The Seahawks have brought back Byron Maxwell to take the place of Richard Sherman as a cornerback on the team's 53-man roster.
The Seahawks are dipping into their past to fill out their cornerback depth as ESPN and the NFL Network reported Monday that Seattle will sign Byron Maxwell to take the roster spot that will be created by putting Richard Sherman on Injured Reserve.
Sherman ruptured his Achilles in Thursday’s 22-16 win at Arizona and will have surgery this week that will knock him out for the season.
An official announcement of Maxwell’s signing, which was confirmed to the Seattle Times, will likely come before the team returns to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon — players were given the weekend off following the Arizona game. Sherman will have to be put on IR first to open up the roster spot.
Maxwell became a founding member of the Legion of Boom as a Seahawk from 2011-14 before signing as a free agent with the Eagles and then being traded a year later to Miami. He was released by Miami late last month after playing just two games this season, having been benched and also dealing with a hamstring issue.
Maxwell, a Clemson grad who was a sixth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2011, arrived in Seattle Sunday and had a meeting with the Seahawks Monday and has agreed to a one-year deal, according to reports. It is expected Maxwell will sign for the veteran minimum (a pro-rated share of $900,000, in his case, or just over $370,000 for the rest of the season, as well as potentially a bonus of no more than $80,000) since Miami had to give him the rest of his salary of $8.5 million for this year as termination pay.
Maxwell’s signing will again give Seattle five cornerbacks, joining Jeremy Lane, Shaquill Griffin, Justin Coleman and Neiko Thorpe, with Sherman out of the rest of the year.
While the Seahawks were also exploring other options, reuniting with a player who knows the system already is vital with only seven games remaining.
Maxwell, 29, started 17 regular season games for the Seahawks in 2013-14 and all three post-season games in 2013 as the Seahawks went on to win the Super Bowl then became a free agent following the 2014 season and signed a six-year deal with the Eagles for up to $63 million.
The question now is just how the cornerback spot will unfold the rest of the season.
Lane replaced Sherman at left cornerback for the rest of the Arizona game Thursday and he could stay there with Griffin at the right cornerback spot. Coleman has been the nickel but Lane was starting there at the beginning of the season, as well. The team could leave things as is with Maxwell in a reserve role to start out or could throw Maxwell into the mix as a potential starter — a starting three in the nickel of Griffin, Maxwell and Lane might make sense down the road. Most likely Seattle would stick with Griffin/Lane/Coleman as the top three corners for now while seeing what they have again in Maxwell during practice.
Regardless, the biggest immediate issue for Seattle was filling out the depth with Sherman out, especially with Atlanta and Matt Ryan and Julio Jones coming to town Monday.
The move also comes as coach Pete Carroll sounded pessimistic about the chances of DeShawn Shead — who started at right cornerback last season — making it back this season.
The team has until Nov. 21 to declare Shead as back to practice. If not, then he would be done for the year. Even if he returns to practice he would likely need a few weeks of practice before being ready — Seattle would have three weeks from when Shead would return to then either put him on the 53-man roster or on Injured Reserve.
Shead is attempting to come back from an ACL injury suffered last January in the divisional playoffs against Atlanta.
Carroll said on his weekly radio show on ESPN 710 Seattle Monday that Shead is not yet ready to return.
“He’s at a bit of a plateau now that he’s trying to get through and over,’’ Carroll said. “And that just remains to be seen. He is doing everything he possibly can. … he’s in great shape. He can run forever. He can do everything, but he’s just not quite back yet fully yet where he has all the movement and extension that he needs. So until that’s safe he’s still working at it.’’