Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin were the most recent examples, returning to help Carroll’s battered backfield late last season. This week, everyone has been talking about the possibility of Michael Bennett coming back.
While anything is possible, that seems unlikely. But what about some other former Seahawks?
A list of possible NFL cuts on NFL.com included several ex-Hawks who might be let go by their current clubs: WR Paul Richardson (Washington), TE Jimmy Graham (Green Bay), RB Mike Davis (Carolina), OG J.R. Sweezy (Arizona). (UPDATE: Richardson was cut Friday.)
The Hawks happen to have needs of varying degrees at all of those positions, and it certainly is possible that Carroll and John Schneider could have interest in a couple of those guys if they are indeed released.
Even though the Hawks need a tight end, you can probably forget about Graham returning. While he holds a bunch of Seahawks tight end records, the Hawks never knew how to use him and he basically pouted his way through his final year in Seattle. He played hard in the red zone, but generally slacked off in between the 20s. He also probably will look for the highest bidder if the Packers cut him. Yes, he is one of Russell Wilson’s best friends, but he is not likely to play with Wilson again.
The Hawks lost Sweezy to Arizona last year, basically swapping him for the cheaper Mike Iupati (Sweezy $4 million, Iupati $2.65 million). The Hawks are not expected to re-sign Iupati, 32, because they have a couple of young guys — Jamarco Jones and Phil Haynes — who could compete at left guard. But, if Sweezy were available for cheap, maybe a third stint with Seattle could happen.
Richardson and Davis are more likely options to return. Fans and media have been harping on the idea of a third receiver — even though it is something like the eighth priority for Seattle (behind DE, DT, RT, C, CB, TE, RB).
Richardson signed with Washington in 2018, for $8 million a year and $20 million guaranteed. The Seahawks smartly chose to pay Tyler Lockett instead. As expected, Richardson could not stay healthy, playing just 17 games and catching a grand total of 48 passes in two years with the Redskins (he caught 44 in his final year in Seattle). He could be a very cheap buyback for Carroll and Schneider — though his health issues could be a big turnoff as well.
Davis signed with Chicago last year and then was waived before Week 10 so he would not count in the comp formula (that will cost Seattle a comp pick). Carolina picked him up, but the Panthers have a couple of young guys behind Christian McCaffrey and might not want to pay Davis $3 million. Seattle needs good depth at RB, with Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny both coming off injuries. Would Davis be open to a return for maybe $1.5 million? It would be a good move for Seattle, if it worked out.
Now back to Bennett.
He’s one of the most enigmatic players in recent Seattle history, right along with Richard Sherman. Both were great players with independent streaks that tended to manifest as bad attitudes. Both started to get on Carroll’s nerves by 2017, so he unceremoniously dumped them in the great “defensive reset” of 2018.
Well, as we all know, the Hawks still are trying to reset their defensive line. So would Bennett be an option?
Probably not. Yes, he can still play; he has 15.5 sacks in two seasons since being traded by Seattle. But he’s 34, and Carroll has a couple of young backups, Rasheem Green and L.J. Collier, he would like to work into the mix. Plus, Carroll and Schneider have switched to a less chippy, more unified locker room since ditching Sherman and Bennett and letting Earl Thomas go. (Though you could argue they need a little more chip in their defense.)
The Hawks need two impact veteran outside rushers — whether it’s Jadeveon Clowney and a free agent or two entirely new guys via trade or free agency. But Bennett likely would be an option only if Schneider screwed up the offseason and got desperate for a second rusher.