The Seahawks have signed a safety and extended another, and added two more in last year's NFL draft. So does this all mean something is imminent with Earl Thomas?
The Seahawks’ signing of former Rams safety Maurice Alexander became official on Saturday.
And while maybe the team just wants to add depth at a position of importance in Pete Carroll’s defense, it’s hard to overlook that the Seahawks appear to be loading up on safeties as rumors continue to swirl about the future of Earl Thomas.
Seattle’s most expensive signing so far during the free agency period is the three-year, $13.9 million deal it gave on Monday to keep Bradley McDougald in the fold.
The Seahawks brought Alexander in for a visit shortly after he was waived last October but he did not sign then and did not play for any other team the rest of the season.
Alexander started 14 games at free safety in 2016 under head coach Jeff Fisher before being moved to strong safety last year under new coach Sean McVay. He was inactive for Seattle’s 16-10 win over the Rams last year in Los Angeles and then waived the following week.
At a listed 6-1, 220, Alexander would seem to fit the mold of a strong safety in Seattle’s offense — McDougald, who is listed at 6-1, 209, can also play both free and strong, starting two games at free safety for Seattle last year and the final seven at strong after Kam Chancellor was lost for the season.
The signings of McDougald and Alexander give Seattle two experienced safeties with that position in a continued state of uncertainty with it unclear if Chancellor will ever be able to play again due to a nerve/neck issue and continued rumblings that the team is dangling Thomas in trade talks.
Seattle also drafted two safeties last year in Delano Hill (groomed to be a strong safety) and Tedric Thompson (free safety). Seattle on Friday also re-signed free agent Akeem King, who has played both corner and safety but at a listed 6-3, 212 undoubtedly has the kind of safety size Pete Carroll likes.
So does this all mean something is imminent with Thomas?
Maybe it just means the Seahawks are adding to the depth at an important position, and sending another strong sign that they don’t expect Chancellor to return, even if his contract basically means he has to be kept on the roster in some manner through the rest of the season.
It may take a few more days to sort all of that out.
What does appear clear is Alexander getting a chance to restart his career with the Seahawks.
Alexander played two years at Utah State and in 2011 was a teammate of Bobby Wagner and Robert Turbin.
Alexander was drafted by the Rams in the fourth round in 2014 and gained some renown for his tale of having worked as a janitor at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis in 2012 when he was not a member of the Utah State football team after being charged with aggravated assault following a fight with a teammate and then spending 45 days in jail (Alexander lists St. Louis as his hometown and attended Eureka High where he was also a wrestling and track star).
He was initially regarded as one of the Rams’ best special teams players — a trait that undoubtedly is also attractive to the Seahawks — before breaking into the starting lineup in 2016 when he had 50 tackles and two interceptions.
Exactly how and where he will fit into Seattle’s plans remains to be seen. But his signing undoubtedly raises a lot of intriguing questions.