SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seahawks trade CB Ahkello Witherspoon to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Sep 3, 2021, 9:54 AM | Updated: 12:06 pm
Seahawks Ahkello Witherspoon...
Ahkello Witherspoon's stay with the Seahawks is reportedly over ahead of Week 1. (Getty)
(Getty)

The Seahawks brought in Ahkello Witherspoon to start at cornerback for the team in 2021, but instead, he’ll be playing for another playoff contender as Seattle has traded the fifth-year cornerback to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was the first to report the deal, and the Seahawks officially announced the trade shortly thereafter, announcing the team will receive a 2023 fifth-round pick as compensation.

Hawks Roundup: Flowers likely starting at CB, 2 new additions to roster

Witherspoon was a third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 and was an on again, off again starter for them on the perimeter as he was benched multiple times for lackluster play. He played in 47 games in four years for the 49ers, making 33 starts and recording four interceptions while breaking up 24 passes. He signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Seahawks in free agency.

Seattle lost Shaquill Griffin, also a third-round pick in 2017, as well as Quinton Dunbar, in free agency this past offseason. Those two were the Seahawks’ Week 1 starting cornerbacks in 2020.

With those two out of Seattle, Witherspoon was the favorite to start opposite D.J. Reed at outside cornerback. Reed, who also started his career with the 49ers, emerged as a key player for the Seahawks at outside cornerback in 2020 despite not meeting the Seahawks’ typical size requirements for perimeter corners (6-feet tall with 32-inch arms). Witherspoon, meanwhile, fit that mold as he’s 6-foot-3 with 33-inch arms.

Fourth-year corner Tre Flowers was essentially named a starter at right corner by head coach Pete Carroll earlier this week and Reed was moved to the left side, where Witherspoon had been playing. So instead of a Reed-Witherspoon combo, it appears it will be Reed and Flowers who are the starting duo for the Seahawks to start the year.

Seattle also recently acquired former UW standout Sidney Jones, who was a second-round pick in 2017 and has four interceptions in 31 games since entering the league.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

Longtime Seahawks LB K.J. Wright to sign with Las Vegas Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett...
Brandon Gustafson

Tyler Lockett on playing with Seahawks under Geno Smith, where offense must grow

Star Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett joined The Huddle on 710 ESPN Seattle to break down what QB Geno Smith brings to the table.
1 day ago
Seahawks Carson Wilson...
The Associated Press

Seahawks put Russell Wilson, Chris Carson on injured reserve

The Seahawks placed QB Russell Wilson and RB Chris Carson on IR Friday, a move that will keep both players out until at least mid-November.
2 days ago
Seahawks Alex Collins...
John Clayton

Clayton: Why banged-up, struggling Seahawks have a shot vs Steelers

The Seahawks will be without Russell Wilson and Chris Carson on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh Steelers has their own share of issues.
2 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith Russell Wilson...
The Associated Press

Geno Smith’s time arrives as he steps up for Seahawks

Geno Smith last started an NFL game four years ago, but what he’s learned along the way as a backup has taught him plenty as he’s bided his time waiting for another opportunity. And now it’s here
2 days ago
Seahawks Chris Carson...
Brent Stecker

Seahawks RB Chris Carson not yet cleared, ruled out for Week 6

The Seahawks' first game in a decade without Russell Wilson will also not feature top running back Chris Carson, who has a neck injury.
2 days ago
Seahawks Jamal Adams...
Brandon Gustafson

2 Takes: The most important Seahawks while Russell Wilson is out

With Russell Wilson out of action, Jake Heaps and Stacy Rost dive into who must step up for the Seahawks while he heals from finger surgery.
3 days ago
Seahawks trade CB Ahkello Witherspoon to the Pittsburgh Steelers