Seattle Seahawks

Quinton Dunbar didn't feel wanted by Redskins, appreciative of Seahawks

Quinton Dunbar didn't feel wanted by Redskins, appreciative of Seahawks

It became clear in the weeks that preceded Quinton Dunbar’s trade to the Seahawks that the relationship between the corner and the Redskins was unsalvageable. Dunbar had requested Washington give him a fresh start, and the organization obliged.

Dunbar spoke to Seattle-area reporters on Thursday for the first time since being acquired by the Seahawks on March 23. He didn’t dive too deep into the feud with his former club, but he did mention being grateful for the opportunity for a fresh start.

He explained that the “respect level” is different in Seattle.

“You just want to feel wanted,” Dunbar said via Zoom call. “Them guys made it their job to trade for me, and that’s good enough for me. I just hope to repay them with how I carry myself as a person.”

Dunbar sees Seattle as a perfect fit, both from a culture and a schematic standpoint. He recognizes that his 6-foot-2 frame, athletic measurables and overall mentality are traits the Seahawks covet in their corners.

He added that he models his game as a corner after Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, two of the founding members of the famed “Legion of Boom.”

“I feel like their defense is who I am,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar signed with the Redskins as an undrafted free agent in 2015. Jay Gruden gets the credit for transitioning the Florida product from wide receiver to cornerback. Over the last five years at his new position, Dunbar has grown into a dependable corner with Pro Bowl potential.

Pro Football Focus graded Dunbar as the third-best corner in 2019. Dunbar’s issue has been his inability to stay healthy. He’s yet to play a full 16-game season, and he’s missed 14 combined games over the last two years.

He and the Seahawks are confident that those injury woes are behind him.

“I feel like I’m at my best right now,” Dunbar said. “I’m good to go. I’m 100. I’ve been 100.”

Dunbar is in a Jadeveon Clowney-esque situation given that he’s entering the last year of his current contract in 2020. He’s hoping that a standout campaign will lead to a major payday next offseason.

“I know what I can do when I’m on the field,” he said. “I believe in me. All of that other stuff will take care of itself.

“I have no worries in Seattle. I’m happy to be in Seattle. I just want to go out and play ball and help the team however I can.”

He confirmed that he’ll begin working at the right cornerback spot. That’s what was assumed all along as Dunbar’s arrival puts Tre Flowers’ role into question. Given Dunbar’s experience playing in the slot and Seattle’s lack of depth at nickel (Ugo Amadi is the only true nickel on the roster), it will be interesting to see how creative the Seahawks get in the secondary.

“Once I know the right side, then the sky is the limit,” Dunbar said. “I’m just hoping to help the team however I can.”

Dunbar is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to setting expectations for his impact in 2020. However, a best-case scenario exists where he transforms Seattle’s secondary and ends up being a foundational piece for the Seahawks defense. I, for one, am eager to see how the next 12 months play out for him.

DK Metcalf could be poised for Julio Jones-esque jump in Year 2

DK Metcalf could be poised for Julio Jones-esque jump in Year 2

Expectations are sky-high for DK Metcalf as he enters his second NFL season.

The hype is understandable, of course, following Metcalf’s standout rookie season where he posted 900 yards and seven touchdowns. Metcalf then exploded for an NFL rookie record 160 yards and a touchdown in the Wild Card round of the playoffs against the Eagles.

That’s why everyone is eager to see what kind of encore Metcalf can put together in Year 2. His pedigree, physical traits and first-year production set the table for a big step forward.

Dave “Softy” Mahler of Sports Radio 950 KJR articulated his hopes for Metcalf more specifically.

“I’ve spent a lot of time comparing DK Metcalf’s rookie year to Julio Jones’ rookie year, and the numbers are insanely similar,” Mahler said on a recent episode of the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.

Mahler did acknowledge that Jones missed three games due to injury as a rookie. However, there are still comparisons to be made.

