The Seahawks have signed veteran zone blocking right tackle Eric Winston, WR Randall Carroll, and officially announced the signing of Terrell Thomas. They placed WR Taylor Price on injured reserve and waived rookie guard Bronson Irwin and second-year defensive back Chandler Fenner. As per usual, I'd expect Irwin and Fenner will hang around on Seattle's speed dial and wait to see if injuries happen.
The Winston signing is certainly very interesting. Right now rookie Justin Britt is battling 2nd year Michael Bowie for the starting right tackle position so it's nice to have a little veteran insurance there in case things don't develop at that spot like Seattle's coaches hope.
Winston's a 30-year old long-time veteran of the Alex Gibbs/Gary Kubiak family of zone blocking, which should mean he'll be able to acclimate himself easily to Tom Cable's version in Seattle. Winston started all 16 games at right tackle in Arizona last year and while he struggled mightily early in the year in Bruce Arians' blocking scheme, he seemed to really pick things up toward the end of the year. His final two games were by far his best, per PFF's rating system, and these performances came against Seattle and San Francisco, which is encouraging, certainly.
Absurdly, Winston has started 119 straight games -- the 2nd longest streak in the NFL right now -- so his toughness is unassailable. On paper, this looks like another excellent move by Seattle's front office to find a well-respected veteran player that fits their system and their program, helps provide some leadership in the young offensive line room, and could in theory even play a vital role on game-days. We'll see how things shake out with the competition. Winston got a 12.1 run blocking grade by PFF in 2012 while with Kansas City, and a 11.2 run blocking grade in 2011 with the Texans. I imagine the Seahawks value this greatly.
As for Randall Carroll, the Seahawks again go to the Pete Carroll former-recruit cupboard, signing a former USC commit that bolted for UCLA when Pete announced he'd be coming to Seattle. He was a high school sprinting champion who won the California State titles in the 100 and 200 meter events (this is nothing to sniff at). Carroll was dismissed from UCLA for academic reasons, signed on with New Mexico State but instead finished his career at Sull Ross State, a DIII program. He ran a 4.37 40 at 5'10, 195 at a regional combine recently, so speed is apparent. His size is interesting -- similar to Percy Harvin (Percy mentioned he's 195 recently) -- and Carroll will likely compete for the kick/punt return jobs.
As Jared Stanger pointed out on Twitter, here's some practice footage of Carroll running routes at UCLA.
Of course, the Hawks also announced officially that they signed CB Terrell Thomas, as I wrote about last night.