Seahawks re-sign Dewey McDonald, adding to LB stockpile
The Seahawks have added to what has become a stockpile of linebackers by re-signing Dewey McDonald, who was an exclusive-rights free agent.
That move was listed on the NFL’s Monday transaction report along with Seattle’s signings of linebackers Michael Wilhoite and Terence Garvin, unrestricted free agents who agreed to terms with the Seahawks last week. A third UFA linebacker, Arthur Brown, signed with Seattle earlier in free agency.
McDonald, 26, appeared in 14 games for Seattle last season after the Seahawks acquired him in a trade from Oakland on the day teams set their initial 53-man rosters. He recorded eight tackles and a pass breakup, with most of his playing time coming on special teams. His 278 special-teams snaps were fourth most on the Seahawks, according to Pro Football Reference.
McDonald’s re-signing adds more depth at linebacker, a position coach Pete Carroll identified at the end of the season as one the Seahawks wanted to solidify behind starters Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Wilhoite and perhaps Brown figure to have a shot to replace Mike Morgan, an unrestricted free agent who remains unsigned, as the starter on the strong side.
The other linebackers on Seattle’s roster are Kevin Pierre-Louis and Ronald Powell. Seven linebackers is likely one or two more than the Seahawks will keep during the regular season, so that could be one of the more competitive position groups, especially if Seattle adds to it in next month’s draft.
Exclusive-rights free agents are those with fewer than the three accrued seasons needed to qualify for restricted free agency. McDonald was not listed among the ERFAs who weren’t tendered by Seattle, so he was presumably tendered a one-year deal by the Seahawks. The minimum 2017 salary for a player of McDonald’s service time is $690,000.