CB Justin Coleman has carved out role with Seahawks, but will he be back?
Seahawks cornerback Justin Coleman is one of 14 Seattle players hitting free agency this March. He won’t be among the players receiving the biggest spotlight – that’ll instead be defensive end Frank Clark, linebacker K.J. Wright, and safety Earl Thomas – but Coleman’s departure would certainly have big impact on Seattle’s defense.
Coleman, who finished the year with a career-high 55 tackles and 10 passes defended, one interception, and one touchdown, received the fourth-highest grade in the NFC West from Pro Football Focus. His past two years with Seattle have been the most productive of his career; the 25-year-old has a combined 90 tackles, 19 passes defended, three interceptions, three touchdowns, and two sacks.
“It’ll be curious to see whether or not he’s a guy – like Earl Thomas and like K.J. Wright – that others pay big money for,” Brock Huard said in his Blue 42 segment of Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle.
“Was he the best cover guy for the Seahawks last year? I think he was. Now, it’s a little bit easier when you’re covering in the nickel than when you’re at the perimeter like Tre Flowers and obviously Shaquill Griffin. It’s a more isolated area. You’re going up against slot receivers or tight ends or other folks there. So it’s an easier job to do. But yes, I think he was overall their best cover corner. I think that grade is appropriate.
“He’s been a very solid nickel. And remember: that is a spot that, once Byron Maxwell left, it was a little bit like the left tackle position. It was a revolving door. There were a lot of guys that they tried to fill that spot. And Jeremy Lane got injured and couldn’t do it. We saw another half-dozen guys they’ve tried. They even traded for people to try to fit that role. Justin’s really been the one to own it the last couple years and I, for one, would love to see a deal with him get done. Something obviously team-friendly and favorable, that doesn’t break the bank. But I think he’s a piece that you would miss. That when he’s gone, you’d realize, ‘Oh, that’s right, that position used to be on lockdown the last couple years.’ I’d really like to see him back.”
Bringing Coleman back, though, became trickier last week when the Ravens’ signed Tavon Young to a three-year, $25.8 million extension, making him the league’s highest-paid nickel corner.
Listen to Huard’s full Blue 42 segment in the audio clip embedded above.