RENTON – After five seasons as an Arizona Cardinal, wide receiver Early Doucet had to get used to the idea of crossing enemy lines.
“It’s kind of like one of those college rivals,” Doucet said, “but now I’m a Seahawk.”
The Cardinals released Doucet in March, an outcome Doucet said he had prepared for. He didn’t find a new team until Friday, though, when the Seahawks agreed to terms with him. NFL.com reported Doucet will sign a one-year contract with Seattle.
Arizona drafted Doucet in the third round of the 2008 draft. He had his best year in 2011, when he had career highs with 54 catches and 689 yards. It was the only season of his career in which he played more than 12 games.
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His production dipped last year when he caught 28 passes for 207 yards and no touchdowns. He’s a versatile receiver who can play inside or outside.
“I’m not even worrying about the past five years,” Doucet said. “I feel like I’m getting a fresh start to come in here and compete with the guys. That’s all I really asked for was a chance to come in here and compete. I’m not looking for them to give me anything. I want to earn everything that I get.”
Coach Pete Carroll called Doucet a “jack of all trades” and highlighted his play on special teams. But he also said the Seahawks need to see if and where Doucet fits.
Carroll said he would prefer not having Golden Tate return kicks, punts and play wide receiver. But with Tate pretty much a lock to return punts and Percy Harvin out at least three months, the Seahawks are still looking for other options to return kickoffs.
The candidates, according to Carroll: rookie running back Christine Michael, wide receiver Bryan Walters and cornerback Jeremy Lane, who Carroll said he would “love to see” because of his speed. The three joined cornerback Will Blackmon and Tate at the beginning of practice.
“We need to find out who the guys are who are going to back up at this time and then see who can vie to get it done,” Carroll said.
Walter Thurmond has had an impressive training camp so far and is battling with Antoine Winfield for the starting nickel spot. Thurmond has also rotated outside, but Carroll said Thurmond’s first priority is competing for the nickel job inside.
Injuries have limited Thurmond, a fourth-round draft pick out of Oregon in 2010, to just eight games over the last two years, although he has usually drawn positive reviews when he’s been healthy.
• Carroll singled out rookie defensive tackle Jesse Williams as a guy who stood out when Carroll went back and watched the team’s scrimmage from Friday.
“That’s the best he’s looked by far,” Carroll said. “He played really physical football and held the line of scrimmage well.”
Williams has had to miss time this training camp because of injuries.
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org