Each day I will cover two position groups as we march toward day one of Seahawks training camp. It is time to talk about the fellas that make up the most badass secondary in the NFL.
Kam Chancellor made headlines yesterday for apparently being the latest Seahawk to voice his displeasure about the state of his contract, with a holdout thrown out as a possibility. Yawn. Chancellor will be there for week one. He will be the terror the league knows he is. The order of events that leads to him playing week one is not yet determined, but the outcome will be the same. Should he decide to holdout, it simply means he will be fined and then eventually report once the Seahawks agree to not actually fine him.
It becomes an extended Summer break for a guy who probably could use the rest anyway. He has no leverage. The team may choose to modify his deal to mollify one of their core leaders. They may not. This is just the latest in a list of stories that will not have material impact on the season itself.
Should Chancellor be absent, we will get a chance to see more from young safeties like his half-brother, Keenan Lambert, Ronald Martin and Ryan Murphy. Murphy was the lone draft pick of that strong safety group and has seen the least practice time given Oregon St. has a late graduation date.
All of those rookies may be lower on the depth chart than Dion Bailey. Bailey is a tweener safety who is big enough to play close to the line, but has coverage abilities as well. He is listed as a free safety on the roster. We shall see where he lines up. Bailey was just starting to catch my attention last year when he got injured in camp. I’m eager to see how he has developed since then.
DeShawn Shead is the one guy almost certain to be on the field as he is the third safety after Chancellor and Earl Thomas, and at least one of those starters will not be suiting up. Thomas is still recovering from surgery and is unlikely to be out there. One of the key stories heading into the season will be whether Thomas is able to prove his readiness before the season starts. Should he go on PUP, the whole season comes into question. He is that important.
No need to stress too soon. Enjoy watching the young players spread their wings and hope that at least one or two look like prospects who could develop into something of value.
Steven Terrell played some last year and at 24, could be ready to show some growth. Tristan Wade is a rookie who is listed at just 170 lbs. That is like a 5’3″ NBA player. It will be fun to see if Wade has the range you would expect of a player that light. John Schneider had to have seen something in the young man to bring him all this way. He is #38 on your roster.
You probably have heard of Richard Sherman. The rest of the guys are far less famous. Cary Williams comes in with a contract that makes him almost impossible to cut this season, and pretty darn unlikely to cut next year either. That means we should all get used to him, and hope for the best.
This team knows corners better than any in football. If they think Williams can be a quality starter in this system, there is very little reason to doubt them. I just question the cost. Brandon Browner would have been cheaper, and we know what he brings to the table.
The veteran corner who will have to earn his roster spot is Will Blackmon. He is the leading candidate to start as the nickel corner, but the team can save some cap room by cutting him, and they have a lot of guys who could push him for snaps. Marcus Burley was promising last year, and has had a full offseason to prepare. Tharold Simon could push his way into the mix, possibly even forcing Williams inside. Tye Smith, the rookie draft pick, is said to be raw, but full of potential.
Jeremy Lane will start the season on the PUP list or IR, with a designation to return.
Watching the depth chart and the sub-packages will be key with this group. Keep on eye on who is playing outside and who is playing nickel.