It barely caused a ripple when the Seahawks waived undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Kemah Siverand on Tuesday, a transaction that seemed like one of a hundred run-of-the-mill moves NFL teams make every season.
But Siverand now figures to go down in Seahawks lore for the reason he was cut: He was caught trying to sneak a woman into the team hotel, a “crime” caught by a surveillance video.
Teams, of course, always have strict rules on curfew and visitors during training camp, but those are even stricter this year due to coronavirus protocols and the team sent a quick message to the rest of its players by cutting Siverand immediately.
And it’s worth remembering what’s atop coach Pete Carroll’s list of rules: “Protect the team.”
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero was first to report Siverand “was caught on video trying to sneak a female visitor into the team hotel.’’ A source confirmed the news to The Seattle Times.
Making things worse for Siverand: the lengths he took to try to sneak the woman in. According to Pelissero “the woman was wearing Seahawks gear in an attempt to disguise her as a player.’’ A further report by SI.com’s Albert Breer said she was specifically wearing a Seahawks hoodie pulled over her head.
As Pelissero concluded, “it did not work.’’
Cutting Siverand immediately, as Pelissero wrote, was designed by the team as “a clear message on the responsibility everyone has’’ in combating the virus.
“Put the team at risk, suffer the consequences,’’ he wrote.
Pelissero reported further that the league in July advised all teams that any visits had to have the approval of the team making it clear that no guests are allowed.
Asked about cutting Siverand during an interview Wednesday on Sports Radio 950 KJR, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll played it coy, saying “I would never talk about those kinds of stories. We handle that on the interior. No details to that.”
But Carroll has made clear the importance of players following the protocols, on Wednesday lauding the team’s efforts to date as Seattle has not had a player officially test positive for COVID-19 (receiver John Ursua ended up having a false positive test and was cleared to return to practice on Wednesday).
“We made it through and we’ve been very, very strict,’’ Carroll said. “ … Our guys have been really strict about it and leadership is really making a big deal to the younger guys.’’
But, as if to make the point that much more vividly, the Seahawks now need only tell the rest of the players the tale of Siverand.
Siverand was an extreme longshot to make the team, having been mostly a special-teams player during his final season at Oklahoma State last season after having begun his career at Texas A&M.
According to his Oklahoma State bio, Siverand “saw action in all 13 games, almost exclusively on special teams.’’
He signed a basic undrafted rookie free agent deal with Seattle following the draft which included a $2,000 bonus, the only guaranteed money in the contract.