The Seahawks signed their nine practice squad players to futures contracts on Wednesday, becoming the final NFL team to do so. The Hawks had nine practice squad players because they placed C Jared Smith on the Practice Squad I.R., which, frankly, I didn't really know existed until this season.
The nine receiving futures contracts - essentially the offseason 'practice squad' - are QB B.J. Daniels, CB Akeem Auguste, WR Phil Bates, DL Michael Brooks, DT Dewayne Cherrington, WR Arceto Clark, TE Cooper Helfet, DT D'Anthony Smith & G/C Jared Smith.
The Seahawks' roster is an extremely difficult one to break on to, especially considering Seattle favors a volume-drafting method where anywhere from 8 to 11 draft picks will be added as well, so futures contract types don't have strong odds to stick. That said, of the ten players signed last year - Derrick Coleman made the final roster and emerged as a key special teams ace and part time fullback, we saw Phil Bates and Cooper Helfet stick around on the practice squad, Korey Toomer and Chandler Fenner were good enough to stay with the team on the Injured Reserve, and Stephen Williams made some noise in the preseason before eventually being cut.
Other former futures contract guys are Brandon Browner and Paul McQuistan, so you know there's always a shot a player or three could emerge as a key contributor from this group.
To be honest, I actually do feel that this is a strong group though. B.J. Daniels has a legitimate shot at becoming Russell Wilson's backup next season if Tarvaris Jackson decides he'd like to go try and be the starter somewhere. Akeem Auguste has been a guy that Richard Sherman has pointed out on several occasions in the press - most recently during Super Bowl week when Sherman pointed out Auguste finished three straight practices with an interception. It would be interesting if Auguste fills the Walter Thurmond role going forward, assuming Thurmond doesn't return with a new contract. Phil Bates has been with the team in some capacity for two years now, and his size/speed combination is intriguing, as is Cooper Helfet's as a move tight end.
DT/DE Michael Brooks made a great impression during the preseason as a Michael Bennett type penetrator and while he's been dropped and picked up multiple times this year (which indicates the Hawks don't value him quite as highly as I might've thought) I'm still pretty intrigued as to what he can do with another year of development. Likewise, De'Anthony Smith was brought over from Jacksonville on a conditional late-round trade, was released to void the trade, then re-signed when no one else picked him up. He's a former 2010 3rd round pick out of Louisiana Tech. I believe he's a 3-tech prototype one gapper. DT DeWayne Cherrington, on the other hand, is an enormous two-gapping nose tackle type at 6'3, 335. Don't know a ton about the guy, but he has stuck around on and off the practice squad this season.
Jared Smith is a Seahawks 7th round pick from last year that made the move from college DT to NFL G/C. He's been on the PS IR all year so who knows. Apparently the Hawks are still intrigued. Arceto Clark looked pretty good in training camp last year and has the quicks and short-area burst to be a nice slot WR option.
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