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Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks mailbag: What will Seattle do at returner and will Shelby Harris re-sign?

Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas gets into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 1, 2020, in Seattle.  (Tribune News Service)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

RENTON, Wash. – The Seahawks are off for the summer with players due to report for training camp on July 25 and the first practice to follow the next day.

But the Seahawks Twitter mailbag never truly rests. So here we go, with questions about Seattle’s returner situation, the defensive line and more.

Is Shelby Harris coming back?

I can’t say for certain that he is. But until he signs somewhere else, I think it remains an option.

Harris, who was one of the three players Seattle received in the Russell Wilson trade, was released in March in a move that saved almost $9 million against the salary cap, cap space/money the team needed in part to sign Dre’mont Jones, who got a three-year deal worth more than $17 million a year.

The defensive line – to reiterate – is the one position that the Seahawks appear sure to try to continue to address, though at this point, probably not until right around the time training camp begins, or maybe later.

So, I think it remains an option that Harris could re-sign.

But for now, I also don’t know if it will happen.

Am I crazy or was Godwin Igwebuike the most effective returner we’ve seen in years, and if accurate, why is he not on the current roster? He seemed to do no wrong when returning in ’22 Season.

Igwebuike did indeed do a good job as Seattle’s returner last season, averaging 28.0 yards on 11 kickoff returns last season with a long of 50. But, in doing that, he also took up a roster spot as a running back.

Seattle has since filled out its running back position with draft picks Zach Charbonnet and Kenny McIntosh to go along with holdovers Kenneth Walker III and DeeJay Dallas.

In other words, if they signed Igwebuike, they’d basically have to not have one of those other four on the roster since Seattle typically has four running backs on its 53-man roster.

Igwebuike also hasn’t signed with any other team, so he remains available, and the Seahawks have often brought players back. As with Harris, as long as he remains unsigned, I wouldn’t rule out that he could return at some point.

Pete Carroll and John Schneider seem to consistently prioritize the secondary over the D Line when building their defense. Is this a deliberate strategy to prioritize interceptions and deep passing defense over sacks/qb pressure/run defense. Is this a good strategy? What about risks?


That’s a good question, but I’m not sure the premise really holds up on examination.

Seattle had not drafted a cornerback earlier than the third round in the John Schneider/Pete Carroll era before taking Devon Witherspoon in the first round this year at No. 5 overall out of Illinois.

And the Seahawks also rarely have drafted safeties early during the Schneider/Carroll era.

Seattle drafted Earl Thomas in the first round in 2010 and Marquise Blair in the second in 2019.

But those are the only two high picks Seattle has used on its secondary in the Schneider/Carroll era.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have used eight picks in the first or second rounds since 2010 on defensive linemen or edge rush players.

And as I noted earlier in the mailbag, the Seahawks also spent the most they have on an “external” free agent – meaning, someone from another team – in signing Dre’mont Jones to a three-year deal worth up to $17 million a year in March.

The signing of Jones was part of a significant makeover of Seattle’s D-line, which understandably leads to questions.

But I don’t think it’s a question of allocating resources. Uchenna Nwosu ($13.01 million) and Jones ($10.05 million) have two of the top seven salary cap hits on the roster, and as noted, the Seahawks have spent a lot of draft capital on the defensive line.

You can certainly question how well they have done that at times (Malik McDowell). But again, I think the facts show it hasn’t really been an issue of prioritization. Just maybe the choices that have been made.

How much cap space could be saved by cutting Dee Eskridge? Any other possible cap moves to create space for an impact player?

Actually not that much – just $778,771 while taking a dead cap hit of $844,914, which is why it won’t happen.

Fans are understandably frustrated by the progress of Eskridge in his two years with the Seahawks. But the best thing for the team is actually that he does well in training camp and proves worth having been taken in the second round in 2021 and wins a job as at least the fourth receiver and also on return teams.

The Seahawks invested a lot in Eskridge in 2021 in taking him 56th overall – still the eighth-highest pick Seattle has spent on a receiver – and he’s going to get every chance in training camp and the preseason to show that this is the year he will finally make that pay off.

Where is Jake Curhan getting the majority of his practice reps?

Curhan worked consistently at both guard and tackle during the offseason program, so I think the plan for him remains to be a “swing” backup on game day, meaning a player who could fill in at either guard or tackle if the need arises.

In saying that, I don’t think Curhan at the moment is being viewed as a potential starter at either spot. Seattle’s offensive line appears pretty set with Abe Lucas at right tackle, Phil Haynes or rookie Anthony Bradford at right guard, Evan Brown or Olu Oluwatimi at center, Damien Lewis at left guard and Charles Cross at left tackle.

I think those seven will make the 53 and that Curhan is likely to also make it as a backup at the guard and tackle spots. Most teams typically have eight OLs active on game day, and the eight mentioned above may well be how the Seahawks fill out their active roster (teams can have up to 48 players active as long as eight are offensive linemen) this season.

Do you think that Jamal Adams will be ready for training camp, or do you foresee him on the PUP list?

Before venturing further on this question, it is worth remembering that PUP stands for physically unable to perform.

In training camp, teams can put players on the PUP list and bring them off at any time. So, with the Seahawks beginning training camp on July 26, they could put Adams on the PUP list that day and activate him off the list the next day.

The reason for the PUP list is that a player can remain on it until the regular season and not take up a roster spot. But if a player is on the PUP list when the regular season begins, he cannot come off it for four weeks.

So, Adams – and other players such as Jordyn Brooks and Bryan Mone – may well begin camp on the PUP list, which gives the Seahawks some options and flexibility in terms of roster construction. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that the player in question won’t be ready for the beginning of the regular season.

My hunch is that Adams – barring a setback – will be ready for the regular season. But he could begin camp on the PUP list simply as a precautionary hedge until the Seahawks know for sure where he is in his recovery.