With the departure of defensive tackles Alan Branch and Jason Jones this offseason, the Seattle Seahawks were in a dire position in terms of rebuilding the depth chart.
While there has been plenty of speculation on whether or not they would eventually re-sign Branch, the Seahawks have made a move that could end all chances of that happening.
On Thursday, the Seahawks signed free agent defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, to a one-year, “prove it” deal. Over the last four seasons, McDaniel has served as a rotational player down in South Beach but has been hindered by health concerns as of late, which makes the length of the contract understandable.
The 28-year-old McDaniel is coming off of a disappointing 2012 season with the Dolphins. Despite playing in 11 games, he only notched 11 tackles and half a sack. His struggles, however, can largely be attributed to the fact that he battled hand and knee injuries all year long.
Regardless of how subpar his 2012 campaign was, McDaniel still poses a significant threat as part of the Seahawks’ defensive tackle rotation.
When healthy and at his best, McDaniel is a disruptive force on the interior. During the 2010 season, McDaniel was an impact rotational player for the Dolphins, racking up 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks and four deflected passes. The “healthy” part is a big if at this point in his seven-year NFL career, though.
What really could have been a selling point for the Seahawks was getting McDaniel for cheap. Seattle has one of the most expensive defensive lines in the league, and that’s a big part of why Branch was allowed to walk. Considering the lackluster last two campaigns that McDaniel has put up, there’s a good chance that he came at a discount price.
It’s an intriguing addition for the Seahawks, who needed a cost-effective defensive tackle to help fill Branch’s shoes. If McDaniel can get healthy and stay there, this could be one of the most underrated signings this offseason.