Given the turnover that's already occurred along their defensive line, Sheldon Richardson has been considered one of the free agents -- if not the free agent -- the Seattle Seahawks could least afford to lose.
With Michael Bennett gone, Cliff Avril not expected back in 2018 and no indication that Malik McDowell is any closer to playing, the Seahawks are still in serious need of some blue-chip talent up front. Their addition of Barkevious Mingo only did so much to address that.
But with ESPN's Dianna Russini reporting Wednesday that the Seahawks are interested in Ndamukong Suh, it appears they now have at least one more high-end option outside of Richardson.
Suh, a Portland native, posted a video to Twitter on Monday indicating that he was in Seattle. He wasn't released by the Dolphins until Wednesday and, even if he had already been a free agent, wouldn't have been eligible to visit with any other teams until then.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reported the Seahawks have a visit scheduled with another defensive tackle, former 49ers starter Quinton Dial. He spent last season with the Packers in a rotational role.
A few thoughts on the situation as it relates to Richardson and Suh:
Richardson made more of an impact in his debut season with the Seahawks than you might assume if you just looked at his lone sack. But Suh -- a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro -- is in rare company in terms of production. According to NFL.com, his 51.5 sacks and 381.5 total pressures each rank second among NFL defensive tackles since he entered the league in 2010, and his 147 quarterback hits and 103 tackles for loss are both first in that span. Though Richardson hasn't been the game-wrecking presence that Suh has, he is four years younger. And if a desire to get younger on defense played any role in the Seahawks moving on from Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, then re-signing Richardson (27) wouldn't work against that and adding Suh (31) would.
Suh figures to cost well over $10 million on average even if he doesn't approach the quarterback money he was making in Miami. Richardson could as well. As it stands, the Seahawks have about $20 million in available cap space and will have to save a good chunk of that for their draft class not to mention other free agents they'd like to sign. Teams can create cap space when they really have to. Seattle's trades last season for Richardson and Duane Brown were a good reminder of that. The Seahawks restructured Doug Baldwin's deal to make room for Richardson then did the same with Russell Wilson's contract while acquiring Brown. So though the cap situation would make it difficult to absorb another massive contract, the Seahawks could find a way to make it happen if they were so inclined. That said, it's not their M.O. to get into bidding wars for players, especially older ones like Suh. If another team ends up paying more, it could simply reflect that the Seahawks were unwilling to go to a certain price, not necessarily unable.
Because he was released, Suh wouldn't count against the compensatory-pick formula of whatever team that signs him. That's significant for the Seahawks, because the only way they would sign Suh is if they didn't sign Richardson, and Richardson signing elsewhere would entitle Seattle to a 2019 compensatory pick -- possibly a third-rounder depending on the size of whatever deal he gets from another team. Put another way, the Seahawks could replace Richardson with Suh and be in line to get a high draft pick next year. That's an appealing scenario.