Bumpus: What Seahawks are losing with Ryan Neal, who can replace him

Apr 6, 2023, 1:31 PM

Seahawks Ryan Neal...

Seahawks safety Ryan Neal reacts to a stop against the Giants at Lumen Field on Oct. 30, 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

(Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks made an interesting move early in free agency by signing safety Julian Love to a notable two-year contract, and a few weeks later, the team moved on from a consistent player at that position.

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That would be Ryan Neal, a backup who was thrust into starting action each of the last three years due in large part to injuries to strong safety Jamal Adams.

The Seahawks used a right of first refusal tender on Neal early in free agency, which seemed to be a sign he’d stay in Seattle. But the Hawks rescinded that tender a few days ago and Neal quickly signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he’s expected to be a starter.

Why did the Seahawks rescind their tender to safety Ryan Neal?

During Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports, former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus broke down what the Seahawks are losing with Neal now in Tampa Bay.

“He played 330 snaps in the box last year, 227 at free safety, 102 in the slot. He finished with 66 tackles, a sack, an interception and six pass breakups, and he also played special teams. This dude played everywhere,” Bumpus said. ” … You’re just missing a very versatile player – now, they have that in Julian Love – but you’re also missing a guy who brings positivity and a hunger to the team.

“Everyone has that to some extent, but it’s just different with Ryan Neal because his path is a bit different than the guys who are on this defense. You’re just missing a versatile guy.”

How can Seattle Seahawks replace Ryan Neal?

The Seahawks have a very good safety trio in Love, Adams and Pro Bowl free safety Quandre Diggs, but Bumpus thinks they need to add to that position group. He’d like for them to do that in the draft with one specific player: J.L. Skinner from Boise State.

“He’s a physical type of dude, he’s versatile as well,” Bumpus said. “He’s just the type of safety that these guys want. He’s 6 foot 4, 209 pounds? Goodness gracious.”

Listen to the full second hour of Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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