Veteran receiver Jordy Nelson is expected to make a visit to the Seahawks as he searches for a new team following his release from the Packers on Tuesday.
From the minute it was revealed Tuesday that receiver Jordy Nelson had been released by the Packers, rumors started that the Seahawks might be interested in signing him.
But the first report that Seattle will actually talk to Nelson came Wednesday in a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who said the Seahawks are one of three teams Nelson has lined up for visits. Schefter reported Nelson will visit the Raiders on Wednesday, then the Seahawks and then the Saints.
Nelson was released to clear out $10.2 million in cap space that the Packers needed to sign tight end Jimmy Graham after having spent the last 10 years with Green Bay, for whom he is the third-leading receiver in franchise history with 550 receptions for 7,848 yards and 69 touchdowns.
Nelson’s first two visits are each with teams now run by general managers who were with the Packers’ front office when he was drafted in the second round in 2008 — Oakland’s Reggie McKenzie and Seattle’s John Schneider.
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The question teams will have is how much Nelson has left. He will turn 33 in May and is coming off one of the worst statistical years of his career, notably a career-low 9.1 yards per reception average (though as has been often noted, he had drastically better numbers when Aaron Rodgers was healthy last season).
Still, not all are convinced that Nelson’s numbers last year were due solely to Rodgers’ absence. Wrote NFL.com: “Turning 33 this offseason, though, Nelson has lost the speed needed to consistently separate from cornerbacks. His yards-per-catch average has plummeted from 15.5 to 13.0 to 9.1 over his last three healthy seasons.”
Nelson, though, looked okay against Seattle last season catching seven passes for 79 yards and a 32-yard touchdown in Green Bay’s 17-9 season-opening win over the Seahawks at Lambeau Field.
For whichever team he signs, Nelson would likely be a one-year stopgap option, likely not commanding much of a salary.
But Seattle can use some receiving help after having lost Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson already — the two combined for 101 of Seattle’s 340 receptions last season and 16 of Russell Wilson’s 34 touchdown passes..
Murray turned 30 in February, and bringing in two players with significant tread on the tires for visits doesn’t necessarily keep with the idea that the Seahawks are looking to get younger.
But as with Nelson, Murray would also likely be a one-year stopgap signing for not a whole lot of money.
UPDATE — Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network and others reported Wednesday morning that tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will visit the Seahawks and then also has plans to visit the Jaguars.
Seferian-Jenkins is a native of Gig Harbor and is spending the offseason in the area so he won’t have to go far to get to the VMAC in Renton.
But while the allure of playing at home is obvious, Seferian-Jenkins is also sure to want to try to cash in as best he can having hit free agency following the best year of his career in 2017 with the New York Jets.
The tight end market, like a few other positions, has seen some players get some pretty big deals so far, including Graham again getting $10 million a year at age 31, the same amount he got four years ago from the Saints at age 27, and former Eagle Trey Burton getting what is essentially $8 million a year guaranteed from the Bears.
Seferian-Jenkins had 50 receptions for 357 yards in 2017 after having just 55 catches combined his first three seasons, and is regarded as the top free agent tight end left.