So now to the biggest question of the Seahawks’ offseason — will Seattle re-sign defensive end Jadeveon Clowney?

That, though, is hardly the only issue facing the Seahawks as they try to improve on a pass rush that was one of the team’s biggest weaknesses in 2019.

Tackle Jarran Reed and end Quinton Jefferson are also unrestricted free agents. And if the Seahawks can’t get either re-signed then they’ll obviously need to find replacements either from within or elsewhere.


Tackle Al Woods, who was suspended for the last four games of the year but started five games and was a consistent force against the run, and Ziggy Ansah, who figures not to be back after a disappointing campaign, are also free agents.

Regardless of the names next season, something has to change as Seattle’s pass rush had a consistent problem with consistency in 2019.

Seattle’s 28 sacks were the fewest since 2009 and Rasheem Green led the Seahawks with just four — the lowest “high’’ total since the strike season of 1982.


As we continue our review of Seahawks position groups heading into the offseason, here’s a look at the defensive line.


Defensive end

Jadeveon Clowney

Age: 27.

Snaps played in regular season: 605

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Was the highest-rated defensive Seahawks player this year by Pro Football Focus, at number 80 overall of all players.

Quinton Jefferson

Age: 26.

Snaps played in regular season: 589.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: 10 QB hits second only to Clowney’s 13.

Defensive tackle

Jarran Reed

Age: 27.

Snaps played in regular season: 479.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Had 10.5 sacks in 2018. Has five sacks in three other seasons combined.

Poona Ford

Age: 24.

Snaps played in regular season: 506.

Contract situation: Is due to make $660,000 in final year of three-year undrafted rookie free agent contract.

2019 number to know: Five tackles in playoff loss to Packers a season high.

Key backups

End Rasheem Green

Age: 22.

Snaps played in regular season: 546.

Contract situation: Entering third season of four-year rookie contract.

2019 number to know: Four sacks came on five quarterback hits.

End Ziggy Ansah

Age: 30.

Snaps played in regular season: 338.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Had sacks in only two games.

End L.J. Collier

Age: 24.

Snaps played in regular season: 152.

Contract situation: Entering second season of four-year rookie deal

2019 number to know: Wasn’t active for either playoff game.

Tackle Al Woods

Age: 33.

Snaps played in regular season: 450.

Contract situation: Unrestricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Two fumble recoveries tied for the most on the team.


End Branden Jackson

Age: 28.

Snaps played in regular season: 418.

Contract situation: Restricted free agent.

2019 number to know: Most of production was early in season. Best game at Pittsburgh week two with a sack and two QB hits.

Tackle Bryan Mone

Age: 24.

Snaps played in regular season: 89.

Contract situation: Exclusive rights free agent.

2019 number to know: Saw most of action in first three games.

2019 review

It all looked really good on paper heading into the season. Clowney was acquired on cut-down day for two players who didn’t figure much — if at all — into the plans (Jacob Martin and Barkevious Mingo), Ansah was presumed close to full health, Woods appeared to be a more-than-serviceable replacement while Jarran Reed served his suspension, and there were high hopes for the lines of 2019 first-round pick Collier and second-year players Ford and Green.

But as is often the case in the NFL, things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Ansah, coming off shoulder surgery, was never the player the Seahawks hoped he’d be and finished with just 2.5 sacks playing in just 12 games including playoffs.

Clowney was as good as advertised when healthy, but was never really the same after suffering a core muscle injury against the 49ers Nov. 11.


Reed, as probably should have been expected, didn’t match the 10.5 sack pace of 2018, with the delayed start to his season due to the suspension seeming an obvious factor.

Woods was suspended for four games for violating the league’s rules on substances of abuse while Collier was a disappointment, finishing with just three tackles and no sacks.

There were some positives — Green took a step forward in year two, Jefferson was again steady as was Jackson in a more limited role, and Ford proved his late surge during his rookie year was no fluke. But there were not as many as were needed.

2020 preview

Clowney is the best defensive end available in free agency, so if he doesn’t re-sign, Seattle is going to have a challenge replacing him.

But it’s going to be a challenge to keep him, too, with the general thought that he’ll likely get $20 million a year from some team, which is more than the Seahawks have ever paid anyone other than Russell Wilson.

Should he get away, there are some potential options (and we’re not saying they are the same, but players who would at least help salve the loss some) such as former first-round picks Dante Fowler (Rams), Bud Dupree (Steelers) and Vic Beasley (Falcons).


Reed took to social media to indicate that $10 million a year for one season — the kind of deal some have speculated is his market — wouldn’t get it done. But if he tests the market, expect Seattle to keep close tabs and try to get him back if the market doesn’t get too crazy.

Seattle’s issues up front have compelled a lot of those who do mock drafts to send a defensive tackle or end to the Seahawks.

Among those mentioned as possibilities for Seattle at No. 27 have been TCU tackle Ross Blacklock, Notre Dame end Julian Okwara, Boise State edge rusher Curtis Weaver.

The general perception is that there this is a good draft for ends but not as deep for tackles.

You can’t say Seattle hasn’t tried lately when it comes to the line — the Seahawks have taken either an end or a tackle in the first three rounds of the past five drafts (Frank Clark, second, 2015; Reed, second, 2016; Malik McDowell, second, 2017; Rasheem Green, third, 2018; Collier, first, 2019).

But at the moment, none of those five is assured of being a starter in 2020 with only Green and Collier of those picks under contract.

Keeping Green on his trajectory and getting massive improvement out of Collier is a must in 2020. But the first priority is getting Clowney re-signed, or somehow finding some suitable replacements for his production.

Up next: Linebackers.