Heaps’ 2 burning Seahawks training camp questions: Adams and Witherspoon

Jul 20, 2021, 12:24 PM
Seahawks CB Ahkello Witherspoon...
Jake Heaps thinks Ahkello Witherspoon can be the Seahawks' No. 1 cornerback. (Getty)

Seahawks rookies reported to the team facility on Tuesday and training camp will begin next Wednesday.

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Training camp is obviously an exciting time as key roster battles will be decided and it means the beginning of the regular season is right around the corner.

For former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps, he will be looking for answers to two key questions during this year’s Seahawks training camp. He shared his thoughts on Monday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy.

His first question he needs answered, he said, is “really easy.”

“No. 1 is Jamal Adams and his contract, which then leads into his participation in practice,” Heaps said. “That to me is No. 1.”

In his first year with the Seahawks in 2020, Adams earned Second-Team All-Pro honors as well as a Pro Bowl nod. He also set an NFL record for most sacks in a single season by a defensive back with 9.5, and he did so in just 12 games.

Now, Adams is entering the final year of his rookie deal and he is looking for a long-term contract extension from the Seahawks, who gave up two first-round picks, a third-round pick and safety Bradley McDougald last offseason for Adams and a fourth-round draft selection.

Heaps “fully expects” the two sides to come to an agreement on a new deal at some point, but he is worried about how long that process may take and the impact that could have on the team.

“How long does it take through training camp? Does it go all the way into September?” Heaps asked. “And how does that impact Jamal Adams’ participation in training camp? I have to imagine no deal, no practice for Jamal Adams. And that is something that this team cannot afford. They have to have Jamal Adams practicing with this team. They are not established as a defense yet to be able to afford not having Jamal Adams practice.”

Heaps’ second key question also involves Seattle’s secondary, but instead of the safety position, he’s looking at the cornerback room, specifically a newcomer to the Seahawks this season.

“And No. 2: Can Akhello Witherspoon establish himself as cornerback No. 1?” Heaps said.

Witherspoon, a 2017 third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks in free agency this offseason and is one of many cornerbacks competing for the two starting spots.

And something important to note is that Heaps questioned if Witherspoon could be Seattle’s No. 1 cornerback, and not the No. 2 corner opposite presumed starter D.J. Reed, who played very well for the Seahawks down the stretch last season.

“Ahkello Witherspoon’s upside and ceiling screams cornerback No. 1 as your best cornerback on this roster,” HEaps said. “Can he overcome his injuries? Can he establish himself as that guy? If he can, that will be a huge win for this team and will make that group significantly improved from where we’re viewing it on paper right now.”

Listen to the second hour of Monday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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