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Seattle Seahawks Free Agent Targets: Defensive Ends

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Seattle has a good set of defensive ends. Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark and Cassius Marsh are all under contract. But if you look at pass rush, the team could still use some help, especially if Bruce Irvin moves on. There are some tempting targets in free agency for John Schneider to consider.

Schneider Free Agent Profile: Defensive Ends

Schneider typically will only offer multi-year deals to free agents 26 years old or younger. Those are the players he will try to sign in the first week or two of free agency. He loves finding second-tier guys who do not sign on day one or day two. The hope is that he realizes the Bennett and Avril deals were probably once-in-a-decade steals in an oddly depressed free agent market. If he wants to acquire more pass rush, he will have to stick his nose in there and pay for it.

If the top-line talent is spoken for, he has shown the ability to acquire veteran help late in the offseason like Raheem Brock or Chris Clemons (via trade). 

DE/DT Malik Jackson, 26, 6'6" 293 lbs

Malik Jackson is a monster. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware are credited for creating the Broncos relentless pass rush, but Jackson plays a major role in wreaking havoc, often in the middle of the line.

Jackson is perfect for the Seahawks scheme, as he can play both inside and outside. He will definitely be a first day free agent and command big bucks, so the likelihood that Seattle will stick their nose in there is low. He is the type of player who is definitely worth checking out to see if there is any way to bring him aboard.

DE Olivier Vernon, 25, 6'2" 275 lbs

Vernon is going to be another popular target. He probably goes off the board on day one. Young, and with upside, Vernon had a monster second half of the season. Of his 7.5 sacks, 5.5 came in the final eight games. He benefitted from being opposite Cameron Wake and having Ndamakong Suh in the middle to draw protection priority away, but the production can't be ignored.

Should the market value Irvin similarly to Vernon, the Seahawks may prefer what Vernon brings as a true defensive end. As well as Avril has played, he turns 30 this year, as does Bennett. Adding a young edge rusher makes a lot of sense.

DE/DT Jarvis Jenkins 27, 6'4" 300 lbs

Jenkins has been a late bloomer. Drafted by the Redskins in the second round of the 2011 draft, he totalled just two sacks in his first three seasons. He became one of the more productive interior pass rushers with the Bears this year, gathering 4.0 sacks.

His upside is lower, but the price should be as well. Jenkins is more of a 3-technique defensive tackle for the Seahawks than an end, but he could play the Bennett role at 5-technique as well. Seattle has Jordan Hill and Clark who are young and under contract, but Jenkins could earn a look if the top-shelf players are simply not an option for Seattle. 

DE Jason Jones, 29, 6'5" 275 lbs

Jason Jones is an interesting one. He is on the older side, and will not go off the board right away. He is also a proven pass rusher who can be disruptive off the edge and on the interior. 

He played for the Seahawks a few seasons back, and was extremely effective when healthy. He has managed to stay on the field the past two seasons in Detroit and racked up 4.5 and 5.0 sacks and bunch of pressures. This is the type of lower-priced veteran who could be a great addition deep in free agency.

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.


Related Slideshow: 12 of the Greatest Sports Movies of All Time

Hank Stern ranks his top twelve favorite sports films. 

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#12 Rollerball

Some of the non-athletic scenes in this dystopian classic show their age, but Rollerball is a strangely prescient film that anticipated both the corporatization of sport and fans’ limitless taste for violence. Bonus points for the ominous intro music.

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#11 A League of Their Own

A comedy that looks back to the antithesis of corporate sport – a women’s baseball league during World War II with many memorable lines to choose from (e.g.,”There’s no crying in baseball.”)

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#10 Remember The Titans

Yes, filmmakers took liberties with some of the facts dealing with the integration of a high school football team in Virginia. But there’s a reason football teams often screen this film on the eve of big games. It’s a damn inspirational tale.

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#9 The Natural

This film has grown on me over time. Originally, it seemed slow and schmaltzy. Now, it seems well-paced and charming. Then and now, the re-created scenes of pre-World War II ballparks arrive like perfectly preserved postcards from the past.  

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#8 The Longest Yard

Not the remake with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. But the hilarious original with Burt Reynolds and Eddie Albert as a wonderfully villainous warden who pits the guards against the inmates in a grudge football game that includes former Green Bay linebacker Ray Nitschke and other ex-football players like Sonny Sixkiller and Joe Kapp, both stalwart Pac-8 quarterbacks long, long ago.  

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#7 Slap Shot

The Hanson brothers. Enough said.

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#6 Rocky

Often imitated, but never replicated. The definitive underdog boxing story featuring Sylvester Stallone before he became a self-caricature in multiple sequels. Impossible to hear the theme song without being motivated to get off the couch.

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#5 Seabiscuit

A fantastic book as well as a great movie. Like “The Natural,” Seabiscuit captures its Depression-era setting for modern-day viewers taken back to an era when horse racing actually meant something in America. 

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#4 Requiem for a Heavywei

A too often-forgotten film these days but a wonderful boxing drama that shows the sport’s underside with memorable  performances by Mickey Rooney, Jackie Gleason and Anthony Quinn.

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#3 Hoosiers

Want to know something about small-town America in the 1950s and about Indiana basketball? This hoops movie does all of that with a healthy dose of redemption throughout. 

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#2 Bull Durham

There’s a pretty good case to be made this movie played a huge part in the rebirth and re-marketing of minor league baseball. As written by former minor leaguer Ron Shelton, there are many great scenes to choose from but this one is a favorite. 

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#1 Raging Bull

A rags-to-riches-to-rags story of boxer Jake LaMotta meets the actor born to play him, Robert De Niro. Not a false moment in this black-and-white powerhouse.


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