Questions about Kevin Norwood, Paul Richardson and trading up in this edition of the mailbag.
Q: Via email, a reader asks, “Can you tell me if there is any talk on Kevin Norwood? Will he still be a Seahawk next year?”
A: Norwood, a fourth-round pick out of Alabama, was a rookie last season, and as such, he is still under contract through the 2017 season. So he’ll be a Seahawk as long as he makes the team.
Norwood had a mixed bag of a rookie season. He slowed early with foot surgery, and then after making a few big plays down the stretch, he was inactive for two of the three playoff games — including the Super Bowl, which he missed simply due to numbers (it was not a health thing). He finished the season with nine receptions for 102 yards and no touchdowns. One thing that hurt Norwood was special teams. Chris Matthews, recall, had already sort of passed Norwood on the receiver depth chart with his special-teams play and then made a big receiving contribution in the Super Bowl. Bryan Walters and Ricardo Lockette also had well-defined special-teams roles that had them active throughout the playoffs. (Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse were the other two receivers.)
All of those mentioned above except Walters return. Also, rookie Paul Richardson (more on him below) is coming off of ACL surgery and it’s unclear exactly when he will be back. So there’s a potential role for Norwood if he can earn it. But that will be the key. Seattle is likely to add to its receiving corps in the draft and rookie free agency, at the least (and has made some additions already, such as former Husky Kevin Smith, whose special-teams potential really intrigues the Seahawks).
So Norwood will definitely be there when camp begins. Then it will be all about forging a role for himself in 2015.
Q: @swnamark asks: “Paul Richardson. Will he play in 2015?”
A: At the moment, there’s no reason to think he can’t — but it’s also unlikely to come at the beginning of the season.
Richardson suffered an ACL injury in the playoff game against Carolina on Jan. 10 and had surgery a short time later. ACL injuries require a 9- to 10-month rehab — there’s really no way around that. Assume nine months starting in February, and that puts Richardson ready to go at the end of October. Maybe he can recover more quickly. But the fact that this is his second ACL injury tends to make one think they would err on the side of caution.
So, I would expect Richardson to begin the year on the Physically Unable to Perform list and then go from there.
All of this, of course, is barring a setback. At the NFL meetings last month, coach Pete Carroll said Richardson was on course.
By the way, one of the best sources on this for now may be Richardson himself, via his Twitter page. He tends to post updates (if admittedly brief, given the confines of Twitter).
Q: @drew_skie24 asks: “With 11 draft picks, think if someone we wanted in first is there early in second round, we trade up? Like OGB (I’m assuming this is a reference to Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham) or others?
A: My standard when asked if the Seahawks “could” make a move remains the same — I never rule out anything, as the Pete Carroll/John Schneider team has surprised us time and again. I know there have been some rumors about them targeting Green-Beckham. But rumors this time of year need to be taken with a Mount Rainier-sized grain of salt. And it’s worth remembering that Seattle’s M.O. is to trade down to get more picks — something they have done regularly during the Schneider/Carroll era (including last year, when they turned six picks into nine).
But as you say, with 11 picks, maybe this would be a time when the Seahawks might decide to alter that strategy and use some to move up if they see a player they really like.
At 6’6″, 225 (or 237 or so, as he was at the Combine) Green-Beckham is no doubt one of the most intriguing players in the draft. But I guess it’s worth wondering if Seattle might feel like it has its big receiver needs filled now with the trade for Jimmy Graham as well as the emergence of Matthews.