in their secondary. Tariq Woolen is coming off a rookie campaign where he just constantly found himself with the football, snatching away six interceptions along with three fumble recoveries.

But signing an intimidating veteran like Marcus Peters to match the high level of physicality that Seahawks’ division rival 49ers routinely bring with their trio of wide receivers would fit like a glove. Not to mention the significant impact he could have on the development of a young player like Woolen.

Related: 2023 NFL defense rankings: Offseason outlook for all 32 teams, key free agents

D.J. Chark, wide receiver

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver D.J. Chark has played in just 15 games over the last two seasons, so he can likely be had on the cheap and has shown some serious ability in the past on some very bad Jacksonville Jaguars teams.

Throw the 6-foot-4 Chark in there as the third receiver alongside Metcalf and Lockett — coupled with the talented tight end duo of Noah Fant and Colby Parkinson — and this already-good passing attack suddenly becomes an absolute nightmare in the red zone.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft rumors: Latest news from the NFL Combine

Bradley Bozeman, center

NFL: Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran center Austin Blythe retired after starting every game for Seattle last season. So in order to allow second-year running back Kenneth Walker III to keep cooking, bringing a dominant reinforcement like Bradley Bozeman to replace Blythe would do just that.

While he spent his 2022 season on the rollercoaster that was the Carolina Panthers, Bozeman played his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Simply put, you are not allowed to play football for the Ravens if you are unable to run block.

At 28 years old, locking him up to the tune of a four-year deal sounds about right.

Related: 2023 NFL power rankings: See where the Seattle Seahawks stand

Anthony Nelson, outside linebacker

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s unclear why the problematic defensive force that is Anthony Nelson isn’t talked about more, but take one look at this play and try and convince anyone that the 6-foot-7 outside linebacker wouldn’t improve any defense.

He’s just getting warmed up, too. While Nelson did play in all 17 games each of the last two seasons, he only made a combined total of 10 starts. So we’re not quite seeing numbers that leap off the stat sheet. Yet.

On the bright side, perhaps that means he can be had for a sneaky-good deal.

Those sack numbers are bound to start seeing double digits once Nelson sees an uptick in snaps. The safe bet is that next season, he will.

The bottom line here for the Seahawks is that whatever route they decide to take, the combination of their free-agent haul and their first-round picks could be a massive game-changer and tip the scales in the NFC West.

Related: 2023 NFL Draft tight end rankings: Michael Mayer is No. 1 in loaded TE class

Mentioned in this article:

More About: