The Seahawks made official on Wednesday a move reported on Tuesday, waiving cornerback Tre Flowers, who started the first three games of the season before being benched.
Seattle also added a quarterback to the practice squad. But it was not Blake Bortles, a former starter with the Jacksonville Jaguars who had a workout with the team on Tuesday.
Instead, the Seahawks brought back a familiar face in Danny Etling, who was on the practice squad all of last season and in camp with the Seahawks this year before being waived in August when Seattle signed Sean Mannion. Elting was released this week by the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.
Etling’s signing gives the Seahawks two QBs on the practice squad, with Jake Luton the other.
Luton is expected to be the backup to Geno Smith on Sunday at Pittsburgh, as Smith will start in place of the injured Russell Wilson.
Wilson remains on the 53-man roster, though the team has until Saturday to put him on the injured reserve.
Going on IR means Wilson would have to miss three games.
With Luton and Etling on the practice squad the Seahawks could wait until Saturday to elevate one or both to the roster for Sunday’s game. Players can be elevated twice before they have to go on the 53-man roster and then clear waivers to return to the PS, and Seattle could just carry Wilson and Smith on the 53 and Luton and Etling on the PS and make a decision each weekend on who to elevate.
The waiting of Flowers means Seattle has an opening on its 53-man roster. That appears likely to go to rookie cornerback Tre Brown, a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma who returned to practice last week off IR after battling a knee injury.
Brown being activated would again give Seattle five cornerbacks along with D.J. Reed, Sidney Jones, Bless Austin and John Reid.
Flowers started 40 games for Seattle since 2018 and won the starting job at right cornerback in training camp as Reed battled a hip injury.
But Seattle benched him in favor of Jones after a 30-17 loss to the Vikings and he had played only on special teams the last two weeks.
The NFL Network reported Tuesday that the move to waive Flowers was made at his request. Flowers is in the last year of his contract, and with Brown’s imminent addition to the roster, he likely saw that he would not have much of a chance to play again this year, barring injuries. And since he was on a one-year deal, he was unlikely to be back in Seattle in 2022. So, this gives Flowers a chance for a new start now.
If Flowers is claimed, a team will have to take on the rest of his contract, which includes a nonguaranteed base salary of $2.1 million. Seattle saves just over $1.5 million against the cap with his waiving. If he is not claimed, he will become a free agent.