The Seahawks signed 11 players to futures contracts on Thursday, filling out part of their 90-man offseason roster. The players are:
TE RaShaun Allen
S Dion Bailey
RB Demitrius Bronson
G Nate Isles
WR Douglas McNeil
G Drew Nowak
T Justin Renfrow
DE Ryan Robinson
DT Jimmy Staten
DE Julius Warmsley
LB Mike Zimmer
Allen spent some time on the Seahawks' active roster this season after Zach Miller got hurt and before they signed Tony Moeaki. Bailey was an undrafted free agent out of USC that many believed would go in the middle rounds of the draft. He spent training camp with the Hawks and has been off and on the team's practice squad this year. Demitrius Bronson showed some promise running the ball in the preseason, and I liked his combination of physicality and lateral burst.
Douglas McNeil is a 6'3, 200 pound receiver out of Virginia Tech, James Madison University and Bowie State University. He also played for the Arena League Portland Thunder.
Justin Renfrow played defensive tackle in college (Virginia) but was switched to the offensive line when he was signed by the Packers as a rookie. Drew Nowak has a similar story -- he played defensive tackle at Western Michigan, where at 6'4, 295 pounds, he won the MAC Defensive Player of the Year Award his final year with 91 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, 1 forced fumble and 2 blocked kicks. He went into the draft as a defensive player but then eventually switched to the OL with the Packers.
Both Renfrow and Nowak are projects after switching sides of the ball, but the Seahawks really like what J.R. Sweezy ended up bringing to the table as a conversion project, so perhaps they'll keep going to that well.
Nate Isles is a small school player that signed with the Hawks as a UDFA last year and stuck around on their practice squad. Jimmy Staten was a fifth round pick for Seattle last year and after he cleared waivers during original cut-downs, he stuck with the team off and on the practice squad. Ryan Robinson, Julius Warmsley, and Mike Zimmer were later additions to the Seahawks' practice squad this year, so we didn't get to see much of them in training camp or other settings. The only practice squad player at the end of this season that didn't get a futures deal was LB Allen Bradford. I'm guessing he'll catch on at some point down the line.
Nine players received futures contracts last year: 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. Nonetheless, Daniels, Bates, and Helfet, actually made it to Seattle's active roster this season so these guys all have a shot at that.