The Seahawks signed a replacement for defensive end Cliff Avril in Dwight Freeney, a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro selection.
When (if?) Dwight Freeney retires, he’ll go down as one of the best defensive ends of his generation. The Seahawks plucked him from his couch this week for a one-year deal to replace the injured Cliff Avril, who is on Injured Reserve with a neck problem.
Freeney, of course, probably has a bookcase somewhere full of awards. His 122.5 career sacks rank 18th all-time, second among active players to Julius Peppers. He has forced 47 fumbles, and is primarily responsible for bringing the spin-move by pass rushers into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Seahawks will likely only use Freeney for a few downs for this Sunday’s game against Houston, but as the season goes on, expect to see Freeney regularly. He spent 2016 with the NFC Champion Falcons, recording three sacks in 15 games. He added another in Super Bowl 51, his 11th career postseason sack.
For the Seahawks defense to work, Kris Richard can’t have enough pass rushers. Keeping Michael Bennett and Frank Clark fresh and ready to wreak havoc will be a key duty for the newest Seahawk, as will creating some havoc of his own.
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Freeney obviously adds depth to the defensive line, but those waiting on a new offensive lineman to help the beleaguered other side of the ball will have to wait a little longer, it seems. Justin Britt is working to return from his injury against the Giants this week. If he doesn’t, the O-Line will feature a heavy dose of rookie Ethan Pocic (who played well against New York, so there’s that) and Mark Glowinski.
Meanwhile, the defensive line eats like kings. Freeney is a future Hall of Famer and a veteran who knows how to get after quarterbacks, and will surely understand his role in the Seahawks defense.
The Seahawks play the Houston Texans Sunday at CenturyLink Field at 1 pm.