It seems that Chris Canty, recently released by the New York Giants, is going to be one of the more coveted free agents in the next few weeks. The Seattle Seahawks were very successful last season thanks to a very aggressive and efficient defense, and are thinking about keeping it that way with Canty as their defensive tackle.
The Seahawks aren’t a 100% 4-3 kind of defense, with some packages for 3-4 schemes, making the most of their linebackers core and very talented and aggressive secondary. Putting someone like Canty in the middle of all that, a 6’7 DT who can push 300 pounds might make them even better.
Because when looking at weaknesses on the Seahawks’ defense last season, ranking 4th in the NFL in total defense, the personnel at Defensive tackle might be one of the few. They mostly used Alan Branch and Brandon Mebane in the middle of the action, and the two did a good job most of the time as run stopped. Branch is an unrestricted free agent, and the backup to the two, defensive end Jason Jones, is also hitting free agency.
The Seahawks did a good job in stopping the run, but finding a physical player with the ability to stack at the point of attack and possibly get some penetration as a pass-rusher would be a nice addition. Chris Canty should be able to provide that service.
Despite obviously on the sliding side of his career, the eight year veteran is still a force to be reckoned with at the middle, usually used on the outside side of the offensive guard. Like Branch, he’s very good against the run, but his length and explosiveness make him a much better option for collapsing and disrupting quarterbacks in the pocket, not to mention he has quite a lot to prove after playing in only nine games last season, recording 3 sacks.
The Seahawks feel that they’re a couple of signings away from becoming a real Super Bowl contender, despite the San Francisco 49ers in their own division. Maybe by making that slight upgrade in their defensive line through Canty, they’ll finish a bit further in 2013 than “just” the divisional playoffs.