Free Agent to Watch: Leigh Bodden

There aren’t going to be very many free agent signings this offseason (we believe), but that won’t stop us from trying to weed out a few who might make sense and instantly impact the team in a positive way. One such fellow? Cornerback Leigh Bodden.

Who is he?

Leigh Bodden is a 7-year veteran drafted in 2003 by the Cleveland Browns. He was the key cog in a trade that brought Shaun Rogers to Cleveland and sent Bodden to the wasteland of Detroit. After a year of floundering there (we’ll touch on that in a second), Bodden went to New England for the 2009 season where he was excellent racking up 18 pass defenses, 5 interceptions and a forced fumble.

Why does he fit?

We still don’t know a whole heck of a lot about what John Schneider and Pete Carroll will be looking for in players, but both men have made some things clear about the cornerback position:

  • John Schneider has said that he likes tall, long CBs with good timed speed.
  • Pete Carroll has emphasized the need for CBs in his defense to excel in press.
So, why does he fit? Well, he’s 6’1″, 193 lbs and was clocked between 4.38 and 4.46 in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. Beyond that, he’s one of the best press cornerbacks in the game, and has more than adequate ball skills to make a lot of plays for whatever team he’s on, especially if there’s an adequate pass rush.
Will we target him?
Well, it’s very hard to say. Schneider + Co have made it clear that the team will not be built in free agency, and it’s also clear there are some solid cornerbacks coming out in this year’s draft. Bodden is also probably the top CB free agent and definitely the top Unrestricted FA corner on the market; if Mr. Allen wants to drop some serious coin in this uncapped year, Bodden might not be an investment. It’s possible that they could front load the salary quite a bit, just in case, but again, that’s a Paul Allen decision.
I would say the probability is around 25% that we seriously consider him, but only because of Schneider’s presumed reluctance to attack the free agency world. If there is one guy the Seahawks really go hard for in 2010’s free agent class, I think it might be Bodden.