Seahawks Roundup: Flowers likely starting at CB, 2 new additions to roster
The Seahawks kick off their regular season on the road one week from Sunday and there’s already plenty of roster news and injury updates to catch fans up on.
Here’s what you need to know from this week:
K.J. Wright signs with the Raiders
Wright, a fan favorite and veteran leader who had spent the entirety of his decade-long career with Seattle, signed a one-year deal with the Raiders Thursday.
The signing ended a curiously long free agency for Wright. He’s an older player at 32 and dealt with a knee injury in 2018 but was still producing for the Seahawks. He finished with a career-high 132 tackles in 2019 and tallied 11 tackles for loss last season, which was his most since 2016.
It’s worth asking, then, whether moving on from him was the right choice for Seattle. It’s one that made sense on one end; the Seahawks used a first-round pick on one linebacker in 2019 and a second-round pick on a pass rusher in 2020 who can also play strongside. That’s a lot of draft capital, and it’s also two younger, cheaper, and faster options on the outside.
Wright had also been a model of consistency for the Seahawks, which is why moving on from him presents the risk that comes with moving on from anything familiar: there’s always a chance your new, untested option doesn’t work out. In this case, that’s Darrell Taylor.
Taylor finished the preseason with five tackles and one-and-a-half sacks and, most importantly, got out of training camp healthy. But he has yet to play a single snap in the regular season. Moving on from Wright was a gamble – one that every single team makes as it moves on from its most tenured talent – but it will take a few weeks before we figure out whether it paid off.
Tre Flowers is (probably) your Week 1 starter
Full disclosure: I wrote last week that Ahkello Witherspoon and D.J. Reed should project as the starters at left corner and right corner, respectively, in Week 1. That was for two reasons: first, Reed won the job from Flowers last season on the right side, and secondly, that was the pairing for quite a few first-team reps during the early part of camp.
But earlier this week, D.J. Reed moved to the left side, where Witherspoon was competing. That left Flowers as the starter on the right, something Pete Carroll hinted at during a Wednesday press conference.
“Tre had such a good camp,” Carroll said. “He just battled every day and did a great job. And when you let guys compete sometimes you don’t know how it’s going to turn out, that’s the whole idea. I thought Tre had a fantastic camp and that’s why he gets a chance on the right side.”
Flowers told reporters he focused on finishing plays this offseason with a trainer in Atlanta and in Arizona.
“He’s much more comfortable making plays on the ball, which was great to see,” Carroll said.
That now means Witherspoon is competing with Reed on the left side, with Reed as the presumed starter. New Seahawks corner (and former Husky) Sidney Jones can play either side.
(Update 9:30 a.m.: The Seahawks are trading Witherspoon to the Pittsburgh Steelers)
Your two newest Seahawks: C Dakoda Shepley and CB Nigel Warrior
The Seahawks claimed two players off waivers this week: center Dakoda Shepley (49ers) and cornerback Nigel Warrior (Ravens). Warrior (6 foot 1, 196 pounds) signed with Baltimore as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee in 2020.
Shepley previously played in the CFL, but signed with the 49ers last August when the CFL cancelled its season. A random fact: he signed up to be an extra in Deadpool 2 and was later cast for the role of Omega Red.
Seahawks center Dakoda Shepley, claimed off waivers Wednesday, had a minor role in the 2018 film Deadpool 2. Here he was explaining how that came about: pic.twitter.com/bwP8LS4J04
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) September 2, 2021
TE Colby Parkinson is running, but isn’t ready to practice fully
Tight end Colby Parkison (foot) is running, but Carroll said trainers are moving carefully to avoid a setback.
There’s good and bad news with rookie corner Tre Brown.
The bad news is that he remains sidelined with a sprained knee and there’s no current timetable for his return. The good news is that it doesn’t sound too serious.
One interesting note here: Carroll said that as camp progressed, he was open-minded about Brown competing for starting reps. That effort has been halted with this injury, but it’s a position battle that becomes even more interesting with his inevitable return.