As the third day of the 2020 NFL Draft wound to a close, the Seattle Seahawks appeared to be out of picks, only to then trade a 2021 sixth-round pick to reenter the draft. Once the Hawks had sent their 2021 sixth-round selection to the Miami Dolphins and came on the clock, the team used the pick to select Stephen Sullivan out of LSU, a one-time wide receiver who had converted to tight end prior to his final year in Baton Rouge.
Competing against significant depth at both wide receiver and tight end, Sullivan was waived at the end of training camp and then signed to the practice squad. While a member of the practice squad, he was elevated for the Week 8 game against the San Francisco 49ers, and played 22 snaps at defensive end and a lone special teams snap in his only opportunity to perform on the field. Barely three weeks later he would be moved to the practice squad injured reserve, where he would spend the remainder of the season.
However, once the season ended, the practice squad was dissolved and its members became free agents, including Sullivan. That led to the news Wednesday that Sullivan had found a new home.
The #Panthers have signed TE Stephen Sullivan, a seventh-round pick of the Seahawks last year, to a reserve/future contract.— Will Bryan (@Pantherstatsguy) February 3, 2021
So, for now it’s best of luck to Sullivan with the Carolina Panthers, and maybe in a decade or so when he’s old and injury plagued, the Seahawks can bring him back and add him to the list of washed up former Panthers tight ends added in free agency. On that note, the new NFL league year begins six weeks from Wednesday, meaning just six weeks until the official start of free agency.