Will Blackmon officially signs with Seattle, and Eagles cornerback Cary Williams might be next.

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The Seahawks appeared on the verge of filling one of their biggest needs — cornerback — even before the NFL’s official free agency signing period begins.

Seattle on Monday officially signed free agent Will Blackmon, who had been released by Jacksonville.

And late Monday night came word the Seahawks are expected to win the battle for free agent cornerback Cary Williams, who started the past two seasons for the Eagles.

Five for signing

Here are five Seahawks areas of possible need in free agency:

Cornerback: This looked like Seattle’s biggest need until Monday, when the Seahawks signed Will Blackmon and then apparently won a battle for former Eagle Cary Williams, who is expected to sign with the Seahawks as early as Tuesday. Seattle needed corners to replace the departing Byron Maxwell as well as add depth with Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simon having recently had surgeries. Earlier in the day, some wondered if the Seahawks might bring back original Legion of Boom member Brandon Browner after reports out of New England indicated the Patriots might not pick up an option on his contract, which would make him a free agent. Williams and Blackmon might make that speculation moot.

Tight end: Seattle released veteran starter Zach Miller last week. Luke Willson filled in admirably after Miller went down early last season, but Seattle likely would have looked to add depth and competition at the spot even if Miller had returned. Seattle had been reported as making an offer for Denver’s Julius Thomas, but indications Monday night were that he will sign with Jacksonville. Seattle also is reportedly interested in Cleveland’s Jordan Cameron, who played at USC when Pete Carroll was the coach there.

Receiver: Seattle figures to need some depth players, if not someone capable of starting, with Paul Richardson’s status for the beginning of the season uncertain, as well as just wanting to upgrade a spot that two years ago featured both Golden Tate and Percy Harvin and now has neither. Many national outlets Monday speculated that Andre Johnson, released by Houston, could be a good fit with the Seahawks.

Defensive end: Reports have linked Seattle to several rush end/outside linebackers, notably Adrian Clayborn of Tampa Bay and Jabaal Sheard of Cleveland. The Seahawks could lose O’Brien Schofield in free agency and they had depth issues across the defensive line last season.

Offensive line: Seattle is expected to lose starting left guard James Carpenter in free agency to the Jets and is always on the lookout to add competition.

Bob Condotta

Williams visited Seattle on Friday and also visited the Titans and Jets and was considering the Ravens.

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Multiple reports stated Williams will sign with the Seahawks. His agent, Harold Lewis, told The Seattle Times on Monday night that Williams was “leaning towards Seattle’’ and will make a final decision Tuesday, when he could sign a contract.

Williams, a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder who played at Miami, was due to make $6.5 million in 2015 with a cap hit of $8.1 million before being released by the Eagles.

Interestingly, his release helped clear the cap room the Eagles needed to offer Byron Maxwell a reported six-year contract worth as much as $63 million that Maxwell is expected to sign Tuesday. That’s one reason the Seahawks are in sudden need of cornerbacks. Seattle also needs depth with Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simon having offseason surgeries.

Reports Monday night also indicate Seattle will lose left guard James Carpenter, who is expected to sign with the Jets. Carpenter was the team’s first-round choice in 2011 out of Alabama and started 39 of 45 games in which he played for Seattle, including 13 last season. But the team declined last year to pick up an option on him for the 2015 season.

Williams has started all 16 regular-season games each of the past four seasons — 2011 and 2012 with the Ravens and the last two with the Eagles. He started for Baltimore when the Ravens beat the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. A football analytic site rated Williams the 49th best cornerback last season, just below Maxwell at 45.

Blackmon, meanwhile, returns to Seattle after starting 12 games for the Jaguars the past two years. He spent the 2013 offseason and training camp with the Seahawks before being released the final week of the preseason. He began his career in Green Bay in 2006 when Seattle general manager John Schneider worked for the Packers.

Seattle also made a few other moves Monday with some of its own players as it prepared for free agency.

Seattle signed restricted free-agent linebacker Mike Morgan, a special-teams leader, to a one-year contract. The Seahawks also announced they had made offers to exclusive-rights free agents Ricardo Lockette, a receiver; and DeShawn Shead, a defensive back, locking them up for another season.

However, the team did not make a qualifying offer to receiver Bryan Walters, as Morgan a restricted free agent, so he will become an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any other team.

Walters, a graduate of Juanita High, was the team’s primary punt returner in 2014, with 27 for 207 yards, and had six receptions.

Players whose contracts ran through the 2014 season expire Tuesday (unlike Williams and Blackmon who had already been released) and they can begin signing with new teams at 1 p.m. Pacific.

One player Seattle won’t get is Denver tight end Julius Thomas. The Seahawks were said by NFL.com to have made an “aggressive’’ play for Thomas, who reportedly will instead sign with Jacksonville on Tuesday for $9 million a season.

Recent moves mean Seattle has 20 players who are unrestricted free agents, including 16 whose contracts expire Tuesday.

So far, only two have been reported as agreeing to deals with other teams — Maxwell and Carpenter. Those are also the only two players of Seattle’s unrestricted free agents who were full-time position starters.

Seattle likely will re-sign a few of its other unrestricted free agents but also is expected to lose a few, such as linebacker Malcolm Smith, the Super Bowl XLVIII MVP who is likely to join a club where he can play a larger role.

The Seahawks are reported to have just more than $24 million in cap space. But factoring in to free-agent decisions is that the Seahawks want to soon sign quarterback Russell Wilson, and likely middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, to contract extensions.

That has most observers expecting the Seahawks to be selective in free agency and go largely for players who will fit specific needs, and likely wait for the early smoke to clear to find bargains down the road.