By John Boyle
The process of signing undrafted rookies right after the draft can be a hectic one. After the seventh round ends, teams race to sign the top undrafted free agents, and as Pete Carroll put it “this stuff happens within minute sometimes… It’s a big gold rush, in a sense.”
So it stands to reason that the Seahawks would want to get the message out ahead of time to potential undrafted rookies that Seattle is a good landing spot. Throughout a 30-minute pre-draft press conference, Carroll and general manager John Schneider harped on how the Seahawks’ philosophy of competition makes them a good place for undrafted free agents. They brought up stats about how much their undrafted rookies play in the preseason, about how many undrafted players helped them in the Super Bowl, and they talked about how draft status didn’t matter to their decision making.
It seemed so deliberate, almost as if they were reading from a script. Well apparently they were in a way. It turns out the Seahawks have sent out a recruiting brochure to the agents of potential undrafted players, which amongst other things outlines the stats of playing time for undrafted free agents, and even the high number of draft cuts the Seahawks have cut. Essentially the Seahawks are bragging about their draft “failures” as a way to show undrafted players that they’ll have a real shot to beat out the players who were drafted before those UDFAs sign Saturday night.
The Herald obtained a copy of the brochure, which begins with a message from Pete Carroll: “We wholeheartedly believe in competition in all aspects of our program, and the only way to compete is to show it on the field. We’re dedicated to giving all of our players a look to find out who they are and what they’re all about so we can field the best team possible.”
It also notes that the Seahawks have cut more picks under Carroll and Schneider than any team other than Washington, that the Seahawks give undrafted players more preseason playing time than other teams (essentially a way of saying, “even if we cut you, you’ll have a chance to get noticed”), and that eight Seahawks who contributed to last year’s Super Bowl championship season—Alvin Bailey, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, Benson Mayowa, Mike Morgan and DeShawn Shead—began their careers in Seattle as undrafted free agents.