What Cory Redding brings to the Seattle Seahawks

cory-reddingAcquiring Cory Redding and a fifth-round draft choice from the Lions for Julian Peterson should quell speculation about Seattle considering a defensive tackle with the fourth overall pick in the draft. Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry would become a more logical target for the Seahawks if available.

Redding is big enough (6-foot-4, 295 pounds) to play multiple positions on the defensive line. He has only 16 sacks in 77 career starts, so he is not a pass-rushing phenom (despite collecting eight during a breakout 2006 season). But he is a hard-nosed player who brings toughness to the Seahawks’ defensive front.

Here is what Scouts Inc. said about Redding before the 2008 season:

A five-year veteran with good size and athleticism, Redding has been extremely durable for an interior defensive lineman and has been consistent as a run-stopper. He played hard with toughness and intensity last season [2007] despite the fact that his sack total dwindled from eight in 2006 to just one a year ago.

Redding utilizes great quickness, foot agility and balance to penetrate gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield. He drew many more double teams last season and was eliminated from plays, but that also allowed the linebackers behind him to stay clean and run to the ball. He has quick hands and is adept at slipping blocks, separating and getting to the pile.

Redding is an instinctive player who understands leverage and reacts well to blocking schemes, feels pad pressure well and does a nice job pressing back and restricting running lanes. He will have to anchor the inside alone after the departure of fellow big body Shaun Rogers, but Redding is a good football player and a new offensive emphasis on ball control should help him and the rest of the defense.

That last part never materialized. The Lions were horrible all around. Redding encounters a more favorable situation in Seattle.

Seattle is trading one of its only proven pass rushers in this deal. Such a move might reflect confidence in Patrick Kerney’s ability to bounce back from another shoulder surgery at age 32. We might also see linebacker Leroy Hill provide the pass-rushing threat he flashed when he collected 7.5 sacks in 2005 — a year before the team acquired Peterson.

A Redding-for-Peterson trade is not prohibitive from a salary-cap standpoint. The Lions suffer a net cap loss of $2 million, the difference between what Redding’s contract was scheduled to count if he stayed with the Lions ($5.38 million) and what it counts once the team trades him ($7.33 million, thanks to bonus acceleration). Detroit has ample cap space to absorb such a loss, plus whatever Peterson earns in salary (presently scheduled to be $6.5 million). The Seahawks gain $4.6 million in cap space by trading Peterson.