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Clayton: How CB Tramaine Brock’s addition impacts the Seahawks

Aug 17, 2017, 6:00 AM | Updated: 9:37 am
The Seahawks signed former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock to an advantageous contract. (AP)...
The Seahawks signed former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock to an advantageous contract. (AP)
(AP)

Seahawks training camp got more interesting with the signing of cornerback Tramaine Brock.

What might seem like a minor addition is a major one for the Seahawks. The team had him visit in April and wanted to sign him and compete for a starting job.

Brock became available when the San Francisco 49ers released him earlier in April after a domestic allegation surfaced. He had 31 starts in the past two years, and according to sources, the 49ers had been talking about a contract extension in the range of $9 million a year. Brock signed a one-year, $980,000 contract with Seattle that counts $695,000 against the cap, a bargain considering the 49ers wanted to give him decent starting money.

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Brock is a solid corner and had been getting better each year. Talking to his former 49ers teammate Michael Wilhoite, who signed with the Seahawks this offseason, Brock would be a good addition to the defense because he’s a good tackler and decent coverage corner.

Last year, Brock was on the field for 1,107 plays. He was one of three corners in the NFL to see at least that many plays and surrender fewer than 50 percent completions. Quarterbacks threw on him 85 times and had only 41 completions for 698 yards.

His arrival creates some interesting scenarios for the Seahawks. Despite arriving in camp right before the second preseason game, don’t discount his chances to become one of the top three corners on the team.

At 5 foot 10 and 197 pounds, Brock doesn’t have the perfect dimensions that Pete Carroll likes as an outside corner, but he gives the team plenty of flexibility. They could use Jeremy Lane as an outside right corner when they go with three corners and put Brock in the slot. They could also flip-flop both and play Brock outside and keep Lane in the slot.

Brock buys time for Shaquill Griffin to learn the cornerback position, so he doesn’t have to be rushed into the starting lineup. Watching Griffin play, you can see he’s already ahead of where other rookies might be. His footwork looks good and he appears to be a hard cornerback to throw against.

If you are wondering about how the Brock addition affects Lane, eliminate the thought of Lane being cut. His base salary of $4 million is guaranteed, so cutting him really isn’t an option. But it could be an option to trade him if Brock does well and the team feels confident about Griffin and the rest of the depth at cornerback.

During the four-month wait for Brock, the Seahawks did their due diligence as it pertains to his domestic violence charge, which he was cleared of earlier this month. The team was so thorough that it wasn’t going to sign him until it heard from Brock’s girlfriend and she confirmed there was no physical abuse. Once the team got that information, it signed him.

With DeShawn Shead on the Physically Unable to Perform list, cornerback was considered one of the thinnest positions on the team going into the season. All of the sudden, the position is deep again.

Want more John Clayton? Listen on-demand to his weekday and Saturday shows as well as his “Cold Hard Facts” and “Clayton’s Morning Drive” segments on 710 ESPN Seattle. Also, check out his all-new “Schooled” podcast and look for his columns twice a week on 710Sports.com.

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