Jones had a line of 54-959-8 back in 2011. Those are obviously higher per game numbers than Metcalf, but Seattle’s rookie did have a slightly higher catch percentage (58%-56.8%).

That’s not bad given Jones was the sixth-overall pick, and the Seahawks took Metcalf with the final pick of the second round (64th overall).

Jones jumped to 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns in his second season. That seems like reasonable benchmarks for Metcalf.

“That’s the kind of rise and the kind of step that I’m hoping DK Metcalf can take this year,” Mahler said.

Jones has made seven Pro Bowls and has been named All-Pro twice. He’s got five 1,400-yard seasons to his name and one more at 1,394. He remains unquestionably one of the NFL’s best wide receivers, if not the best.

Mahler wants to know if Metcalf shares that type of ceiling.

“’Does this guy have superstar potential?’ is the question,” Mahler said. “Is he going to be an elite wide receiver? Or is he going to be a Pro Bowl wide receiver. There are a lot of Pro Bowl wide receivers. Lots of guys make the Pro Bowl, but not a lot of guys are first-team All-Pro wide receivers. Not a lot of guys are generational talent wide receivers.”

Mahler has been a staple in Seattle sports media for nearly three decades. He’s a native to the Pacific Northwest and understands just how unique Metcalf is in regard to Seahawks history.

“The Seahawks have never had a guy who looks like this and runs like this,” he said.

Metcalf and the rest of the Seahawks are in the midst of the NFL’s ramp up period before official practices begin. Once practices finally begin, all eyes will be on the second-year wideout, eager to see what he has in store for Seattle’s opponents in 2020.

Seahawks claim former 49ers DB D.J. Reed off waivers

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USATI

Seahawks claim former 49ers DB D.J. Reed off waivers

The Seahawks have added a defensive back to their roster, claiming former Niner D.J. Reed off of waivers per Ian Rapoport. The 49ers waived Reed with an injury designation on Monday.

Reed tore his pectoral muscle earlier this summer while working out on his own. He likely won't be able to return until November at the earliest, and he could miss all of 2020. That makes this more of a down-the-road lottery ticket for Seattle. Reed was a valued member of the 49ers for his versatility to play corner, nickel and safety. The former Kansas State product was drafted by San Francisco in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Reed has appeared in 31 career games (two starts) and has accumulated 54 total tackles, one sack and two passes defended. He also returned a fumbled kickoff for a touchdown in 2019 against the Cardinals.

Seattle had two open roster spots, one of which is now filled by Reed. He'll remain on the active/non-football injury list. This move likely means the Seahawks liked him coming out of college, and they now have the chance to get him in their own building.

Do the Seahawks really owe it to Russell Wilson to sign Antonio Brown?

Do the Seahawks really owe it to Russell Wilson to sign Antonio Brown?

The Seahawks know pretty well who helps drive the hypothetical car for the success of the team and it’s a pretty easy answer.

It’s Russell Wilson.

Since being drafted by the Seahawks in 2012, the now veteran quarterback has proven he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]

With 86 regular-season wins through 2019, 49 home regular-season wins, and the first player in NFL history with at least 200 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns in his first eight seasons, Wilson's stats don’t lie.

Not to mention he brought Seattle its first Super Bowl win in franchise history back in 2014.

It’s safe to say that Wilson has done a lot to help the Seattle organization get to where it is today.

This past offseason, Wilson stated his desire to have superstars on the team-- big names with big play ability. 

The Seahawks got that recently with the Jamal Adams trade. 

But, on offense, names like Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown seem to continue to drive discussion, but will it ever materialize?

On FS1's ‘Speak For Yourself’ with Emanuel Acho and Marcellus Wiley, the Antonio Brown conversation continued: Do the Seahawks owe it to Russell Wilson to sign him?

While Marshawn Lynch and the Legion of Boom potentially overshadowed Wilson at times, he has been the fuel behind the success of the Seahawks organization the last eight seasons as their starting quarterback.

