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Seahawks continue bottom of the roster churn

Washington Redskins v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Thursday saw the Seattle Seahawks formalize the signing of two free agents that had been reported and anticipated since earlier in the week by adding wide receiver Keenan Reynolds and linebacker Dadi Nicolas to the roster. In order to make room for these two additions, the Hawks waived defensive linemen Marcell Frazier and Noble Nwachukwu.

Reynolds is a name that many may recognize from his time as the starting quarterback at the Naval Academy, where he led the team’s option offense. However, due to his size and lack of arm strength he converted to wider receiver upon entering the NFL in 2016 after being drafted in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens. He was waived at the end of training camp, and spent the first sixteen weeks of the season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster prior to the season finale. In spite of being promoted to the active roster he spent the last game of the season on the inactive list because the Ravens reportedly promoted him for the sole purpose of retaining team control at the end of the season.

The reasoning behind this is that practice squad players become free agents at the end of the season, able to sign with any team. However, practice squad players promoted to the active roster prior to the end of the season then become exclusive rights free agents and are unable to sign with another team. Thus, Reynolds resigned with the Ravens for 2017, but was once again cut at the end of training camp. He spent the next couple of months unemployed before joining the practice squad of the Washington Redskins in November. In any case, Reynolds is a highly athletic player who comps out well with Doug Baldwin

Athletic profile comparison of Keenan Reynolds to Doug Baldwin

Event Keenan Reynolds Doug Baldwin
Event Keenan Reynolds Doug Baldwin
Height 5094 5096
Weight 190 189
40 Time 4.57 4.48
Bench Reps 15 6
Vertical Jump 37 37
Broad Jump 120 123
Shuttle N/A 4.26
3-Cone N/A 6.56

Interestingly, Reynolds is the first receiver the team has added this offseason that was not a big-bodied receiver. Before free agency even started the team added Marcus Johnson (6-1, 204) via trade from the Philadelphia Eagles, and then in free agency added Jaron Brown (6-3, 204) from the Arizona Cardinals. The trend continued as the Hawks added multiple undrafted free agent receivers that met these thresholds, until adding Reynolds Thursday.

In addition the Seahawks also added linebacker Dadi Nicolas. Nicolas is another 2016 sixth round selection, having been selected by the Kansas City Chiefs after playing his college ball at Virginia Tech. He appeared in eleven games, recording 28 defensive snaps and 45 special teams snaps before suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in the season finale. He then spent the entirety of 2017 on the PUP list, before being released earlier this month. Prior to his release he was part of a trade to the Cleveland Browns, however, due to a failed physical the trade was cancelled and Nicolas returned to the Browns.

Prior to his knee injury Nicolas compared very favorably athletically to K.J. Wright, but it will obviously require patience to see how his knee has recovered and what he is able to do when training camp opens. It will have been more than a year and a half since his injury, so perhaps the Seahawks have found themselves a steal because athletically he was very close to what the Hawks like prior to the injury.

Athletic profile comparison of Dadi Nicolas (pre-injury) to K.J. Wright

Event Dadi Nicolas K.J. Wright
Event Dadi Nicolas K.J. Wright
Height 6027 6033
Weight 235 246
40 Time 4.74 4.75
Bench Reps 14 20
Vertical Jump 41 32
Broad Jump 118 120
Shuttle 4.38 4.46
3-Cone 7.04 7.26

What either of these players brings to the table won’t truly be known until training camp opens and the preseason games start, however, it is readily apparent that both of them match certain athletic traits the team likes. Whether that translates to anything on the field remains to be seen, but the potential is certainly there.