STACY ROST

Rost: 3 Seahawks veterans with young players hot on their tail

May 23, 2023, 10:07 AM | Updated: 10:08 am

Seahawks Dee Eskridge...

Dee Eskridge celebrates a touchdown in a preseason game on August 26, 2022. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

(Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks have been able to replenish their roster with a successful 2022 draft and what looks to be a promising 2023 class. But with a batch of new, talented rookies comes the reality of competition – one that, in several position groups, could leave a handful of veterans on the outside looking in.

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Beginning during this week’s OTAs, three vets will find themselves looking over their shoulder at first- and second-year players hot on their tail:

Guard Phil Haynes and Center Evan Brown

Neither Haynes nor Brown are in serious danger of losing a spot on the roster, especially with a Seattle team that tries to pack O-line depth. Seattle has already issued a vote of confidence with both players; the team released the pricier Gabe Jackson to hang onto the younger and cheaper Haynes, with whom Jackson split reps last year. They also signed Brown as an experienced vet to replace the center role vacated by Austin Blythe.

Joining the group are drafted rookies Anthony Bradford and Olu Oluwatimi. Seattle had stellar seasons from two rookie tackles last year and would probably love to get a young group that can grow together. But left tackle Charles Cross was the ninth overall pick and was always going to be a Day 1 starter. It’s a tougher battle for a pair of Day 3 picks, but both have an opportunity to earn the nod this summer.

Wide Receiver Dee Eskridge

The former second-round pick had plenty of potential as a speedy No. 3 option, but he saw his career sidelined early with a concussion that required a lengthy recovery (including treatment to address complications with his vision).

In two seasons, Eskridge has 17 receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown. He may still carry untapped potential, but each passing season brings new faces. Added to the competition last year was Dareke Young, while this year brings No. 20 overall pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who will take over as WR3 behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Eskridge has two years remaining on his rookie contract, and could well have a spot (Seattle last year broke camp with six receivers). But Young and a number of unrestricted free agents could be pushing for reps.

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