RENTON — The Seahawks on Tuesday waived receiver Amara Darboh, bringing an end to the Seattle career of a player taken with high hopes in the third round just two years ago.
Seattle also placed defensive tackle Nazair Jones and cornerback Kalan Reed on injured reserve.
Jones has a knee injury and Reed a neck injury. Jones played in only one game in the preseason and neither had played Saturday night against the Chargers. Going on IR now means the season is done for each. Only players placed on IR after an initial 53-man roster has been set can return.
Seattle filled two of the open roster spots by signing free agent receivers Nyqwan Murray — who was with Seattle for a brief time earlier in camp — and Kahlil Lewis. Both are undrafted rookie free agents. Lewis was recently waived by Atlanta.
Darboh, who played all of the 2017 season with Seattle but was injured all of last year, played against the Chargers Saturday in what was his first action of any kind since the end of the 2017 season, on the field for 16 snaps, getting two targets but without making a catch.
Coach Pete Carroll said Darboh was waived now so that he has a chance to latch on with another team this week, possibly in time to play in the final preseason game.
“Just think he needs another chance elsewhere,” Carroll said. “He has worked really hard at it and to let him out now is to give him more opportunity to get on somewhere else. He’s a good ball player and he competed really hard. He just couldn’t get over the hump with enough time and with the depth that we had, he wasn’t able to show his way to the top of it. So we thought we owed it to him to give him a chance to get out and show what he can do. He will be playing for somebody.”
Darboh was taken with the 106th overall pick out of Michigan, enticing the Seahawks with his combination of size (6-2, 215) and speed (he ran a 4.45 40 at the NFL Combine, regarded at the time as better than had been expected.
“He checks off all the boxes,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said at the time.
But Darboh struggled to translate his obvious physical traits to the field at the NFL level. Some observers were surprised he made the cut to the 53-man roster — one of the receivers waived instead was Kasen Williams, who had had a particularly productive preseason. And while Darboh then saw action in all 16 regular season games, he had just eight catches for 71 yards with a long reception of 16.
He then did not play in the preseason last year while battling injuries and was waived and then claimed by the Patriots. But he failed physical with New England and reverted to Seattle’s IR list and then had surgery on his clavicle.
The team hoped that would solve his health issues. But Darboh battled a knee injury in camp and sat out the first two preseason games.
Carroll had said last week that the Chargers game would be a big one for Darboh to try to prove his worth in what is a competitive Seahawks receiving corps.
But that obviously didn’t happen and Darboh now becomes one of several receivers taken by Seattle in the middle rounds to make little impact with the team.
Other receivers taken in the middle rounds in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era who did little include Kevin Norwood (taken 123rd overall in 2014), Chris Harper (123 in 2013) and Kris Durham (107 in 2011).
Jones, a fifth-round pick in 2017, was being used more as a five-technique defensive end this year but had made little movement up the depth chart while battling a knee issue.
Carroll said Jones’ knee injury “was chronic. It became chronic so we had to fix him up.”
Reed was competing for the team’s nickelback spot. But now that he is out of it that battle is now down to three — Akeem King, Jamar Taylor and rookie Ugo Amadi.
All three, though, could make the team, with Amadi being used as both a safety and corner and King and Taylor each able to play both inside and outside.
Removing three players from the 90-man roster while signing two means there is one open spot for Seattle to fill.