The Seahawks signed center Evan Brown on Monday, adding an experienced option at center heading into the 2023 season.
The Seahawks came into the offseason knowing they might need to find a new starting center, as Austin Blythe was set to become a free agent. Blythe, who started all 17 games last season, then announced his retirement last month, making it a certainty that Seattle would have a new starter at that spot in 2023.
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The Seahawks may well have found their starting center in free agency, signing former Detroit Lions lineman Evan Brown. Yes, the Seahawks can and very likely will continue to add to their interior line this offseason, via the draft, free agency or both, but by adding Brown, they know moving forward they have already added an experienced and versatile starter.
While Brown and the Seahawks agreed to terms on a deal earlier in free agency, he was traveling on his honeymoon, and finally made the move official on Monday afternoon.
"I was looking for an opportunity to compete for a starting job at center," Brown said after signing. "After speaking with coach (Pete) Carroll and (Andy) Dickerson, Seattle seemed like a good fit for me."
Brown, who came into the league as an undrafted free agent out of SMU, started his career with the Giants before stops in Miami and Cleveland, then saw his career flourish in Detroit. After initially signing to Detroit's practice squad late in the 2020 season, Brown became a starter early in the 2021 season, taking over for injured center Frank Ragnow and starting the final 12 games of the season.
Last season, Brown saw most of his playing time at right guard, starting 12 games. And while that versatility is always a positive, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said they're looking at Brown as a center, the position at which he started 25 games over his final two seasons in college. Schneider also noted that Brown has been on Seattle's radar for a while as the scouting department looked ahead toward free agency.
"He was a guy that really stood out that Willie (Schneider) and D.J. (Hord) and Armani (Perez) and Nolan (Teasley) and those guys were really focused on," Schneider said. "This is a guy who was playing guard, but ideally he's a center. He started 47 games at SMU… He started two years at Detroit, he was a center, then they had to move him to guard. He can play both, but he's really truly a center."
Said Brown, "I think of myself as a center who can play guard. When it comes down to it, wherever the teams needs me is where I'm willing to play."
Take a look at photos of center Evan Brown from his first four seasons in the NFL. Brown signed with the Seahawks as a free agent on March XX, 2023. Read more.