Seahawks Add Terrell Thomas And Eric Winston
By Corbin Smith
The defending champion Seattle Seahawks broke training camp with one of the league's youngest rosters, and the front office appears focused on adding some veteran leadership to the locker room.
The Seahawks agreed to terms on one-year contracts with former New York Giants CB Terrell Thomas and former Arizona Cardinals OT Eric Winston on Tuesday morning. News initially surfaced about Thomas reaching a deal late last night, while Winston personally announced his new deal on Twitter this morning.
The Seahawks' secondary appears to be in great shape with Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell headlining a strong group of corners, but the team has been actively searching for replacements for Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond to fill out the depth chart. Thomas has been ravaged by injuries during his NFL career and missed both the 2011 and 2012 seasons following ACL operations, but he's been a highly-productive player when healthy. He made an astounding comeback last year for New York, returning to the lineup to appear in all 16 games while making 67 tackles and one interception. Based on his prior experience playing for Pete Carroll at USC, the Seahawks must think he can still be a valuable contributor as a nickel corner in Dan Quinn's system. At worst, he adds a quality veteran to the competition to push younger players like Tharold Simon.
Winston may have a better shot at earning a starting gig, as Seattle still needs to find a replacement for former starter Breno Giacomini. Rookie Justin Britt and second-year tackle Michael Bowie were expected to compete for the starting nod at right tackle, but a tweaked shoulder has prevented Bowie from practicing and Britt has struggled mightily in pass protection thus far. Winston has been a steady starter for eight seasons in the league, and may have an opportunity to be a stop-gap starter at right tackle until either Britt or Bowie is ready to take over. As president of the NFL Players Association, he will bring valuable leadership intangibles with him, and should be a great mentor for Seattle's young offensive linemen.
In order to make room to officially sign Thomas, Winston and WR Randall Carroll, Seattle waived OT Bronson Irwin and CB Chandler Fenner while also placing WR Taylor Price on injured reserve. Expect the Seahawks to give both seasoned veterans quality looks in camp to see if they fit into the team's plans this year. It's a no-risk gamble that could end up paying dividends as the team aims to repeat as Super Bowl champs.