The Seattle Seahawks' defense has emerged down the stretch this season as the most dominant force in football. Again. They are making sure that they keep their group together.
Avril would have been our choice as Super Bowl MVP last season, but this news does come as a bit of a surprise. Avril has only 4.5 sacks this season, although that number is deceiving. ProFootballFocus charts 38 quarterback hurries for Avril and nine quarterback hits. He's ranked as their seventh best pass rusher at defensive end, just behind teammate Michael Bennett. Avril and Bennett both arrived as free agent bargains in 2013 and have been re-signed at larger prices.
Only 28 years old, Avril provides a quality veteran pass rushing option along with Bennett. The Seahawks can look for a pass rusher of the future in the draft with the knowledge that their starting lineup is essentially set for the next few years. Pete Carroll has made it clear that he's going to spend to keep his defense together, while hoping to develop the offense along the way.
It's incredible to look at the Seahawks' defenders who are now signed long-term. Carroll and general manager John Schneider have inked long-term deals with Wright, Avril, Bennett, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas. It is difficult to keep great defenses together, but this group has a chance -- a chance -- to go down as one of the all-time great units.