The Seattle Seahawks reportedly used NFL free agency to fill one of their biggest team needs on March 16.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted that the Seahawks signed interior offensive lineman Evan Brown. NFL reporter Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston reported the deal for Brown was for one year.
The Seahawks entered NFL free agency with needs at both center and guard.
Starting center Austin Blythe surprisingly announced his retirement on February 28. Seattle also released starting offensive guard Gabe Jackson before the start of free agency.
Seahawks Sign Evan Brown
After going unselected in the 2018 NFL draft, Brown finally made his league debut with the New York Giants in 2019. He bounced around the league as a special teams option for a couple years before finding a home with the Detroit Lions.
Brown started 12 games at center for Detroit in 2021 and then primarily switched to right guard for another 12 starts during 2022.
According to Pro Football Focus, Brown fared well at both positions. The biggest difference in his play during each season was his pass blocking. PFF awarded Brown a grade of 72.4 out of 100 in pass protection during 2021 as opposed to a 45.5 grade in pass protection during 2022.
Who else the Seahawks add to their offensive line this offseason could determine where Brown ultimately starts. The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta guessed on March 16 that it would be center.
Wherever he plays, Brown is a cheap, short-term option for the Seahawks along their interior offensive line. Condotta speculated that the team will try to add another interior offensive linemen early in this year’s draft.
Blythe, who Brown could replace at center, had a similar background as both a center and guard before signing with the Seahawks last offseason. The big difference, though, is in the size of each player.
While Blythe stood at 6-foot-2 and 280 pounds, Brown is listed an inch taller and weighs 320 pounds.
Brown is also four years younger than Blythe.
Other Needs Seahawks Could Address in NFL Free Agency
As ESPN’s Brady Henderson pointed out, the Seahawks had needs at outside linebacker and defensive line, in addition to the offensive line, this offseason.
With the signing of Brown, two of those three position groups have been addressed in at least some capacity.
On the first day of NFL free agency, the Seahawks signed defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones to a three-year, $51.53 million contract. The team also brought back defensive tackle Jarran Reed on a two-year deal worth a maximum of $10.8 million.
The most obvious need remaining on the Seahawks roster is at linebacker.
The edge requires the most attention, but Seattle is apparently looking at additions for inside linebacker too. General manager John Schneider said on his weekly show on Seattle Sports that himself and head coach Pete Carroll have engaged in talks with former Seahawks linebacker and 8-time Pro Bowler Bobby Wagner.
Running back is another position group that Carroll could be interested in boosting with another player. The Dallas Cowboys released former rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott, who could be a target for Seattle at the right price.
Of course, the Seahawks can also address these needs with the No. 5 and 20 overall picks in the first round of this year’s NFL draft.