By Brady Henderson
RENTON – The Seahawks got a long look at quarterback Keith Price during the four seasons he spent playing in their backyard at the University of Washington.
And when the NFL Draft ended Saturday without Price being selected, they liked enough of what they saw to give the former Husky a shot. He was one of nine rookie free agents that agreed to terms with Seattle following the draft, and the familiarity the Seahawks had gained with him was among the reasons why.
Former Huskies quarterback Keith Price wasn’t drafted despite a record-setting career at Washington. (AP)
“We’ve seen him for years, and we had a really good look at him at his workouts. He came here for our local workout,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We feel very, very comfortable with him. We know that he’s got a big upside, and seemed to fit in really well with our coaches so we just feel really comfortable and we think we can give him a real good shot at it.”
Price wasn’t invited to the scouting combine in February despite a career at Washington in which he started for three seasons and set numerous school records, including the all-time mark for touchdown passes.
Without that opportunity to perform in front of NFL teams, it made Price’s pro-day workout in April all the more important. He ended his throwing session with a pair of heaves that traveled about 60 yards in the air, and afterward said he felt he had done enough to ease any concerns there may have been about about his arm strength due to his 6-foot-1, 202-pound frame.
The majority of Seattle’s offensive coaching staff was on hand at the workout, which was one of several opportunities Price had to show his stuff to the Seahawks.
“Foot in the door,” he wrote on Twitter.
Price joins a quarterback group that could have already been considered crowded before he arrived. Tarvaris Jackson is expected to be Russell Wilson’s backup after returning to the team on a one-year deal that is reportedly worth a guaranteed $1.25 million. Terrelle Pryor, who was acquired from Oakland for a seventh-round pick, and B.J. Daniels are also in the mix. Jackson and Pryor aren’t signed beyond 2014, however.
Seattle’s list of rookie free agents includes another local player, defensive tackle Andru Pulu from Eastern Washington, along with seven others: strong safety Dion Bailey (USC), linebacker Brock Coyle (Montana), tight end Chase Dixon (Central Arkansas), offensive tackle Garry Gilliam (Penn State), guard Bronson Irwin (Oklahoma), defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas) and cornerback Jimmy Legree (South Carolina).
The Seahawks will get their first look at those players during next weekend’s rookie minicamp, which runs Friday through Sunday. Several other players will be participating on a tryout basis.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.