Re-assessing the free agent linemen available

Two years ago the Seahawks waited patiently in free agency and were rewarded with short-term, high-upside deals with defensive linemen Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. A year ago the same strategy netted former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams. Who are the Seahawks looking at this year? And is there a chance he plays on the offensive line rather than defensive line?

It appears that John Schneider and Pete Carroll are following the advice of Seahawks fans who participated in the poll on whether the club should bring in talented but troubled defensive end Greg Hardy.

I'm told the club is, in fact, doing their "due diligence" on the embattled pass rusher but the team seems content with the possibility of Hardy signing a deal elsewhere. Hardy took a physical with the Cowboys Wednesday morning and is also thought to be a priority in Tampa Bay.

The Seahawks meanwhile are kicking the tires on a couple of other veteran defensive linemen in former Cowboy Anthony Spencer and ex-Baltimore Raven (and Cowboy) Chris Canty. UPDATE -- Canty re-signed with Baltimore on Wednesday.

Spencer, 31, is coming off a season in which he recorded just 22 tackles in 13 games, starting none of the games for a club that struggled to mount a consistent pass rush. The 6-3, 265 pounder was coming off microfracture surgery from the previous October, however, and now more than a full year removed from the procedure he could be regaining the explosiveness that helped him record 33 sacks over his six seasons in the NFL, including a career-high 11 QB-takedowns in 2012. Spencer would likely be viewed as a backup to Cliff Avril at the LEO defensive end position - an area of concern given that O'Brien Schofield is joining Dan Quinn with the Atlanta Falcons.

Canty, 32, would have also been a potentially intriguing fit. Unlike Spencer, Canty's talent lies with his ability to swallow up blockers and play the run. The 6-7, 317 pounder recorded 33 tackles in just 11 games (all starts) a season ago in Baltimore after previously playing with the New York Giants and Dallas. He is a similar player to what the Seahawks currently have in Tony McDaniel (6-7, 305), whose production slumped last season to "just" 31 tackles after racking up a career-high 53 in his first season in Seattle and Kevin Williams (6-5, 311), who played well last season when pressed into starting duty with Brandon Mebane going down to injury. Williams, 34, is currently a free agent. He recorded 30 tackles last season, including three sacks and two passes broken up.

Former Seahawk five-technique defensive end Red Bryant was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. Sources within VMAC did not rule out the possibility of "Big Red" returning to Seattle but re-signing the 6-4, 323 pounder was not characterized as a high priority. That could change, however, given the "loss" of Canty to the Ravens.

Seattle's interest in veteran defensive linemen could be taken as a sign that the club is not impressed with the offensive linemen currently on the market, as this would appear to be a greater area of need considering the trade of Max Unger and loss of starting left guard James Carpenter in free agency. Top Stories