With training camp set to open Wednesday, the Seahawks could be looking to add a veteran to their wide receiver corps — free agent Dede Westbrook.
That’s if Westbrook doesn’t sign with the Minnesota Vikings first.
Westbrook visited the Vikings on Friday and plans to work out with Minnesota on Saturday, and could sign there before he leaves. But if he doesn’t sign with Minnesota, then Westbrook said he will visit the Seahawks.
“If Minnesota doesn’t end up pulling the trigger as far as a contract I’ll fly out to Seattle (Sunday),” he told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He said he might also visit the 49ers and Bengals after that.
Westbrook told the Pioneer Press he had been scheduled to visit Seattle first, but then decided on Minnesota because of wide receiver coach Keenan McCardell, who was his receivers coach with Jacksonville.
“I was kind of set on Seattle,’’ Westbrook was quoted as saying. “And he was like, ‘Darn you’re not even going to come out and give me a chance. I coached you the past four years and you’re just going to fly out to Seattle and not give Minnesota a shot?’’’
Westbrook was a fourth-round choice of the Jaguars in 2017 out of Oklahoma, where he finished fourth in the 2016 Heisman Trophy voting after his 80 receptions for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns. Injuries limited him to seven games as a rookie, but he returned late in the season and caught a touchdown against Seattle in a 30-24 Jacksonville victory.
He then had two solid seasons with Jacksonville in 2018 and 2019 when he had 63 receptions for 707 yards and five touchdowns, and then 66 for 660 and three touchdowns.
But he suffered a shoulder injury in training camp in 2020 that caused him to fall on the depth chart behind rookie Laviska Shenault and he was active for just one of the team’s first six games.
He was then lost for the season in the seventh game against the Chargers following an ACL injury.
Westbrook had been handling both punt and kickoff returns for Jacksonville in that game before being injured, and that could be something Seattle would be intrigued by with some uncertainty at both spots.
Seattle has 12 receivers on its roster, but after the dynamic duo of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf at the top of the depth chart, little is certain. The Seahawks could view Westbrook as a possible contender for the third receiver spot along with rookie second-round choice Dee Eskridge, 2020 sixth-round pick Freddie Swain and Penny Hart. The Seahawks got to see little of Eskridge in the offseason program due to a toe injury.
Seattle filled an opening on its roster Friday by signing free agent running back Cameron Scarlett. Scarlett, who went undrafted in 2020, was in camp with Tennessee last year but was waived before the start of the season. A Portland native, Scarlett was Stanford’s MVP in 2019 when he rushed for 840 yards and had another 240 yards receiving. He also returned kickoffs during his Stanford career, and had 1,008 yards on 39 returns as a sophomore.
Scarlett signed after a workout with the team Friday.
Seattle now has seven running backs on its roster, and needed some depth for training camp purposes as players such as starter Chris Carson are unlikely to do much in preseason games.