Antonio Brown, outside of his off-field actions, is one of the best wide receivers the NFL has seen in recent years.

As of last Friday, Antonio Brown was suspended by the NFL for eight games for violating the personal conduct policy set by the NFL. 

Even if the Seahawks were going to make a move for Brown, he would not see the field until October 8th against the Buffalo Bills, at the earliest.

If the Seahawks had a winning record up until then, would it be worth it to bring Brown in for a deep playoff push?

Or will Brown bring in negative energy into the locker room if he is not catching passes like he has done before in the past?

Who really knows at this point.

If Russell Wilson were to ask the front office to bring in Antonio Brown, they should seriously consider it.

The two already seem to have a connection, as evidenced by an offseason workout

Do the Seahawks owe it to Russell Wilson to sign Brown? That is up for debate. Seahawks did make Wilson the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL at one point, recognizing how valuable he is to the organization.

But if Wilson does ask for Brown to help him win games, the best thing to do is to try to make the face of the franchise happy for the years you have him, right?

We'll have to wait and see.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]

Russell Wilson's “Mr. Unlimited” resurfaces, remains very cringeworthy

Russell Wilson's “Mr. Unlimited” resurfaces, remains very cringeworthy

You know it’s 2020 when the Russell Wilson “Mr. Unlimited,” video has made a comeback.

The two-year old video where the Seahawks quarterback refers to his alter ego as Mr. Unlimited unearthed on social media Wednesday morning and let’s just say Twitter was shook. 

Watch it below:  

Hey guys, Russell here. Yes, the typical boring Russell, Robot Russell the one you guys love to know. I’m real, real exciting. I’m real exciting. But anyways everybody has to have an alter ego right? And I’ve been thinking about what my alter ego would be and I think I have an alter ego. His name is Mr. Unlimited. You got to be unlimited. You got to have a thought process of being unlimited. So when people ask you what you’re thinking about or what you want to do in life or where you want to go, tell them I’m unlimited. You know what I mean.

Then, perhaps the best part of the video, is when someone, likely his wife Ciara, begins to yell questions about who helps keep Mr. Unlimited going and spoiler alert, the answer was always Mr. Unlimited. 

So when they ask you certain questions like… ‘What brings you motivation, Russell?’ Mr. Unlimited! ‘Who’s your role model, Russell?’ Unlimited! ‘Who’s your go-to person for advice, Russell?’ They think Pete Carroll, they think this person, that person . . . love you Pete but it’s Mr. Unlimited!

Seahawks Twitter had a field day roasting the corny video. 

Don’t worry, Russ, there are a lot of legends that have an alter ego. Beyonce becomes Sasha Fierce when she performs, Eminem becomes Slim Shady and Will Ferrell has Ron Burgundy. 

The Mr. Unlimited Slander will not be tolerated. 

Wilson, whose career is on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory, is a seven-time Pro-Bowler who was second-team AP All-Pro last year behind unanimous league MVP Lamar Jackson. After one of his most productive seasons in 2019, Wilson and the Seahawks are poised for another magical run. 

This year, the Seahawks’ prospects are, well, unlimited.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]

Former Duck Dion Jordan finds new NFL home with San Francisco 49ers

Former Duck Dion Jordan finds new NFL home with San Francisco 49ers

Dion Jordan is still trying to live up to his NFL draft standing. 

The highly-touted pass rusher out of Oregon was selected third-overall by the Miami Dolphins in 2013, but has yet to prove his career in the NFL can pan out. 

Now, Jordan’s getting another shot with the NFC West Champion San Francisco 49ers. 

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jordan, who last played with the Oakland Raiders, is expected to sign with the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday. 

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

Jordan, the highest member of the Ducks defense to be drafted (at No. 3 overall), has provided lackluster returns since he entered the NFL. 

The former Oregon standout began his career in Miami, where he produced three sacks in 26 games before the NFL handed Jordan a season-long suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He was conditionally reinstated in 2016 but failed to see the field for the Dolphins that year. 

