Like many Seahawks fans, I am of course curious about the possibility of the Hawks giving Dominique Easley a look, especially now that he was not claimed off of waivers and would come cheap. Hopefully I can save you all some time with this info I collected digging around over at Pats Pulpit, on Twitter, and elsewhere (esp. here):
- Health: reported to be healthy now, tore both ACLs in college, landed on IR his first 2 seasons in NFL (knee 2014 and torn quadriceps 2015)
o Ignored requests to rehab with team trainers and did his own thing (in Germany this off-season experimenting with different options)
o Showed up to rookie minicamp with unreported ankle, arm, wrist injuries from his pet pitbull attack two weeks before draft. These prevented him from participating and set him back in ACL rehab. Not exactly a good start to their relationship...
- Character: Immature, irresponsible, unreliable, entitled attitude, thinks he's invincible
o Would schedule massages, and not show up. Disrespectful.
o One Yahoo writer says NFC exec told her last year "he's a turd".
o ESPN reported in 2015 that even back at Florida he was problematic, threatened to quit the team repeatedly, missing meetings as a result.
- Aloof personality:
o Fired 2 agents and 3 financial advisers in his two years in NFL, hiring Rosenhaus just last week.
o Weird issue with his dog attacks, one lawsuit already resulting and possibly more to come.
- Locker room cancer: this point is debatable as some report he was popular with at least some other players.
- Why did the Pats draft him? The same reporter who wrote about the "he's a turd" quote also reported that NE scouts were low on Easley, giving him a 4th-round grade, but Belichick sided with Mike Lombardi, assistant to the coaching staff and his "right-hand man", who thought he was worth a first round pick. (Belichick seems to have a history of overriding his scouts)
- Why did the Pats cut him? Besides ridding themselves of a headache and misfit, his contract has a salary offset, so if another team signs him the Pats will at least get to subtract that amount from the $2.9m dead money.
- Did the Seahawks want to draft him?
o The Seahawks war-room feed in the 2014 draft seemed to show the whole room "deflated" (yes, we are talking SEA here, not NE...) several minutes before going on the clock for their first round pick at #32. They then quickly traded down into round two. Much has been speculated as to whether they were bummed out that the Patriots "stole" their guy (Easley). Although in light of the recent events, some have now suggested that the webcam might have been delayed several minutes, and the player they really wanted could have been another (Deone Buchannon-ARI or even Bradley Roby-DEN). I will just leave it at what it is: speculation.
- Would the Seahawks want to give him a look now?
o Though he only had two sacks in 11 games last season, Easley was the most productive interior pass rusher in the NFL as far as pressures go, according to Pro Football Focus. Interior pass rush is exactly something the Seahawks have been missing the past two seasons. (losing Clinton McDonald to FA and Jordan Hill to injury since 2013)
o Could a change of scenery from the strict style of the Patriots to the more relaxed culture of the Seahawks change anything or at least mitigate the seriousness of the negatives? Is he better than the options available to the Hawks in the draft in less than two weeks? Is he worth the risk of another locker room headache ala Percy Harvin, albeit at a much lower cost?
These are all questions the Seahawks will be looking into and that we might find answered soon. Hopefully the info above helps you understand their decision, whatever that turns out to be.