The Seahawks have signed 10 players to future contracts, including eight who spent time on the practice squad this season – wide receivers Phil Bates and Bryan Walters, cornerbacks Chandler Fenner and Ron Parker, running back Derrick Coleman, tight end Cooper Helfet, linebacker Kyle Knox and defensive tackle Myles Wade.
Also signed were linebacker Korey Toomer, a fifth-round draft choice last year; and wide receiver Stephen Williams, who was with the Cardinals in training camp last summer but waived/injured in August.
These future signings can be insignificant moves. But in the past two years, players signed by the Seahawks in January included cornerback Brandon Browner, who has become a starter and played in Pro Bowl last year; guard Paul McQuistan, who started all 16 games this season and 10 last season; and wide receiver Charly Martin, who played in four games this season before being placed on injured reserve.
Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 2:00 p.m. practice and preparation for their Week 14 home matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
With the four-game suspension announced for cornerback Brandon Browner for violating the League’s policy on performance enhancing substances, Carroll addressed the club’s situation at cornerback, starting with a reiteration of roster moves that the team announced earlier in the day.
In Browner’s place, Carroll said third-year cornerback Walter Thurmond will get the first chance to start. Thurmond was active for the first time this season in the Seahawks’ Week 13 road win over the Chicago Bears, working as the club’s nickel corner in place of the injured Marcus Trufant, who was inactive while rehabbing a hamstring injury.
On Trufant, Carroll said he will continue to rest his hamstring and they will find out more on his status at the end of the week. So with Thurmond sliding over to one of the starting cornerback spots and Trufant’s status uncertain for Week 14, Carroll said rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane will get the first crack as the club’s nickel corner. Lane has impressed this season, successfully downing punts and securing good field position in the “gunner” role on special teams.
Carroll said that second-year cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Ron Parker, who was recently signed to the active roster from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad, and rookie cornerback DeShawn Shead, who was recently promoted from the club’s practice squad to the active roster, will be in competition for work as the team’s fourth cornerback.
Carroll discussed the move of offensive guard James Carpenter to the reserve/non-football illness list, emphasizing that the former first round draft pick will be fine in the long haul, but with lingering injuries to his knee and having suffered a concussion this year they decided to end his season. Carroll said that no surgery would be required on Carpenter’s knee.
Carroll said wide receiver Sidney Rice passed concussion evaluations and has been cleared to practice today, but will be limited.
“We’re counting on him playing,” Carroll said of Rice.
Linebacker Leroy Hill will also be limited today with an ankle injury. Carroll mentioned that second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith, who played well in place of Hill last Sunday in Chicago, has a chance to challenge Hill for the starting job.
“It’s a beautiful thing,” Carroll said of the competition between Hill and Smith.
Carroll said that defensive end Red Bryant will not practice today, insisting that he needs another day of rest for a plantar fasciitis (foot) injury.
Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.