Jordan looked to salvage his playing career when he joined the Seahawks in 2017, ultimately spending two years in Seattle. In 17 games over two seasons, Jordan started three games and recording 5.5 sacks, 27 solo tackles and 11 quarterback hits. 

However, the following May, the embattled defensive end was suspended again. This time, Jordan was handed a 10-game suspension for using Adderall, which he later admitted he took for his ADHD. 

Looking for a fresh start, Jordan signed with the Oakland Raiders. He was immediately placed on the reserve/suspended list while he finished out his 10-game suspension and was reinstated by the NFL in November. In 2019, Jordan had a pair of sacks for the Raiders in seven games last year and played 173 snaps.  

Now, a member of the San Francisco 49ers, the 30-year-old pass rusher will be reunited with former Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who just re-signed to the 49ers this offseason. 

Jordan should see time as a rotational edge defender for the 49ers, providing speed depth behind Dee Ford. 

San Francisco also worked out current free agent Ziggy Ansah, who last played in Seattle in 2019, but it appears they have opted for Jordan instead. 

[Listen to the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Josh Jamieson, Director of Operations of Oregon men’s basketball].

Fann Mail: Forecasting the Seahawks rotation at defensive line and linebacker

Fann Mail: Forecasting the Seahawks rotation at defensive line and linebacker

We’re inching closer to real football as the ramp up period of 2020 training camps continues. The Seahawks continue to work out behind closed doors at the VMAC, but the first official practice could come by the middle of next week.

That means it’s the perfect time for a mailbag to go over all of Seattle’s top storylines. Once practices start, Week 1 will end up getting here in a blink.

As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions.

I don’t think the Seahawks have hid the fact that Irvin will be playing primarily, if not exclusively, at LEO. To this point, Irvin has been Seattle’s top addition to the pass rush. His value will come along the defensive line, not at SAM linebacker.

Bobby Wagner will obviously be at MIKE. Unless Jordyn Brooks shows to be completely lost in camp and a potential liability in a game, I expect him to start Week 1 at WILL. He’s Seattle’s future at that position, and it makes sense to try and get him reps as soon as possible. That would move K.J. Wright to SAM in base.

The biggest question is whether or not Wright or Brooks gets the reps at WILL in sub packages. They could theoretically rotate throughout a game, but again, as long as Brooks is showing promise, don’t expect the first-round pick to leave the field much.

Here’s my best guess for Seattle’s starting defensive line in base: Rasheem Green, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford and Benson Mayowa.

As I mentioned above, Irvin will be a staple in sub packages off the edge. Then you’ll have guys like Collier (interior), Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson who will compete to be a part of the rotation.

Jarran Reed has to be better for the Seahawks to win the NFC West. I expected him to get a short-term prove-it deal after an unproductive 2019 season. I was write about the short-term part of it, but Seattle giving Reed $23 million over two years is hardly a prove-it deal.

The Seahawks clearly believe that Reed will return to his 2018 form where he posted 10.5 sacks. The biggest question is whether or not he can produce to that level without playing alongside an elite edge rusher. Remember, Frank Clark had 13.0 sacks in 2018.

Reed has just 5.0 combined sacks in his other three seasons. The defensive line will go as he goes which means he needs a bounce back season in 2020.

My honorable mentions are Duane Brown, who Seattle desperately needs to stay healthy, and Tre Flowers, who the Seahawks are hoping can make a Year 2 to Year 3 jump similar to Shaquill Griffin.

Rasheem Green led the Seahawks with 4.0 sacks in 2019, and he’s still just 23 years old. This will be the year where he shows whether his ceiling is as a rotational piece or if can be something more. Seattle would be ecstatic if Green can get to the 6.0-sack range in 2020.

I have a hard time figuring out fair expectations for Collier after what was essentially a red shirt year as a rookie. I think it’s fairer to put the baseline at merely earning reps and then going from there. The Seahawks believe he has legit pass rush ability, both off the edge in base and on the interior in sub packages. The cause for concern over Collier will be legit if he can’t crack the rotation immediately.

