The Seahawks have signed one-time UW Husky Josh Shirley to a futures contract. Shirley spent the 2015 season with Tampa Bay and the Oakland Raiders.

Share story

The Seahawks on Wednesday signed one-time University of Washington defensive end Josh Shirley to a futures contract.

Shirley played at UW from 2011-13, making 18 sacks overall, including 8.5 as a freshman in 2011 when he had three sacks of Robert Griffin III in the Alamo Bowl.

Shirley transferred to UNLV for his final collegiate season in 2014. He then went undrafted and signed initially with the Raiders, making two sacks in the pre-season, one against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

Shirley was released by Oakland and later signed with Tampa Bay, with whom he saw action in five games, making two tackles. He was later released by the Bucs and then re-signed to Oakland’s practice squad.

Shirley is listed at 6-1, 235. While listed as a linebacker with the Raiders, he is designated as a defensive end on the transactions report announcing the move Wednesday, with  the Seahawks likely viewing him as a candidate for their LEO or rush end/defensive end role, the spot played primarily by Cliff Avril, Bruce Irvin and Cassius Marsh this season.

Shirley played in the U.S. Army All-America game in 2010 following his senior season at Kaiser High in Fontana, Calif. and signed initially with UCLA. But he was dismissed from the UCLA program before playing there due to his involvement in a theft of a backpack on campus for which he later plead guilty to a misdemeanor (the same incident also led to current Seahawks WR Paul Richardson also being dismissed by UCLA and ending up at Colorado) and then came to UW, where he sat out the 2010 season as a redshirt.

Shirley was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 All-Academic team pick following his last year at UW in 2013 when he was a reserve defensive end and played primarily in a special pass-rush package the team called “Jetsons.”