O’Neil: In Dion Jordan, Seahawks make another low-risk bet on a high-upside player
The Seahawks are hoarding the top prospects in one of the worst NFL draft classes in a generation, one one-year deal at a time.
And while you can’t call it great news that Seattle is signing defensive end Dion Jordan a little over a month after adding offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, it’s certainly not bad news, either. The Seahawks have added two players whose physical skill sets were considered to be among the best of all incoming NFL employees in 2013, and they got them on short-term deals.
In Joeckel’s case, he’ll be getting a significant salary: $7 million guaranteed with another $1 million in incentives for being active on game day.
Jordan won’t be getting nearly as much. In fact, the biggest thing the Seahawks will be giving him is an opportunity to kickstart an NFL career that has stalled. He was suspended for all of 2015 for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy and missed all of 2016 because of injury.
Both deals fit with Seattle’s model of making low-risk bets on high-upside players. The Seahawks have done that in the draft by picking guys and switching positions. Some have worked out. Like J.R. Sweezy, a college defensive lineman who was drafted to play offense. Some have not. Like Kristjan Sokoli, a similar project who spent a whole year on the 53-man roster and never wound up playing an offensive snap for Seattle.
The Seahawks have done it with veteran players, too. They brought in Mike Williams, the wide receiver who was a first-round bust with Detroit and had stops in Oakland and Tennessee before he came to Seattle and resuscitated his career. Well, at least he did for a year.
Seven years later, Seattle isn’t counting on similar comebacks for a pair of former first-round picks, but the additions of Joeckel and Jordan show that the Seahawks are open to giving guys the opportunity to rebound.