Seahawks Takeaways: Signing of Phillip Dorsett has more meaning than just addressing a need

Mar 25, 2020, 12:56 AM
Reported new Seahawks WR Phillip Dorsett...
The reported addition of Phillip Dorsett is a classic example of Seattle's offseason M.O. (AP)

Pass rush is unquestionably the Seahawks’ greatest area of need this offseason, but inconsistencies there have dwarfed other issues, one of those being depth at wide receiver. The Seahawks’ reported signing of former first-round pick Phillip Dorsett doesn’t just address that need, it also highlights the Seahawks’ consistently patient approach to the offseason.

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That approach has left fans worried before. There’s no better illustration than the current wait for Jadeveon Clowney. To be honest, I wrote about the risk with that earlier this week. But it’s also resulted in draft steals (like Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, or more recently wide receiver DK Metcalf), big acquisitions on team-friendly trades (see: Jadeveon Clowney circa 2019), and a notable year where they turned the pass rush from a weakness into a strength (2013, when they signed both Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril).

Fans everywhere will call for their team to make a move for big-ticket players. That’s free agency. But that’s also rarely Seattle’s M.O. – with some exceptions, including a blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham in 2015. The model general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have stuck to throughout their tenure has been much more consistent with their last three signings: Two former first-round picks hoping for success with a new team (Dorsett and offensive lineman Chance Warmack), and a trade that sent a fifth-round pick in exchange for another team’s top cornerback (Quinton Dunbar).

When it doesn’t work out, the Seahawks inevitably face a wave of “I told you so’s” and doubt. When it does work out, though, Schneider and Carroll once again look like the smartest guys in the room.

What you need to know about WR Phillip Dorsett

The 27-year-old Dorsett is a shorter receiver at 5-foot-10 and has flashy speed – in addition to playing football in college, he also ran track at Miami. He’s fallen short of expectations as a pro, however. The Colts traded him to New England just two years after selecting him 29th overall. He finished his three-year stint with the Patriots with 881 yards and 8 touchdowns.

His signing adds much-needed depth at wide receiver, particularly behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.

Does this mean the Seahawks will move on from Josh Gordon?

Not necessarily. Gordon is still suspended and will have to be reinstated by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before he can have any communication with the Seahawks. In the meantime, the Seahawks addressed an area of need with a player who was available.

Related: Why Hawks would have ‘zero hesitation’ bringing back Gordon

It also doesn’t mean the Seahawks won’t take a receiver in this year’s draft. Jake Heaps stressed that point Tuesday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy, saying the COVID-19 pandemic might have played a role here.

“If you’re gonna have a condensed, shortened-down offseason, I think you’re better off going with a veteran receiver (than a rookie),” Heaps said. “You know his abilities and what he brings to the table versus going with a virtual unknown no matter how talented that unknown may be.”

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Stacy Rost on Twitter.

More Seahawks offseason coverage

Rost: What you need to know about Quinton Dunbar
Huard: Seahawks could see Dunbar and Griffin competing for payday
Clayton: Seahawks checking off offseason boxes with Dunbar, O-line
Groz: Seahawks telling familiar story in free agency, so why are some mad?
2020 offseason tracker: Signings, departures and more

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Seahawks Takeaways: Signing of Phillip Dorsett has more meaning than just addressing a need