The Seahawks took care of more housekeeping Tuesday as the NFL draft draws closer, re-signing veteran free agents Luke Willson and Mike Iupati, and signing Branden Jackson to his restricted-free-agent tender.
The Seahawks also announced that offensive lineman Jordan Roos has signed his exclusive-rights, free-agent tender. And completing a bevy of moves, the Seahawks also claimed defensive back Linden Stephens off waivers from Miami.
Stephens was on Seattle’s practice squad for much of last season before being signed by Miami late in the year and appearing in three games with the Dolphins as a cornerback. The 6-foot, 193-pounder made three tackles while playing 30 snaps on defense and 25 on special teams for Miami last year. That Seattle claimed Stephens was reported on the official NFL transactions for Tuesday.
Willson tweeted before the free-agent signing period began in March that he was returning to the team. It had also been reported and confirmed last week that Iupati would return.
Jackson, meanwhile, posted on social media that he was signing his tender.
That means all of the team’s four restricted free agents have signed — the others being center Joey Hunt, tight end Jacob Hollister and receiver David Moore. As with Moore and Hunt, Jackson’s tender calls for him to receive a non-guaranteed salary of $2.13 million in 2020.
And the signings of Willson and Iupati mean only one player who has been confirmed as having agreed to sign with Seattle has yet to do so — defensive end/linebacker Bruce Irvin.
Seattle now has 70 players either under contract/having been tendered or having agreed to sign. Teams can have a maximum of 90 on their offseason rosters.
Seattle has seven picks in the draft, which begins with the first round Thursday and continues through Saturday. The Seahawks also can sign undrafted free agents once the draft ends Saturday afternoon.
Iupati started 15 games last season for Seattle at left guard before missing the playoffs when he suffered a neck/stinger injury and will compete again for a starting role. The Seahawks signed two other players in free agency who can play guard in B.J. Finney and Chance Warmack, as well as having young players on the roster at that spot such as Jamarco Jones and Phil Haynes.
Willson returns to add depth to a tight-end position already bolstered with the signing in February of veteran free agent Greg Olsen. Willson likely will compete with Hollister for the third tight-end spot behind Olsen and Will Dissly, who is recovering from an Achilles-tendon injury suffered in October.
Willson returned to the Seahawks in September after the trade of Nick Vannett to the Steelers and played in eight games with eight catches for 79 yards.
Jackson had two sacks and 19 tackles last season, playing in 15 games with three starts.
Roos is entering his fourth season and played in seven games last season. He will compete for a depth role on the line (specifically at guard) and on special teams.
The Seahawks will start their virtual offseason program Monday.