RENTON — Only three teams in the NFL are spending more on safety in 2022 than the Seahawks, who have $21.5 million invested in that spot, according to OvertheCap.com.
Most of that is going to the duo of Jamal Adams ($9.1 million cap hit this year) and Quandre Diggs ($5.8).
When the Seahawks took the field for their third practice of training camp Saturday at the VMAC, neither was on the field.
Diggs was taking a veteran’s rest day after offseason surgery to repair a dislocated ankle suffered in January.
“Must be nice,’’ defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt said with a wry smile of Diggs being able to watch while most of the rest of the team toiled in uncommon Seattle heat.
As for Adams, the expectation is that he will be back with the team Monday after heading to Dallas following Wednesday’s practice when he felt discomfort in his left hand. He had the ring and index fingers on that hand fused following the 2021 season after dislocating each finger several times the last few seasons.
Exams revealed that Adams broke the middle finger when he got it twisted in a teammate’s face mask.
But the injury isn’t considered overly concerning as the bone is expected to heal in the next few weeks, and Adams will likely wear a club over his hand to practice and will wear a specially designed cast to play (surgery could be an option after the season).
Still, missing any practice time isn’t ideal given that the Seahawks are implementing a new defensive scheme. Coach Pete Carroll felt it hurt Adams’ acclimation to the defense a year ago when he sat out of practices until Aug. 17 while negotiating a new contract.
Hurtt said he doesn’t think Adams’ absence will be a big deal.
“He learns very, very well,” Hurtt said. “When he came back in the springtime he picked it up like that. So there’s no problem.’’
While Adams will be back with the team Monday, it’s unclear when he will get on the field.
With Diggs and Adams out Saturday, the starting safeties were typically veterans Ryan Neal and Josh Jones, a pairing that showed that the Seahawks have good depth at the spot. Due mostly to Adams’ injuries, Neal has nine starts over the past two seasons while Jones, signed late last season and re-signed in May, started the season finale last year against Arizona and has 26 starts overall in a career dating to 2017.
Jones made one of the highlight plays of Saturday’s practice, getting an interception after linebacker Jordyn Brooks tipped a pass intended for Noah Fant and thrown by Geno Smith.
“Outstanding,’’ Hurtt said. “Love it. We need to see more of those.’’
QB battle unchanged
There remains no change to the depth chart at quarterback with Smith getting all of the reps with the first-team offense during 11-on-11 drills Saturday and Drew Lock with the second team.
Smith’s interception was the only turnover of the day. He has thrown two interceptions, the only two of camp so far.
As is typical of a training-camp practice, each had some good plays and a few they’d like to have back. And in general, it appeared to be a better day for the defense.
Among Smith’s highlights was a pass threaded in traffic to Tyler Lockett in a red-zone drill that Lockett leapt for and corralled for a touchdown. He also threw another TD to Lockett in a red-zone drill on a slant.
Lock threw a TD on a fade route to Marquise Goodwin and also several times put his mobility on display, once scrambling to throw a sidearm completion to Aaron Fuller and another time picking up nine yards on a third-and-eight.
Bryant continues to impress
Lock’s TD to Goodwin came when he was defended by rookie Coby Bryant, a fourth-round pick out of Cincinnati.
But that play came right after Bryant had deflected a pass intended for 6-foot-7 tight end Colby Parkinson, one of what was unofficially three pass breakups on the day for the rookie fifth-round pick from Cincinnati.
Bryant continues to be one of the standout players of camp with Hurtt saying the playmaking ability that was evident during his college career has been a constant presence in camp, as well.
“As a young player, you can always tell with some of the college kids, who has a really good cerebral part of the game and understanding,’’ Hurtt said. “That has definitely carried over for him since he has been out here.”
Bryant is working with the second defense at left cornerback with fellow rookie Tariq Woolen on the right side with Artie Burns (right) and Sidney Jones (left) continuing to work with the first team.
Typifying the heated competition at the spot, Burns was one of the day’s other highlight players with back-to-back pass breakups in the end zone on passes intended for Lockett and DK Metcalf.
Hurtt said there’s a long ways to go before anything is decided at cornerback.
“Right now, Artie and Sid have done some good things,’’ Hurtt said. “Artie had a couple good PBUs today, as did Coby. Just continuing to see that progression in the competition come along with those four guys, nothing is solidified. We will see them continue to compete every day, but we are excited about the two young kids too.”
- Speaking of Metcalf, as expected he took part in his first practice since agreeing to a new contract with the team Thursday. Metcalf appeared to be on something of a snap count but otherwise didn’t seem limited, getting some work in the team sessions.
- Receiver Dee Eskridge again sat out while dealing with a tight hamstring.
- Besides Diggs, other veterans who also got rest days were defensive tackle Al Woods and guard Gabe Jackson.
- J.R. Sweezy, a member of the Seahawks from 2012-15 and again in 2018, was listed on the reserve/retired list a day after the team signed him to a ceremonial one-day contract. That means the Seahawks have one open roster spot.
- As they’d said they’d do, the Seahawks tried some different looks with the offensive line Saturday. Specifically, second-year player Stone Forsythe worked with the first team at right tackle with rookie Abraham Lucas with the second team and Jake Curhan playing guard. All three are considered candidates for the right tackle spot.