Five Seahawks who could make runs at 53-man roster spots in 2017 include cornerback Mohammed Seisay and fullback Brandon Cottom.
The allure of the new is in part what feeds the excitement of free agency.
But as the Seahawks prepare for the free agent signing period, which begins March 9, it’s worth remembering some of the recently-acquired or under-the-radar players on their current roster who could help answer some of their perceived questions.
Here’s a look at five players who were not part of Seattle’s 53-man roster at any point last season who could be legit options in 2017.
FB/TE Brandon Cottom: Cottom has played both tight end and fullback during training camp and practice squad stints with the Seahawks the last two seasons. He appeared to be making a real run at a roster spot at fullback early in camp last season before suffering an Achilles tendon injury, which then precipitated to the merry-go-round at the spot of bringing in Jonathan Amosa and using Tani Tupou and bringing back Will Tukuafu and ultimately settling on Marcel Reece late in the season. Cottom is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent, so bringing him back is a formality assuming the team wants him to return. And if healthy, Cottom would figure to again be a contender at fullback. And how seriously the team thinks Cottom can factor into that equation could go a long way toward determining how many other fullbacks the Seahawks decide they need around. Which leads us to the next player on our list. …
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FB Malcolm Johnson: Johnson had two practice squad stints with the Seahawks last season, signed after he was cut by the Browns, where he had played in 19 games in 2015 and 2016 after being taken in the sixth round of the 2015 draft out of Mississippi State. Johnson played a hybrid tight end/H-back-type role for much of his college career, making 79 receptions, before being moved to fullback with the Browns. The Seahawks could well view Johnson and Cottom as an able-enough competition at fullback (along with Tre Madden, who was used there during camp before being injured and placed on IR) which could mean no real need — and certainly possibly no urgency — to re-sign Reece and Tukuafu, who are both unrestricted free agents but also are 31 and 33 years old, respectively, with Tukuafu coming off a season-ending concussion.
CB Demetrius McCray: McCray was signed in January after not being on a roster last season following his release by the Jaguars in August. A seventh-round pick of the Jags in 2013, he started 16 games for Jacksonville in three seasons, which under former Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley ran a similar system to that of the Seahawks. He had 12 starts in 2014 when according to Pro Football Focus he was fourth in the NFL in fewest coverage yards allowed per snap behind only Chris Harris, Richard Sherman and Josh Norman. He fell off in 2015 and then lost his spot in a secondary that included first-round pick Jalen Ramsey in 2016. The Seahawks are obviously eager to see if they can get the 6-2, 187-pounder to return to his 2014 level of play. And if so, he could well be a factor in the cornerback competition next summer.
OT Robert Myers: A fifth-round pick of the Ravens in 2015, Myers bounced around in 2015 on the practice squads of the Ravens and Colts and then was signed late in the year by Denver, and was a part of the Broncos’ 53-man roster throughout their run to the Super Bowl 50 title (though he never played in any games). Waived by Denver in the cutdown to 53 before last season he was then signed shortly after by the Seahawks and spent the season on the practice squad (and then on the practice squad IR) and was then re-signed in January. Generally used as a guard earlier in his career, the Seahawks have listed him as a tackle and appear to view him specifically as a right tackle, with a thought that he could become a legit contender for a roster spot in 2017 on a line where there figures to be lots of competition.
CB Mohammed Seisay: The Seahawks thought enough of Seisay — whose 6-2, 202 measurements are right in line with the size the team likes — to trade a sixth-round pick to Detroit for him early in camp in 2015, a time when Seattle also suddenly had some depth issues at cornerback. They’ve seen little of Seisay since then as he suffered a shoulder in a pre-season game in 2015 that landed him on IR, and then an Achilles injury in the off-season last spring that again landed him on IR. Like Cottom, he’s an Exclusive Rights Free Agent so Seattle can easily keep him in the fold, and undoubtedly will to try see if Seisay can fulfill some of the promise they saw in him in 2015 and get into the competition at cornerback, where DeShawn Shead’s injury means there will some opportunity to make an impact next summer.