Wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow is no stranger to many in Seattle, but a name not well known in the NFL. He is working hard to change that during the preseason.
Stringfellow’s football career didn’t start off on the best foot. After playing for the University of Washington, he was suspended from the team for fighting with Seahawks fans after the Seattle Super Bowl win. He then transferred to Ole Miss where he played for 2 seasons. In his final season there, he caught 46 passes, for 716 yards and 6 touchdowns.
He went undrafted in 2017, but was picked up by the Miami Dolphins. He was waived by the Dolphins prior to the season starting but was signed by the New York Jets. He spent the season on the practice squad.
Seattle signed him to a contract a few months ago, and Stringfellow has been impressing people ever since. With there being a lot of competition at the WR position in Seattle, most didn’t have him making it to the 53 man roster. However, after the first preseason game, and the way he has shown up in practice, minds are being changed.
It was an announcement many expected, but no one was looking forward to. Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, a founding member of the famed Legion of Boom, has decided to step away from football.
It was November 10, 2017. It will become a day that Seahawks fans won’t ever forget simply because, now, it marks the end of an era. It was a typical hard knock game between division rivals. Seven players left the game between Seattle and Arizona due to injury. Two of those players were cornerback Richard Sherman and Chancellor. Neither will ever see a Seahawk uniform again.
Chancellor sustained a neck injury, a “stinger”, toward the end of that game. It’s the same injury that ended defensive end Cliff Avril’s career the same year. Head coach Pete Carroll said multiple times that it would be very hard to come back from this type of injury, but fans held out hope.
“Before the LOB [Legion of Boom] was the LOB, they were just a bunch of kids outta college trying to make a name on the field. They had to start somewhere, and I feel like why can’t we?”
Without knowing it, Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald possibly summed up the Seattle Seahawks 2018 defense in one quote.
The six-year vet is getting a lot of press lately due to the contract holdout of safety Earl Thomas and the medical status of S Kam Chancellor. However, he is not the only “new guy” that could be making a splash this season. There are a handful of players ready to continue the great tradition of defense for Seattle.
Let me just say straight from the start, any questions that surround Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas have nothing to do with him as a player. He is, without question, a once in a generation safety. The only questions around Thomas have to do with his contract and his team.
With that out of the way…
I am a firm believer that once you have a player that absolutely dominates in his position within the NFL, you hold on to him. When a player has the term “Future Hall of Famer” attached to him, you keep him. You pay him. Of course, every player starts to decline at some point, but until that point (or even just slightly past), you keep him on your roster. In this reporter’s opinion, this is the case with Earl Thomas.
I’ll admit I can’t quit tearing up thinking about it. In fact, I’ve seen more people talk about how they cried during this draft than any other draft before. This one got us straight in the feels.
We all wanted our favorite team to draft linebacker Shaquem Griffin in this years NFL draft. We wanted to see his name called, for him to walk across that stage, and put on the hat that said our team’s name. For Seattle Seahawks fans, this want was even greater than most.
Seattle fans spent all last season in awe of a rookie with the last name of Griffin. After struggling just a bit at the beginning of the season, cornerback Shaquill Griffin not only won the starting CB position across from CB Richard Sherman, he nailed it. Seahawks finally had their bookend for Sherman. When Sherman got hurt and was out for the season, it was Shaquill Griffin who stepped up. He owned his position and became an instant fan favorite.
My last article regarding the Seattle Seahawks and the 2018 NFL Draft talked about their history of trading out of the first round. Well, this year there was a trade where Seattle traded out of the 18th pick, however, the Seahawks shocked their fans by actually using the 27th pick.
Seattle used that 1st round pick to get San Diego State University running back Rashaad Penny. Penny was the nation’s leading rusher with 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was also very good on special teams, returning 2 kick returns for TDs, and 1 punt return for a TD. Penny was fifth in Heisman voting this year.
To some, taking him in the 1st round was a stretch, seeing him as a 2nd to 3rd round player. Others were thrilled to pick him up before someone else grabbed him.
Mock drafts. The mainstay of football media in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. Hundreds of journalists guessing who will take who and when. It’s a monumental job that, traditionally, most get very wrong. The inconsistency of NFL general managers and coaches make this a difficult task, and Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are some of the most unpredictable in the league.
Go ahead and ask a Seahawks fan who they think Seattle will take in first round. Doesn’t matter the year, you will get the same reaction – a laugh. With the exception of 2016 when they took offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, the Seahawks have traded out of their first round pick every year since 2012.
Both Schneider and Carroll covet having a lot of draft picks. They have become masters at finding good value in the mid rounds, and in this year’s draft, they don’t have many. Seattle currently holds a first round pick, but then has nothing again until the fourth round. Most teams would be happy with eight picks, but its because of where those picks lie that I can see Seattle trading out of that first round.
There’s no way around it. The Los Angeles Rams have gone all in to win this year. Making huge additions to their team, additions that will probably only be around for a year or two, the former St. Louis team has decided its time, right now, to win.
Understandably, this has made Seattle Seahawks fans nervous. Add to that the fact the famed Legion of Boom (as fans knew it) has disbanded, there’s not enough Xanax in the world to help the 12th man make it through until preseason.
However, should there be panic in Seattle? Have fans focused too much on who has left, instead of seeing who is still here?
(One of the great things about working for Our Turf football is we don’t require writers to turn off their emotion when writing. We ask them to be objective, fair, and respectful, yet we never ask them to stop loving their team. Today I’m writing purely from a fan’s point of view. Indulge me, if you will. -DO)
In the mind, it makes sense.
Logically, one can see why the Seattle Seahawks needed to let veteran, Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman test free agency. The Seahawks were desperately needing some cap space. Sherman, now 30 years old, is coming off two Achilles tendon surgeries. My mind gets it. My heart, however…
It has been several weeks since the Seahawks have made any news. At that time, the notable changes came by way of coaching personnel, but since then it has been quiet.
After this season was over, there was a lot of questions about key player decisions. Looking at the needs of the roster and the amount of cap room ($14,123,861 per overthecap.com), clearing up some cap space is needed. But where will it come from?
One of the options, strong safety Kam Chancellor’s future with the team, was answered already. The Seahawks allowed the Feb 9th roster deadline to come and go thereby guaranteeing his contract extension for 2018. The 3-year extension was signed in August 2017 before the regular season began. It included an injury clause that guaranteed his base salary.
Unless he chooses to retire, which it seems he plans to play, the Seahawks will have to pay his base salary of $5.2 million which will go against the cap space. At the time it was signed many critics thought it would hamstring the organization. In hindsight, that may have occurred.