Quarterback, DK Metcalf, quarterback quarterback, Jamal Adams’ finger, Russell freaking Wilson.
The list of Seattle Seahawks headlines this summer has been predictably short. Training camp is in its infancy, and it comes with a buzz around certain players, notable players, but the wrong players.
Three guys have nearly dropped off the awareness radar, yet for Seattle these are three of the most important players during the rebuild year. One is homegrown, while two have quietly come over from other teams this spring.
The outside LB from the Los Angeles Chargers has been nearly unheard of since his signing in March. However, he remains the big pass rush acquisition of the year, despite the team drafting highly-touted Boye Mafe in the second round. It would take something that Mafe likely doesn’t possess for him to actually unseat the fifth-year starter.
Nwosu is our most impactful player on the list for a couple of reasons. First, obviously, it’s the Seahawks long-dreamt quest to actually affect the quarterback. Second, Nwosu joins the thinnest position group of our three heroes, and immediately has the most experience. Carlos Dunlap is gone. Benson Mayowa is gone. It’s Darrell Taylor, Nwosu, Alton Robinson, and Mafe. There is no one else. There is no L.J. Collier; he is a figment of Pete Carroll’s imagination.
If Nwosu’s 30 pressures from 2021 (more than Taylor, Frank Clark or Josh Allen) speak of legitimacy, then this will immediately be a more explosive duo than Seattle showed last year. Taylor on one side and Nwosu on the other is extremely exciting, both of them paving the way for more development of Mafe and Robinson rotating in.
Contract: 2-years, with $4.75 million dead cap next year. Theoretically could be cut, but that means the team wants him to stick and be here for year one of the re-launch in 2023.
The least-heralded member of the Denver trade.
However, Harris is tied for the fourth-most experience on the current roster, and adds something new. The interior of the line for Seattle has been good and thin for years, led last season by a career year from Al Woods, who is the oldest player on the team.
By Al Woods, who is the oldest player on the team by two years.
The Seahawks have been fine here, but as good as Woods and Poona Ford have been, with Bryan Mone impressing, none of them have consistently snuck through to affect the quarterback. None of them have five or six sacks over multiple seasons. Not even once.
Shelby Harris has done that three times, and according to Tyler Polumbus from 104.3 The Fan in Denver, is a ball-swatting specialist. And yes, the dude’s got 18 pass deflections in the last three years.
That, quite simply, is game-wrecking from one of the tackle positions that, since the Legion of Boom, has happened exactly one time in a 2018 Jarran Reed season.
Of the trio from the Broncos, eyes are on Drew Lock and Noah Fant, however it’s Harris who has the greatest ability to bring something new to the team this season.
Contract: two more years, with a cap hit of $4.7 million this year and $12.2 next year. Will be hard to earn that second season.
Find me a list of 2022 Top-10 running backs, and I will find you a bunch of names that are not Rashaad Penny.
Look, they’re all purple so you know I did research.
Actually, forget the top-10; he’s not on most people’s top-20, while as early as a month ago one unnammed
Pete Prisco reporter type person had Chris Carson at 28 and Penny off the list altogether.
When Penny put together a better-than-Derrick Henry stretch, the people cheered.
(Not kidding, that happened)
There were FIVE RBs who rushed for 135+ YDS more than once last year:
Jonathan Taylor: 5
Rashaad Penny: 4
Derrick Henry: 3
Dalvin Cook: 2
Nick Chubb: 2
Penny did it over a FIVE GAME STRETCH.
When the lights went off, the people returned to their typical ways.
This is not their fault.
Field Gulls was partially kept afloat by being a beacon of honesty regarding one of the worst running backs many of us had ever watched, for four years. Penny had an uncanny ability to find both holes opened by his offensive line and run directly into neither of them, with a stutter-stutter into Damien Lewis’ butt approach.
But Seattle now has the best college runner backing up the best five-game running back in the history of the NFL*, and if you want to give the future quarterback some weapons, I would think DK Metcalf / Tyler Lockett + this running back duo is pretty worthwhile.
This is the year for Penny. Back to his old ways, and he could eclipse Collier and Germain Ifedi as John Schneider’s worst pick. Back to his 2021 world-beating, and this team is absolutely loaded with offensive firepower to build around.
Contract: earn it, please. On behalf of every 12 around the world, earn it please.