JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Seahawks ‘bargain shopped’ but fill out cornerback position nicely

Apr 22, 2021, 1:33 PM
Seahawks CB Pierre Desire...
New Seahawks CB Pierre Desire possesses the size that Seattle loves at outside CB. (Getty)
(Getty)

Once again, the Seahawks’ patience worked out.

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While it was tough to lose Shaquill Griffin in free agency, the Seahawks thought $13.33 million a year was too much to pay a cornerback in a year when the salary cap dropped eight percent to $182.5 million. Instead, they bargain shopped and filled out the cornerback position.

What came together this week was a one-year agreement with cornerback Pierre Desir. That pretty well completes the roster needs at cornerback. The Seahawks now add Desir to a position that also has Tre Flowers, D.J. Reed, Ahkello Witherspoon, Damarious Randall and Ugo Amadi. If needed, Seattle could try to let Marquise Blair complete for the slot cornerback job, as well.

Though the details of the Desir contract are currently unknown, it looks as though this group combined comes in for less than the $13.33 million a year that Griffin will make with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The question will be how well they can play on the field.

Sure, it was disappointing for the Seahawks not to re-sign Quinton Dunbar. He took a minimum-salary deal with the Detroit Lions. But with the addition of Desir, there will be enough competition to see how good the Seahawks can be at cornerback.

What you like about the signing of Desir is that he knows the Seahawks’ system. He was on the practice squad in 2016. He made it through the 2017 training camp but was released just prior to the season. He ended up going to Indianapolis and became a starter for three years. With the Colts, he played like a No. 1 cornerback. Last year he was with the New York Jets but they released him in November, and he ended up going to the Baltimore Ravens to finish out the season.

With the Colts, Desir played well enough to get a three-year, $22.5 million contract. His play dropped with the Jets, but you could say that about a lot of the Jets’ players. They were a mess. It will be interesting to see how he compares notes with former Jets safety Jamal Adams.

Desir brings experience from 43 starts in the NFL to the Seahawks. He also brings the perfect size dimensions. He’s 6 foot 1 and has 33-inch arms, and at 30 years old he’s still young enough to help. All of the sudden, the cornerback position will be one of the most competitive in training camp.

Had the Seahawks not added another cornerback in free agency, they might have had to consider taking one with their second-round pick in next week’s NFL Draft. The values around the 56th pick in the second round for the Seahawks are cornerbacks, tackles and wide receiver. Since coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider joined the Seahawks in 2010, they have never taken a cornerback higher than the third round.

The next mission for Seattle is to firm up the third receiver position. They might also look at a defensive tackle and a backup running back to replace Carlos Hyde.

The draft is a week away and keeps getting more interesting by the day.

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