The Seahawks signed two more players to futures contracts this morning, inking outside linebacker Mike Taylor and tight end Travis Beckum to their de facto 'offseason practice squad'. Taylor was on the Seahawks' practice squad for a short while last December (a week, actually), but apparently lingering health issues have hurt his ability to stick on a roster. Beckum was a 3rd round pick by the Giants back in 2009, and did not play this last season after sitting on the Injured Reserve in 2012 from a torn ACL, suffered in Super Bowl XLVI.
Taylor had a prolific career at Wisconsin, amassing 378 tackles, 38.5 for a loss, seven sacks, four interceptions and four forced fumbles during four seasons in Madison. He suffered a sports hernia during his senior season and missed the Combine and his Pro Day because of that injury - and this obviously impacted his stock. Nonetheless, the 6'2, 234 pound linebacker has been on Seattle's radar for some time, so it'll be interesting to see if he can get healthy and perhaps challenge for a roster spot as a core special teamer.
With Heath Farwell due $1.67M next year, Seattle will likely be looking to groom a replacement at some point soon, so keep on eye on Taylor. Previously injured LB Korey Toomer is another player to keep an eye on this summer. Toomer has missed the past two seasons with various injuries but is rumored to be healthy now and ready to go.
Beckum is another former Badger, and will join Zach Miller, Luke Willson, and Cooper Helfet at tight end. Kellen Davis and Anthony McCoy are going to be free agents at the beginning of the new league year, so the Hawks are likely looking to add a little competition at that spot.
Beckum started his collegiate career as a defensive end but former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema saw potential for him at tight end. He excelled there, catching 61 passes for 903 yards and 5 scores his sophomore year, then 75 catches for 982 yards and 6 touchdowns as a junior. As his coaches state in the accompanying video, he seemed to ball out in big games - he caught 10 passes for 132 yards against Michigan State, then 11 for 160 at Illinois, and 9 for 140 at Ohio St his final year at Wisconsin. For what it's worth, I actually do think John Schneider values that 'gamer' attribute in a player.
With the Giants, Beckum seemed to be progressing as a situational role player, but then tore his ACL during the Super Bowl. He went on IR the following season, and last year, was not signed. He's 6'3, 235, and is 27 years old.