NFL Wire News

Seahawks seem ready to sign Jackson


The Sports Xchange

RENTON, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks ended a meandering preseason at 2-2, heading into the season with a few more questions than they might have hoped.

Foremost, is Kam Chancellor ever intending to end his holdout and play for the Seahawks?

As the week began, no one seemed to know and Seattle had to begin taking seriously the idea that they will open the season against the Rams without him.

Seattle also entered the week with some unexpected upheaval at the running back position as the Seahawks waived backup tailback Robert Turbin as injured — with the expectation that his season may be done — and then traded Christine Michael to Dallas for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2016.

That helped create room on the roster for the expected signing of free-agent running back Fred Jackson, who was released by the Buffalo Bills earlier in the week.

The 34-year old Jackson is a close friend of Marshawn Lynch — the two played alongside each other in Buffalo from 2007-10 — and could also help fill Turbin’s role as a complementary back with good receiving skills.

The team also kept undrafted rookie free agent Thomas Rawls as a tailback.

Chancellor has been one of the keys to the team’s rise under head coach Pete Carroll, taken in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Carroll’s first year.

But as the preseason ended, his surprising holdout showed no signs of ending.

“Right now, nothing has changed in that situation,” Carroll said after the Seahawks ended the preseason with a 31-21 win over the Raiders last Thursday.

And that means the Seahawks could be playing the opener against the Rams with untested second-year man Dion Bailey at strong safety. Bailey started the last three games of the preseason there.

The good news is that the rest of the Legion of Boom appears to be rounding into some shape with free safety Earl Thomas expected to see action against the Rams after sitting out the preseason while still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Still, the LOB will have a different look with Marcus Burley apparently winning the nickel-back job with the team releasing veteran Will Blackmon, and with free-agent signee Cary Williams taking over as the right cornerback opposite Richard Sherman.

Seattle also has a rebuilt offensive line with new starters at three spots, two of whom have never started an NFL game: center Drew Nowak and right tackle Garry Gilliam.

Each was something of a training-camp surprise, with Nowak rising from practice squadder a year ago to suddenly being tasked with replacing the traded Max Unger.

The offense looked shaky throughout the preseason with the No. 1 unit scoring just one touchdown in 13 possessions, also getting four field goals, punting seven times and losing one fumble.

Quarterback Russell Wilson threw just one touchdown pass, coming on a 63-yarder to rookie receiver Tyler Lockett on the second play of the win over the Raiders.

That at least allowed Wilson and the No. 1 offense to head into the regular season with a little bit of momentum.

Carroll also pointed to the fact that Lynch played only three snaps in the preseason as a reason why it wasn’t fair to judge the first offense.

Still, the new-look line could hardly ask for a tougher test to open the season than against a St. Louis defense that some feel has the best line in the NFL, and in a stadium where the Seahawks have lost two of the last three years.

Seattle hopes that a receiving corps bolstered by the addition of tight end Jimmy Graham will provide some additional avenues for Wilson to get rid of the ball, and that the defensive front seven — which may be the best and fastest of the Carroll era — can make up for any issues in the secondary.

Seattle added depth to its secondary Saturday by trading a 2016 fifth-round pick to Kansas City for safety Kelcie McCray. McCray was mostly a special teams player for the Chiefs and regarded more as a depth player in the secondary for Seattle. But given the uncertainty at strong safety with Chancellor’s holdout, McCray could find his way onto the field quickly.

Notes: Wide receiver Chris Matthews, the breakout player of the Super Bowl, returned to action against the Raiders after missing two games with a sprained shoulder and appears ready for the season. … Cornerback Mohammed Seisay suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Raiders and was waived as injured and reverted to the team’s injured listIR. The team traded a seventh-round pick to Detroit for him at the beginning of training camp. … Linebacker Mike Morgan suffered a pulled hamstring in the third game of the preseason and sat out against Oakland. His status is uncertain. … Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson missed the last three games of the preseason with a sprained ankle. But it is expected that he will be ready for the opening of the season. Still, the team kept B.J. Daniels on its 53-man roster.

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