As the NFL’s “legal tampering’’ period to negotiate with impending free agents began Monday, the Seahawks made two moves to solidify their receiving corps for 2020, placing tenders on receiver David Moore and tight end Jacob Hollister, each restricted free agents.
Hollister got a second-round tender, meaning a salary of $3.2 million for the 2020 season and assuring that if he were to sign with another team the Seahawks would get a second-round choice back as compensation.
Moore, meanwhile, got an original-round tender, meaning a salary of $2.133 million in 2020 and that Seattle would get a seventh-round pick in return were Moore to sign with another team.
But because those moves had been widely expected, what for much of the day might have been more interesting were a few rumors that floated about a couple of other receivers, including one involving disgruntled Vikings veteran Stefon Diggs, who has topped the 1,000-yard mark each of the past two seasons but has seemed increasingly unhappy with the way he has been used in Minnesota.
Another involved Phillip Dorsett, most recently of the Patriots.
A tweet at mid-day by Diggs that “it’s time for a new beginning” and “somethings going to happen” sparked rumors of a possible trade, and because the Seahawks always seem to find themselves involved in everything, that also sparked rumors that maybe Seattle could be in the mix for Diggs, who is under contract through the 2023 season.
But by Monday night it was finally clear what Diggs was talking about — a trade to the Buffalo Bills — as ESPN reported details of a blockbuster deal in which Minnesota received four picks in return.
Still, Seattle is known to be looking for more playmakers for Wilson. Seattle had Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf as constant threats at receiver last season but otherwise saw no other player listed as a receiver make more than 17 catches.
If Seattle doesn’t want to pay a ton for a receiver, then Dorsett, who made $2.6 million last year with the Patriots, might make more sense as a possible veteran acquisition. ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that Seattle is among the teams showing some initial interest in Dorsett.
The 5-foot-10, 192-pounder had a career-high 33 receptions with the Colts in 2016 and 29 for 397 yards and five touchdowns last year with the Patriots.
This is regarded as an exceptionally deep draft at receiver, which especially for the Seahawks and their needs to likely spend big free-agent dollars on defense has led to the idea that they’d look for relatively inexpensive options at receiver.
But Seattle undoubtedly will add some receivers during the offseason.
Tendering Moore gives the Seahawks six receivers under contract/control for 2020 with the others being Lockett, Metcalf, John Ursua, Cody Thompson and Penny Hart. Restricted free agents have until April 17 to sign offer sheets from other teams. Malik Turner is an exclusive rights free agent meaning he will likely return as well.
Moore was a seventh-round choice out of East Central (Okla.) in 2017 and has 43 receptions for 746 yards and seven touchdowns over the past two seasons.
Jaron Brown was among the receivers Seattle tried as a third WR Last season but he is now an unrestricted free agent and considered as likely not to be back.
Seattle also had Josh Gordon on the roster for a while last season to fill that role but he was indefinitely suspended in December for violating the league’s substances of abuse policy.
Hollister’s return, meanwhile, would seem to solidify Seattle’s tight end position with the team having signed veteran Greg Olsen last month to a one-year deal worth up to $7 million and expecting to have Will Dissly back from an Achilles injury in time for the beginning of the regular season. The Seahawks also have indicated they might re-sign free agent Luke Willson.
Hollister was acquired from the Patriots for a seventh-round choice last April and ended up playing a key role at an injury-depleted position, making 41 catches, third-most on the team behind only Lockett and Metcalf, for 349 yards and three touchdowns.
- ESPN’s Anderson also reported the Seahawks are among the teams showing interest in free agent safety Damarious Randall, and that of the teams showing interest in Randall, Seattle is one of three he would “most likely entertain.” The others being the Raiders and Washington.
Randall is a five-year vet who played at Arizona State and was a first-round choice of the Packers in 2015 — Seattle was among the teams to have him in for a predraft visit that year. He made $9 million last year with the Browns, who had picked up his fifth-year option as a first-round pick. He had sort of a rough 2019 season, missing four games with a hamstring injury and ejected from another. But Seattle might view him as a potential fit as a nickel corner, or as competition on the outside. Randall played outside corner and nickel corner for the Packers from 2015-17 before he was traded to Cleveland.
- The NFL informed teams Monday night that offseason training programs will not start as planned and are delayed indefinitely. Seattle’s offseason program was scheduled to start April 20.