Phillip Dorsett had the opportunity to come to Seattle last offseason. The Seahawks were courting the veteran wideout, but Dorsett ultimately decided to re-sign with the New England Patriots.
Seattle came calling again when Dorsett became a free agent in 2020. This time, despite New England’s interest in bringing him back for a fourth season, the speedy wideout picked the Pacific Northwest as his next NFL home.
“I didn’t want to make that mistake again,” Dorsett said on Tuesday via Zoom call with local reporters.
Dorsett is likely placating toward his new fan base just a bit in that statement. He won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2018, and so it’s understandable why he’d want to try to run it back with New England in 2019.
His decision was a whole lot easier this time around following Tom Brady’s departure to Tampa Bay. Picking Russell Wilson over Jarrett Stidham isn’t one many players would lose sleep over. Dorsett didn’t share who else pursued him this offseason (although he did indicate there were several other teams vying for his services), but he shared that the Seahawks were the best fit.
“I feel like this is the right offense for me,” he said. “Obviously I know Russell, and he’s a great quarterback. The way he plays quarterback and the way this offense is fits my skill set.”
Dorsett famously ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash, a time that catapulted his draft stock into the first round in 2015. The Miami product played two seasons for the Colts before being traded to the Patriots.
He still possesses world class speed, making him an added weapon for Wilson’s patented vertical passing game. Seattle’s quarterback throws one of, if not the best deep balls in football. Dorsett said that was one of the things that attracted him to the Seahawks.
“It was definitely something I was aware of,” Dorsett said. “I see it every time he’s on TV. I’m a student of the game, so I’m always watching football. You see it on display every weekend. It’s a perfect deep ball. He has the arm strength, he has the touch and can get it anywhere.”
Dorsett envisions more for himself than being a one-route receiver. Go-balls are great, but he believes in his versatility and hopes that Seattle will take advantage of his full route tree.
“That’s why I came here,” he said. “I’m excited to be an added piece who can run the short routes, run the deep routes, run after the catch and blocking. I don’t have a limit to what I feel like I can do.”
Dorsett’s numbers have been modest at best, especially when considering the expectations that come with being a first-round pick. He caught a career-high five touchdowns in 2019 but is yet to top 600 yards in a single season.
He’s still relatively young at just 27 years of age, so it’s conceivable that the best is yet to come. That’s what Dorsett and the Seahawks are banking on.
“I feel like I’ve been getting better every year,” he said. “This is the third team that I’m on, and I feel like it can be my best year, honestly.”
Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have solidified roles as Seattle’s top two wideouts. Dorsett figures to be in the driver’s seat for the No. 3 job, but he’ll have to fend off David Moore, John Ursua, Freddie Swain, Stephen Sullivan and others if he hopes to claim those reps in 2020.