I’ll put it at 25%. I maintain that Jadeveon Clowney’s best chance to recoup his value and cash in as a free agent in 2021 is with the Seahawks. I understand if he has frustrations from being on an island last season and dropping into coverage more than he would have preferred. However, the overall depth and quality of Seattle’s defensive line is vastly superior to what it was in 2019, and the addition of Jamal Adams would help Clowney as well.

Who knows how players opting out and increased cap space for some teams will impact Clowney’s offers. That’s the wildcard of this saga that makes me believe nothing is imminent. He might not sign until Labor Day Weekend.

I think it’s possible that Seattle will sign an edge rusher, a defensive tackle and/or a cornerback. Quinton Dunbar being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List makes corner arguably Seattle’s biggest need. Outside of Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers, I’m not sure the Seahawks have a guy they’d feel comfortable starting on the outside. Signing a veteran for depth purposes and injury protection would make sense.

Cedric Ogbuehi and Jamarco Jones will compete to be the backup tackles. Ogbuehi is the favorite to assume George Fant’s role as the tackle-eligible player that Seattle loves to utilize. However, the Seahawks could use that role less in 2020 depending on how often they run two tight ends sets with Will Dissly and Greg Olsen.

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Ugo Amadi should be Seattle’s nickel corner depending on the matchup. If an opposing offense has a prototype slot receiver, like Trent Taylor in San Francisco, then Amadi would be the ideal matchup. Amadi’s reps should vary on a game-to-game basis because of that. Marquise Blair figures to be the one rotating with Amadi based on matchup.

Sadly, Joe Fann is a long-tormented Mariners fan. All of my fingers are crossed that Jared Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez turn into superstars!

Seahawks won’t hurry Rashaad Penny back, placed on PUP list 

Seahawks won’t hurry Rashaad Penny back, placed on PUP list 

As expected, Rashaad Penny has officially been placed on the active/PUP list on Monday as he continues to work his way back to the field. 

The Seattle Seahawks third-year running back, who suffered a torn ACL and additional damage to his left knee in the Dec. 8 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, has been sharing workout videos of his progress, leading many to believe he’s made a turn for the better. 

[RELATED: Rashaad Penny’s comeback tour from ACL injury is in full swing]

We didn’t think that we needed to rush him in because he’s still rehabbing, coming back, he’ll come in Thursday for Friday, and he’ll start his process of reconnecting with us on Friday. We just thought that’d be better. 

He missed a week in transition that we didn’t want to – because he would have had to sit around the days right here, right now. We’d like to go ahead, and hopefully we made a good decision there, we’re anxious to get him back. He’s been working out very hard, the reports are really strong that he’s doing well, but we have not had him in our building for a while now, so this will be our first chance. -- Seahawks coach Pete Carroll

As Carroll mentioned, Penny will return to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) this week for his COVID-19 tests. Assuming he passes all three, team doctors will then be able to evaluate his rebuilt knee. 

Prior to his injury, Penny rushed for 370 yards on 65 carries and had eight receptions for 83 yards in 2019. If he does in fact begin the season on PUP, Penny would have to sit out the first six games of the year.

While Seattle awaits Penny’s return, they’ve added fourth-rounder DeeJay Dallas and free agent Carlos Hyde in the backfield.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]

Pete Carroll sheds light on potential roles for Jordyn Brooks, Marquise Blair

Pete Carroll sheds light on potential roles for Jordyn Brooks, Marquise Blair

The slow ramp up for NFL training camps means there will be a slow ramp up for camp-related news as well. Pete Carroll indicated that things won’t really feel like football until around Aug. 14. Until then, players will be working out and getting in shape given the absence of an in-person offseason program.

That means we still have some time to wait until we get open practices and detailed reports as to who is playing well and who is playing where. However, Carroll was kind enough to shed some light as to where a few of the team’s intriguing young players might line up in 2020: second-year safety Marquise Blair and first-round pick Jordyn Brooks.

