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ESPN suggests Seahawks add former Jets pass rusher before training camp

Carl Lawson remains unsigned after three seasons in New York.

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of many necessary improvements for the Seattle Seahawks to make on defense is the pass rush. It’s been wildly inconsistent (at best) for several seasons, and not coincidentally Seattle has been a below-average defensive team during that span.

ESPN’s Aaron Schatz outlined one final offseason move each team should make before the start of training camp. The decisions all involved signings, trades, and extensions. For the Seahawks, Schatz suggested adding a veteran pass rusher.

Sign edge rusher Carl Lawson

The Seahawks could use more camp competition at center for Olu Oluwatimi and Nick Harris, but the remaining free agent centers did not rate well in pressure rate allowed last season. So instead, let me suggest more defensive depth. You can never have too many pass-rushers to rotate in, and while Lawson only played six games last season, he’s still just two seasons removed from his seven-sack year with the Jets. He wouldn’t cost much, and there’s a good upside there.

Lawson is still just 28 years old and has had fairly productive seasons throughout his career. As a rookie with the Cincinnati Bengals back in 2017, Lawson recorded 8.5 sacks, which is still his career high. Unfortunately, an ACL tear ended his 2018 season prematurely, and the Bengals did not retain him at the end of his rookie deal in 2020.

In free agency, Lawson signed with the Jets in and blew out his Achilles during a joint practice session. Upon return, Lawson notched 7 sacks when he finally did play in a Jets uniform, but only appeared in six games (101 defensive snaps) in 2023. He had a mixture of back issues and healthy scratches that led to his limited appearances.

If nothing else, Lawson would be inexpensive and it could be worth kicking the tires to see if he has anything left. Realistically, his injury history is something I’d stay away from even though he’s not yet 30. I’d rather take my chances with Boye Mafe, Uchenna Nwosu, the seemingly re-assigned Dre’Mont Jones, Darrell Taylor, and intriguing UDFA Nelson Ceaser.