Last Friday, the Seattle Seahawks acquired standout defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson via trade, sending Jermaine Kearse and a 2018 second-round draft pick to the New York Jets, who swapped 2018 seventh-rounders with the Seahawks.
Kearse’s presence on the team generated a lot of debate, with his disappointing 2016 really being a sore point after a solid 2015 campaign earned him a contract extension. You may be glad Kearse is gone from the standpoint of what he brings (or doesn’t bring) to the Seahawks offense, but he’s worked his ass off just to have a fairly lengthy NFL career in the first place. Undrafted out of the University of Washington, the Seahawks took in the born-and-raised Lakewood resident and initially placed him on the practice squad. When Ben Obomanu went down with a season-ending injury in October, Kearse was promoted to the 53-man roster, appearing mostly on special teams and sparsely getting snaps on offense.
In 2013, Kearse had an outstanding preseason, including a touchdown reception and a 107-yard kickoff return for a score in the 40-10 whipping of the Denver Broncos. Kearse caught the game-winning touchdown in the season opener at Carolina, and slowly but surely became integrated into the passing game, especially with injuries to Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. By the time January 2014 rolled around, Kearse was a playoff hero.
As pointed out in our comments section by CompletelyNormalGuy, Kearse is sort of the offensive version of Jordan Babineaux, aka “Big Play Babs.” Neither one was a top-tier player, but they both had a knack for making clutch plays in crunch time, and Kearse is responsible for two of the most important and dramatic touchdowns in franchise history.
I’d promised last week that if Kearse was let go as expected, I’d produce a special Enemy Reaction for “Chop Chop.” I hope you enjoy it!
September 8th, 2013: First Seahawks touchdown (vs. Panthers)
October 5th, 2013: Kearse beats Vontae Davis for a touchdown (vs. Colts)
November 10th, 2013: Flea-flicker! (vs. Falcons)
September 21st, 2014: Role-reversal! (vs. Broncos)
December 14th, 2014: Picture perfect pitch-and-catch (vs. 49ers)
December 24th, 2016: Last Seahawks touchdown (vs. Cardinals)
January 19th, 2014: The go-ahead touchdown (NFC Championship Game vs. 49ers)
February 2nd, 2014: Kearse goes Beast Mode! (Super Bowl XLVIII vs. Broncos)
January 10th, 2015: The longest reception of Kearse’s career (NFC Divisional Round vs. Panthers)
January 18th, 2015: The Seahawks are going back to the Super Bowl! (NFC Championship Game vs. Packers)
February 1st, 2015: What could’ve been... (Super Bowl XLIX vs. Patriots)
Thanks for the memories, Jermaine.
Next Enemy Reaction: Best of 2016-17 season (Targeted publish date: Thursday, September 7th)