Blair

Last time Carroll spoke, he mentioned that Blair could be in the mix at nickel corner. It appears that spot might be Blair’s only shot to get on the field (or maybe dime linebacker) following the addition of Jamal Adams.

Carroll sounded confident in Blair’s ability to adapt to the role and eager to see Blair, Adams and Quandre Diggs all on the field at the same time.

“For the most part we have to figure out Marquise,” Carroll said. “He’s going to get the opportunity to get out against the slot and do some stuff that puts him in a position to be really active and be part of the pressure packaging and some real aggressive part of the play. So that’s cool for him.”

Blair and Ugo Amadi could share the nickel job with their reps determined by each week’s matchup. Blair would be the better matchup against tight ends and bigger wideouts while Amadi would be more favorable against more prototype slot receivers.

Blair appeared in 14 games (three starts) as a rookie and posted 32 tackles, two forced fumbles and one pass defended.

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Brooks

Carroll raved about how the rookie could play all three linebacker spots in Seattle’s 4-3 defense but added that Brooks will get reps at WILL to begin camp.

“His clearest path– his most obvious path would be at the WILL backer spot,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how that goes. We’ll start him there and see how fast he can grasp it and how soon he can become comfortable.”

That job, of course, has been K.J. Wright’s for the last decade. Wright had offseason shoulder surgery but should be ready for the start of the season. Brooks is the future at WILL but him unseating Wright immediately would be a significant storyline. That would suggest Wright moving to SAM. If you continue to track the ripple effect, Bruce Irvin’s reps would then seemingly be limited to the LEO spot on pass rush downs.

Carroll said the coaching staff has ways to get all four linebackers (Bobby Wagner included) on the field at the same time.

“There options for how we can do that that we worked out,” Carroll said. “The competition will settle it. The competition will tell us what we need to do here.”

Seattle Seahawks still 'very open' to reunion with WR Josh Gordon 

Seattle Seahawks still 'very open' to reunion with WR Josh Gordon 

With Antonio Brown suspended for eight games and unable to play until after Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season, Seattle Seahawks fans are officially on Josh Gordon watch.

Any day now, the free agent wide receiver is expected to find out if he will be reinstated by the NFL, specifically commissioner Roger Goodell, after repeated violations of the league’s policies on PEDs and substances of abuse. 

The 29-year-old submitted a letter to Goodell in June, asking him for another shot to play football. He was hoping for a resolution ahead of training camp. 

The Seahawks have spoken highly of Gordon, who has been working out alongside many of his former teammates and shared social media posts expressing his desires to return to Seattle. 

For Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, the interest is mutual, but reuniting with Gordon isn’t his decision to make.  

It’s not in our hands. Josh did a really good job with us last year. He fit in really well. He was part of this team and by the way, we opened and embraced his coming to us, but also by the way he attacked it. So, we’re very open to that thought, but we’ll see what happens. I don’t know, I can’t tell you what’s gonna happen with that. -- Pete Carroll

[RELATED: Seahawks still believed as a frontrunner to sign Antonio Brown]

Gordon has missed more than 50 games due to multiple suspensions, but many NFL teams, including the Seahawks, haven’t given up on the talented receiver due to his productivity. 

In 2019, he caught 20 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown for the New England Patriots. Once he was claimed off waivers by Seattle, Gordon notched seven receptions for 139 yards in five games. 

Gordon’s laywer said he had a relapse following his brother’s death in November, which ultimately led to his sixth-career suspension.

“He has realized how important it is for him to take the right steps, do what's proper and understand how to manage these issues,” Gordon’s lawyer Adam Kenner told NFL.com. “He's installed the right team around him to make sure he's on the right path. He understands he's been given every chance. He's looking forward to make the most of this."

It appears the door is still open for Gordon’s return. Whether the embattled wideout gets another chance remains in Goodell’s hands at this point, not the Seahawks. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]