Seahawks re-sign CB Neiko Thorpe
The Seahawks brought back one of their best special teams players from last season and retained some depth in their secondary with the re-signing of unrestricted free-agent cornerback Neiko Thorpe, which the team announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
Thorpe is the first of Seattle's 14 unrestricted free agents to re-sign with the team.
The 27-year-old was signed by Seattle on Sept. 13, two days after the Seahawks' Week 1 win over the Miami Dolphins and a week following his release from the Indianapolis Colts. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder appeared in 15 games with the Seahawks, excelling as a gunner on coverage teams and leading the team with nine special teams tackles in 2016. He appeared in 97 snaps on defense, less than nine percent of the total for the season, making 10 total tackles.
Thorpe played in 28 games with Oakland in 2014 and 2015, starting two games and finishing with seven pass breakups and an interception. The Michigan native went undrafted out of Auburn before signing with Kansas City and playing nine games his rookie season in 2012, then spent the next year in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts before catching on with the Raiders.
Retaining Thorpe gives Seattle a measure of depth at a cornerback position that badly needs it this offseason. Aside from three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman and slot cornerback Jeremy Lane, the team doesn't have a lot of players with starting potential after DeShawn Shead went down with a knee injury in the Seahawks' playoff loss to Atlanta.
When asked about the position in his season-ending press conference, head coach Pete Carroll mentioned Thorpe as one of the players who might need to step up in 2017.
"We have to think like we have to pull from the ranks of the guys and see how they do," Carroll said. "I thought (2016 undrafted rookie) DeAndre Elliott did a nice job in the bits that he played, Neiko did some nice stuff for us, too, there were a couple other guys there on the roster that have looked good and looked competitive. We're going to have to do a really nice job of coaching in the case that DeShawn doesn't make it back able to go."
The Seahawks are widely anticipated to add a player or two from a loaded class of cornerbacks in next month's NFL draft.
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