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11 players on the Seahawks with at least 7 years of experience
Seaside Joe 1211: The veteran leadership expected to help carry Seattle through the toughest year of the rebuild
As we approach Rookie Month in July, I felt it appropriate to highlight some of the players who are the furthest away from their first seasons in the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks should be on a plan that gets them back into contention no sooner than the 2023 season, but these veteran players have committed themselves to the rebuild even after eclipsing or nearly reaching the age of 30.
Tyler Lockett, turns 30 on September 28
For a few years, I was constantly pounding home the idea that Lockett needed to be taken off of special teams duties so that he could focus more on being a receiver and eliminate the injury risk associated with kickoff and punt returns. Lockett only has two total returns over the last two seasons and he has responded a career-high 100 catches and 10 touchdowns in 2020, then a career-high 1,175 yards in 2021.
Lockett was far more effective with Russell Wilson (12.2 Y/A on 80 targets) than Geno Smith (7.3 Y/A on 27 targets, 0 touchdowns) and how effective his skillset can be in a tamped down deep passing attack remains to be seen. We’re also waiting to find out if Shane Waldron has a long-term future as an NFL offensive coordinator or head coach and that too will help determine how many more seasons Lockett has as Seattle’s number one or number two receiver.
If Lockett isn’t happy with his opportunities, will he ask for a new one?
Justin Coleman, turned 29 on March 27
After appearing in every game for the Seahawks from 2017-2018, Coleman played two seasons with the Detroit Lions and then in all 16 games with the Miami Dolphins last year. The increase Coleman saw in his snap count (672 to 963) after signing with the Lions was an indication that he is not a full-time defensive player. Coleman played in 35-percent of the snaps with the Dolphins last season, but he did record two interceptions and was better than his first season with the Lions.
Coleman may have an uphill battle to make Seattle’s final 53-man roster.
Quandre Diggs, turned 29 on January 22
The fact that the Seahawks re-signed Quandre Diggs to a three-year deal indicates that Seattle will be even more committed to extending DK Metcalf prior to the season. If Diggs is convinced that the Seahawks aren’t going to tank for the next couple of years, then Pete Carroll must be pitching a rose-colored future.
Safety longevity seems to be a real thing. Look at the success that Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde have had over the last few years with the Bills, or the long-term relationship of Bill Belichick and Devin McCourty.
Jason Myers, turned 31 on May 12
The Seahawks could still choose to go another route prior to the season, even if Myers is the only kicker on the roster today. He’s fine, I don’t worry too much about him because kicker volatility is so extreme.
Tyler Ott, turned 30 on February 28
Time is flying by… going on year six with Tyler Ott as the longsnapper.
Gabe Jackson, turns 31 on July 12
A third round pick out of Mississippi State (Charles Cross connection) in 2014, will Jackson be a starting guard for the Seahawks this season or be traded to a new situation that might better fit this phase of his career?
Shelby Harris, turns 31 on August 11
A seventh round pick in 2014, Harris could be another example of Seattle’s intentions to remain competitive in 2022. He’s not going to change the make-up of the pass rush, Harris is not the second coming of Chris Clemons, and this could end up as his only season with the Seahawks even after his contract restructure. But in the case of some other defensive lineman in the last 10 years, Carroll has shown an affection for over-30 big men on that side of the ball.
Geno Smith, turns 32 on October 10
Not many quarterbacks in history have ever been in Geno’s position right now. He has only made 34 career starts but now he’s got an opportunity to start half that many (17) for the Seahawks next season. One moderately acceptable comparison would be Kyle Orton.
After starting for the Bears and Broncos in his 20s, Orton had a few years on the bench prior to popping up as the starter for the Buffalo Bills in 2014. Then 32, Orton went 7-5 as a starter and threw 18 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Acceptable?
Maybe. It was his final career season though, and the last for Doug Marrone as head coach of the Bills. Buffalo’s next head coach was Rex Ryan, Smith’s former head coach with the Jets.
Marquise Goodwin, turns 32 on November 19
One round after the Jets picked Geno, the Bills selected Goodwin out of Texas… two picks after the Chargers found Keenan Allen. (The Seahawks picked Christine Michael at the end of round two.)
Goodwin was one of those picks that came with the tag of being a “long-term project” and that is kind of what happened: 349 receiving yards over his first three seasons, then 431 yards in year four, and then 962 yards when he signed with the 49ers in year five.
Goodwin caught 20 passes for 313 yards with the Chicago Bears in 2021. Like Coleman, Jackson, or even Myers, Goodwin could be having to work his way into a job on the Seahawks rather than out of one.
Nick Bellore, turned 33 on May 12
Would you rather be an NFL star for three years and that’s your whole career, or an NFL veteran for 11 years?
Fun fact: Nick Bellore was a teammate with Geno Smith on the Jets in 2013-2014, a teammate with Quandre Diggs on the Lions in 2017-2018, and he just barely missed Goodwin on the 49ers and Coleman on the Lions. He has spent the last three seasons with the Seahawks, making the Pro Bowl in 2020. Bellore is three snaps shy of 3,000 special teams snaps in his career.
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Al Woods, turned 35 on March 25th
One season with the Bucs, one with the Seahawks, two with the Steelers, three with the Titans, two with the Colts, one more with the Seahawks, one year off, and then another with the Seahawks, followed by his recent new contract to stay in Seattle. That’s Al Woods’ career, 12 years after the SAINTS made him a fourth round pick in 2010 and then waived him as a rookie.
Woods went four picks after Geno Atkins, four picks ahead of Seattle’s choice of E.J Wilson, and 10 picks ahead of Kam Chancellor.
The 619 snaps that Al Woods played in 2021 were a career-high and he also had 73 more on special teams. He doesn’t seem to be the oldest player on the team and it feels like his role could even expand, if anything.