NFL

NFL AM: Seahawks Reciever Ricardo Lockette Forced To Retire

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Seahawks Receiver Ricardo Lockette forced to retire:

The NFL is a brutal game, and whether it’s watching Malcolm Butler intercept what could have been a game-winning touchdown pass that was headed his way, or learning that he’d be forced to retire at just 29 years of age, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette will likely always look back at his NFL career with a lot of what ifs.

What if Butler’s reaction wasn’t so fast? What if the block from Dallas Cowboys’ safety Jeff Heath wasn’t so brutal that it left Lockette with ligament damage that would wind up ending his career?

An undrafted free agent out of Fort Valley State, Lockette made his name as a special teams’ contributor, and ultimately it was a special teams play that lead to the injury which is forcing him out of the game.

Lockette compiled just 22 receptions for 251 yards and four touchdowns during his short time with the Seahawks, but he accomplished something that many players would trade all of their statistics for, and that’s winning a Super Bowl. While his NFL career was short lived, and likely fell short of his goals and aspirations, that ring will always leave the Seahawks wide out as one of a small brotherhood of men who know what it feels like to have the Vince Lombardi trophy in your hands.

The unfortunate reality is that special teams players are as at risk for catastrophic injury more than any other players on the field, and more often than not, they’re the least financially capable to withstand losing the game. It’s the lowest compensated players who have to put their bodies at risk in the most dangerous of ways the game has to offer, and no matter what you change about the game, that will always be the case.

Jaguars sign Bjoern Werner:

As the former 24th-overall selection of the Indianapolis Colts, it’s difficult to call Bjoern Werner’s NFL career anything other than a pretty big bust.

When a team selects a pass rusher in the first round, the hope and expectation is that he should get you 6.5 sacks or so as a rookie and then continue to grow from there. Certainly the Colts would have loved to see that kind of production from Werner, as the defensive end from Germany was only able to muster 6.5 sacks during his three seasons in Indianapolis.

Werner started just one game as a rookie, but played in 13, and was only able to record one sack to go with his 14 tackles. In his second season, Werner picked up 37 tackles and four sacks, before not starting a single game or recording a single sack in 2015. After three very underwhelming seasons in Indianapolis, it was no surprise to see the Colts move on from Werner’s their former first-round pick.

While the Jacksonville Jaguars became one of the best interior defensive lines in football this offseason by adding Malik Jackson to a defensive tackle group that includes Sen’Derrick Marks and Roy Miller, they could still use help off the edge despite having a pair of first round picks at defensive end in veteran Tyson Alualu and Dante Fowler Jr, who the team selected 3rd-overall in 2015. Fowler’s ability to bounce back from a season-ending ACL injury during his first practice with the Jaguars a season ago will go a long way in determining how Jacksonville’s new look defense will perform.

Sometimes a change of scenery can be very good for a young football player, and Werner will go from the pressure of being a 1st-round pick on a team desperate for him to excel as a pass rusher to a team loaded with big-name players with high expectations where fans will be happy if Werner can just work into the rotation and give them some help getting to the passer.

If Werner can’t make it work on this defensive line, he likely can’t make it work in the NFL.

Julian Edelman undergoes second foot surgery:

If there’s anything that might make New England Patriots fans more uncomfortable than Tom Brady’s strange new Beautyrest air mattress commercial, it’s the idea of wide receiver Julian Edelman missing time in 2016 due to a foot injury he sustained in 2015.

While there’s been no suggestion that Edelman’s injury could linger into the 2016 season, it can’t be a good sign the Patriots wide out is having another surgery now after it had been reported that he wouldn’t need a second surgery at all.

The new surgery was to reinsert a screw from a previous procedure, but the team suggests he’ll be ready for training camp.

With the Patriots likely being without Tom Brady for the first four games of the season, Jimmy Garoppolo can use all the help he can get.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.