Seahawks sign QB Portis to two-year deal

SEATTLE — It’s no secret the Seahawks are in the market for quarterbacks having traded backup Matt Flynn earlier this week, and they added a familiar name to roster Wednesday, signing Josh Portis to a two-year deal.

Portis signed with Seattle in 2011 as an undrafted rookie out of Division II California University of Pennsylvania. Before that he had previously attended Florida and Maryland.

Portis quickly became a fan favorite for his play in the preseason, and spent his rookie season as Seattle’s third quarterback behind Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. Portis did not make the roster last season, however, as Seattle elected to keep only two quarterbacks, Russell Wilson and Flynn, on the active roster. He instead spent most of the year on the Seahawks practice squad, but was released in November. Portis signed with the Toronto Argonauts last month, but most CFL contracts allow for players to leave if they get signed by an NFL team.

Portis, 25, will have a leg up on any other quarterbacks Seattle brings in to compete for the backup job — and this is almost certainly not the last move the Seahawks will make at the position — because of his familiarity with the offense. His big arm and athleticism also make him a strong candidate to back up Russell Wilson, a quarterback with similar physical traits. That being said, Portis is still a player the Seahawks were willing to part ways with last season, so he’s hardly a lock to win the backup job, let alone a spot on the 53-man roster come September.

The Seahawks are still believed to be interested in former Buffalo Bills backup Tyler Thigpen, and could also look to address the position in the middle or late rounds of the draft. While Portis has a shot to be the backup in Seattle this year, he’ll no doubt have to earn it in training camp.

The Seahawks also announced the signing of former Dolphins defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, a move that was first reported a week ago, but not made official until Wednesday.

McDaniel is Seattle’s third free-agent signing, and also the third addition on the defensive line joining ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. The Seahawks also announced that restricted free agent defensive tackle Clinton McDonald signed his tender to stay in Seattle.

McDaniel, who signed with Jacksonville as an undrafted rookie in 2006, spent the last four seasons in Miami where he was a rotational player on the Dolphins line, but not a starter. He battled through a knee injury that limited his effectiveness last season, but had 2.5 sacks in each of the previous two seasons and had a career-high 30 tackles in 2010.

McDonald, who came to Seattle in a 2011 trade with Cincinnati, has played in 29 games over the past two seasons and totaled 60 tackles. Those two could compete for a starting job with two-year starter Alan Branch signing with Buffalo earlier this week, though Seattle could also look to second-year tackle Jaye Howard, or address that position in the draft.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com

More in Sports

Window opens for Seahawks to franchise tag DT Richardson

Seattle must decide whether to use the expensive tag or let the defensive tackle test free agency.

Cascade alum Souza traded from Rays to Diamondbacks

Arizona sends Brandon Drury to the Yankees in the three-team deal involving the former local prep star.

Phelps hoping for healthy season in Mariners’ bullpen

Seattle acquired the veteran to help an overworked staff last year, but injuries derailed the plan.

Silvertips defeat Chiefs, clinch playoff spot

Pilon and Dewar join the 30-goal club as Everett wins 4-1 to secure its 15th straight playoff berth.

Seattle begins season-ticket campaign for new NHL team

Beginning March 1, people can make refundable deposits for season tickets at NHLSeattle.com.

Local soccer players sacrifice to play with Sounders Academy

The talented youngsters say playing with the Academy has made them better people as well as players.

Paxton, not Felix, deserves Opening Day start for Mariners

Could Seattle’s marriage to the longtime star pitcher be heading for the rocks?

Q&A with Shorecrest High School’s hoops leader Julia Strand

Back from a knee injury last year, she’s everywhere on offense and anchors the Scots’ defense.

Silvertips travel to Spokane in matchup of in-form teams

Everett has lost once in regulation in its past 19 games, and the Chiefs have won three straight.

Most Read