After it was leaked Monday morning that the Seahawks planned to waive defensive back Ugo Amadi, the team set up a trade to Philadelphia for tight end/receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Both teams officially announced the trade Monday afternoon, and the move will be complete pending physicals.
Arcega-Whiteside was a second-round pick of the Eagles in 2019 out of Stanford, famously taken seven spots ahead of DK Metcalf.
But he has been a disappointment with the Eagles having made just 16 receptions for 290 yards in his career and just two for 36 last year.
The 6-2, 237-pound Arcega-Whiteside was moved to tight end earlier this year by the Eagles but will be tried at receiver as well by the Seahawks, who are dealing with injury issues at that spot with Dee Eskridge, Marquise Goodwin and Freddie Swain all currently sidelined, and Cody Thompson suffering a shoulder injury in the preseason opener Saturday at Pittsburgh that landed him on the injured reserve list Monday. Seattle listed Arcega-Whiteside as a receiver in its release announcing the trade.
The Seahawks planned to waive Amadi after it was reported by the Pro Football Network that he requested to be released since the team is in a bit of a logjam in the secondary.
Amadi was Seattle’s starting nickel for most of last year, but the team signed Justin Coleman in the offseason and last week moved rookie Coby Bryant to play some nickel, which could become his primary position now. Amadi played with the third-team defense Saturday against Pittsburgh, on the field for 19 snaps, five in the slot.
Bryant played 40 defensive snaps against the Steelers, according to Pro Football Focus, with 19 in the nickel. That might become his primary position now with veterans Sidney Jones IV and Artie Burns as the cornerback starters all training camp and rookie Tariq Woolen emerging quickly.
Seattle also has veteran Michael Jackson playing outside corner and hopes to get Tre Brown back at some point soon, though it remains unclear when — he is still on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from knee surgery in November.
Amadi was a fourth-round pick out of Oregon in 2019 and each of the last two years battled Marquise Blair for the nickel position in camp before taking it over when Blair suffered season-ending injuries. Amadi was rated 115h out of 116 cornerbacks in the NFL last year by Pro Football Focus.
Amadi had also this year been playing some backup safety, which was his primary position in 2019. But the emergence of Josh Jones and the return to health of Marquise Blair — as well as the presence of Ryan Neal, who appears on the mend from an ankle injury — made Amadi expendable.
Amadi was also due to make $2.7 million this year after receiving a proven performance escalator. The 6-2, 237-pound Arcega-Whiteside is due to make a non-guaranteed $1.17 million this year in the final year of his rookie deal with a cap number of $1.64 million. With the swap in salaries, the Seahawks gain about $1.1 million against the 2022 salary cap and should have about $15 million now available.
Arcega-Whiteside was regarded as one of the top receiving prospects in the 2019 draft after catching 63 passes for 1,059 yards and 14 TDs in 2018 at Stanford to earn second-team All-Pac-12 honors and was the sixth receiver taken — Metcalf was ninth.
But Arcega-Whiteside has been unable to replicate that success in the NFL, last year making two catches on just five targets in playing 170 snaps.
The move comes as teams have to cut their rosters from 90 to 85 by Tuesday. For Amadi and Arcega-Whiteside, making the deal now allows each a few weeks with their new teams to try to make the initial 53-man roster.
The Seahawks also waived four players Monday — cornerback Josh Valentine-Turner, defensive tackle Antonio Valentino, guard Eric Wilson and receiver Deontez Alexander.
The Seahawks also announced that rookie tackle Liam Ryan out of Washington State had passed his physical and was activated from the PUP list.
The moves leave the Seahawks with 86 players on the roster, needing to make one more move to get down to the limit by Tuesday.