The Seahawks have lots of salary cap room this offseason to potentially sign high-profile free agents. A name that I have seen recently that the Seahawks might be interested in is Mario Williams. Williams, the 1st overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, is an unrestricted free agent and possibly the top defensive player available in free agency this offseason.
If the Seahawks were to make a play for Mario Williams, the probability of letting Red Bryant walk away is pretty good. Williams will be lobbying for big money; money that will not be able to go to other big name free agents should we sign Williams. This could turn out to be a good debate on who would be a better fit in Seattle, and who would the fans want more. It is safe to say that Williams is the better all around player. Although he is coming off an injury that forced him to miss the final 11 games of 2011, he still had 5 sacks in the 5 games he played. He would have been on pace for at least 16 sacks if he had not gotten hurt. Williams would add a pass rush that the Seahawks haven’t seen since Patrick Kerney signed in 2007. Williams would best fit in a 4-3 defensive scheme as a defensive end opposite to Chris Clemons.
Although Williams is a dominating presence on the field, adding Williams could hurt our rush defense, which was dominant last season. If we were to sign Williams, it is almost certain Red Bryant would be signed by another team. As I have stated in prior posts, Bryant adds veteran leadership and re-signing him maintains continuity among the defense. In my opinion he is the one defensive player we cannot lose.
We will only have room for one of these players. In simple, Williams adds a dominant pass rush but will come with a large price tag. Bryant maintains continuity among the defensive unit, leadership in the locker room, and will maintain a rush defense that finished in the top 5 in the NFL last season. As a fan I would love them both. As seen in my Peyton Manning opinion, I am unsure which player I would like to have more.
UPDATE: It was announced today that free agency will officially begin at 1:00pm pacific time on March 13th. Also the NFL will conduct a coin flip tomorrow morning at the combine between the Seahawks and Kansas City to determine will pick 11th and 12th in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.