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Who is Nick Perry? Primer on free-agent OLB linked to Seahawks

Former Packers OLB Nick Perry sacks Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. (Getty)

Teams are nearly two weeks removed from the start of free agency, but rumors are still swirling about potential signings. There are a few notable players that remain unsigned. Chief among them are safety Eric Berry, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and edge rusher Ezekiel Ansah.

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Also still available is former first-round pick Nick Perry – though according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the 28-year-old outside linebacker has recently been linked to the Seahawks. Here’s what fans need to know:

Perry is a former first-round pick out of USC

In addition to wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who visited the Seahawks last week, Perry is one of the better-known free agents to have been linked to Seattle. The 6-feet-3, 271-pound Perry played at defensive end with USC under then-head coach (and current Seahawks head coach) Pete Carroll in 2009, and under Lane Kiffin from 2010-12. Perry was named first-team All-Pac-12 in 2011 and finished his three-year college career with 103 tackles and 21.5 sacks. The Green Bay Packers selected Perry 28th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

He hasn’t played a full season in his career

Perry earned a starting job to kick off his rookie season but suffered a wrist injury in Week 1 and played just six more games. Perry underwent surgery to repair his injured wrist in November and ultimately ended his first season on the injured reserve list.

Perry’s subsequent five seasons have followed a similar pattern; he started 43 games from 2013-18, a period that saw him sustain a fractured foot, ankle, shoulder and hand injuries, and land on the IR list two more times, the last of which brought an end to his time in Green Bay.

He was released by the Packers in March

The Packers released Perry on March 12. Perry finished his seven-year career in Green Bay with 228 tackles, seven forced fumbles and one interception.

Brock Huard says Perry’s skillset makes this tempting for Seahawks

In Tuesday morning’s Blue 42 segment of Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle, Brock Huard said that despite Perry’s injuries, the Seahawks could be tempted by his potential and familiarity with Carroll.

“I went back and looked at his numbers, I was very curious when he came out of the draft how elite he was from USC,” said Huard, a former NFL quarterback. “And man, physically he was put together. And he played that elephant position for Pete Carroll in that system, so there’s great familiarity and great background. They recruited him out of Detroit. Some of the comparisons physically, in the background, there is a lot of Frank Clark to him.

“Now obviously, you have to consider the injuries. My very last experience in the NFL was like the game Operation. In my physical with the Buccaneers, I had to draw every injury. And if Nick Perry did it, he’d circle foot, ankle, knee, multiple shoulder injuries, and a hand injury. He’s had a litany of injuries in nearly every single season of his NFL career. But is he 6-foot-2, 270 pounds, and when healthy, he is explosive and powerful. And being released by Green Bay means the Seahawks wouldn’t lose a compensatory pick. Plus, he has familiarity with Pete Carroll. This kind of starts to smell about right for Seattle, especially if it’s a minimum deal and incentive-laden for Perry to get his career back on track.”

Find the full Blue 42 segment in this podcast from Tuesday’s Brock and Salk show.

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