By Eric D. Williams The News Tribune
The competition to back up Russell Wilson heated up this week, with the Seattle Seahawks hosting a quartet of veteran signal callers at the team’s Renton headquarters on Monday
Seneca Wallace, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and Tyler Thigpen all participated in structured workouts in front of the team’s coaching staff and scouts, with the hopes of earning a contract to compete for a reserve quarterback role on the team’s final roster.
The Seahawks are looking for a replacement for Matt Flynn, who was traded to Oakland last week. Seattle already brought back practice squad quarterback Josh Portis on a two-year deal.
Wallace, 32, is a familiar face, having served in a similar role for the first five years of his NFL career with the Seahawks, backing up Matt Hasselbeck from 2005 through 2009.
The Seahawks traded Wallace to Cleveland for a seventh round choice in 2010, where Wallace served mostly as a backup for Colt McCoy.
At 5-11 and 196 pounds, the cat-quick, strong-armed Wallace probably has the most similar skill set to Wilson, and is capable of running Seattle’s read option offense. He’s 6-15 as a starter.
Leinart, 29, was the No. 10 overall pick by Arizona in 2006 draft, but washed out with the Cardinals and was released at the end of training camp in September 2010.
Leinart was signed by Houston days later, serving as the backup for Matt Schaub. Leinart agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Texans after receiving some interest from Seattle in free agency in 2011.
Released by the Texans in March of last year, Leinart signed with Oakland two months later, serving as the backup to Carson Palmer in 2012. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound lefty is 8-10 as starter, and has some familiarity with the West Coast offense from his playing days with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at USC.
Quinn, 28, was selected No. 22 overall by Cleveland in 2007 draft, but never developed into a franchise quarterback for the Browns. At 6-4 and 232 pounds, Quinn served as a backup for Tim Tebow in Denver during the Broncos’ 2011 postseason run, and for Matt Cassel in Kansas City last season. Quinn is 4-16 as a starter.
Thigpen, 28, was a seventh round pick by the Minnesota in the 2007 draft. Released by the Vikings during final roster cuts, Kansas City claimed him off waivers a day later.
At 6-1 and 218 pounds, Thigpen is an impressive athlete who can run some of the read option elements of Seattle’s offense. Thigpen started 11 games for Kansas City in 2008, but spent the past two seasons as the backup for Ryan Fitzpatrick in Buffalo. He’s 1-11 as a starter.
The Seahawks have not made a decision on which player would be added to the fold, but the team did add someone involved in the workout – receiver Brett Swain
Seattle signed the San Diego State product to a two-year deal. At 6-foot and 200 pounds, Swain was a seventh round draft choice by the Packers in 2008 during Seahawks general manager John Schneider’s time in Green Bay.
Swain, 27, caught six passes for Green Bay in 2010, and hauled in two receptions while with San Francisco in 2011. Swain was cut by the 49ers during training camp last year.