Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane says his number one preference is to remain in Seattle but that he is ready for whatever happens during free agency.
One of the more interesting of the Seahawks’ potential free agents is cornerback Jeremy Lane.
Lane has technically started just six games in four years as a Seahawk.
But while not officially a starter most of the time after coming back from injury in 2015, Lane was a key to Seattle finishing a fourth straight season as the NFL’s best defense, returning to health in time for the Nov. 29 game against Pittsburgh and playing regularly the rest of the way as both an inside and an outside corner along with DeShawn Shead,
Lane can now be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins March 9, unlike Shead, who is an exclusive rights free agent, and as such will almost certainly be back. With Richard Sherman back as one corner, Shead likely back as another, and the likes of Tharold Simon, Tye Smith and Mohammed Seisay still in the fold, the Seahawks could easily let Lane walk if he gets any kind of a significant offer.
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Appearing on the Sirius XM Blitz show Thursday, Lane said that while he hopes to be back with the Seahawks, he will have to consider all offers.
“Oh yeah, of course, if the situation was right I would love to go back to the Seahawks,’’ he said. “They were the team to give me my first opportunity to showcase my skills in the NFL (drafting him in the sixth round in 2012 out of Northwestern State in Louisiana) and I appreciate them. They would be my number one choice I would go to if they were the right choice for me and my family.’’
The last part of that statement is the key one, though.
While Lane may like to be back with the Seahawks, and Seattle might like to have him back, the nature of free agency could well lead him elsewhere.
Lane suffered an ACL injury and a broken wrist after making an interception in the Super Bowl against New England, injuries that to Lane might only reinforce the temporary nature of NFL life.
In Thursday’s interview, Lane said that knowing he could be a free agent at the end of the season helped motivate him during his rehab process.
“That’s why I was training so hard to get back as quickly as possible to show the NFL that I was capable of being pretty good,’’ he said.
Lane likely did just that, with the Seahawks going 5-1 after his return, allowing 13 points or less in four of those games, a stretch that began when the team released veteran Cary Williams, who was no longer needed once Lane returned.
Lane’s success with the Seahawks assures he will get offers. What will be interesting to try to assess, though, is whether the struggles of former Seahawk Byron Maxwell in his first year in Philadelphia will cause teams to wonder whether Seahawks cornerbacks can be successful outside of Seattle. As such, Lane could be an interesting test case, and the conclusions of other teams on that topic could go a long way toward determining whether there is any chance he is back in Seattle.
Lane said he is ready for whatever comes next.
“It’s not as bad as it was coming out of college,’’ he said of the uncertainty of knowing what will come next.. “I’m excited about the process. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I did pretty well while I was with the Seahawks and I’m just back in Texas (he’s a native of Tyler, Texas) just enjoying the process.’’