The third-year player was facing an uphill battle to stay on the roster at receiver this year.
The Seahawks are waiving receiver Tanner McEvoy, who was also one of the Seattle’s core special teams players in 2017. The news was first reported by several national NFL media outlets and the Times has confirmed it is expected to happen.
The third-year receiver was facing an uphill battle to make the roster again in what has become a competitive receiver group and being waived now allows him time to catch on with another team for the fourth preseason game this week. The Seahawks will fill the opening on the 90-man roster, though that move has not yet been revealed.
A former quarterback, safety, running back and receiver at Wisconsin, McEvoy was one of the training camp surprises of the 2016 season, catching a last-play Hail Mary pass to pull out a win at Kansas City and ultimately earning a spot on the roster as an undrafted free agent with a team-leading 128 yards on five receptions.
McEvoy then developed a reputation for big plays as a rookie in 2016 when he appeared in 14 games and caught a 41-yard TD to spark a win in New York against the Jets, completed a pass for 43 yards at New Orleans and blocked a punt against Arizona to set up a game-tying field goal in an infamous 6-6 tie against the Cardinals.
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He finished the season with nine receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns in 132 snaps.
McEvoy played more on both offense and special teams in 2017 when he saw action in the first 15 games before being inactive for the regular season finale against Arizona — his 264 special teams snaps were the third-most on the team. But despite playing 231 snaps (via Pro Football Reference) he made just five catches for 113 yards, dropping a potential touchdown against the 49ers and fumbling after a third-down reception early in an eventual 42-7 home loss to the Rams.
Still, his special teams roles figured to give him a shot to remain on the team for another season.
But he appeared way down the depth chart in the preseason and had just one catch for 11 yards in three games. He had no receptions on three targets in Friday’s loss at Minnesota.
One of McEvoy’s primary special teams jobs has been to be the personal protector, or the up back, on punts. That role appears now headed to rookie Shaquem Griffin, who had been splitting those duties with McEvoy in the preseason.
Seattle now has 13 receivers on its roster and is likely to keep five or six.