Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll speaks during the NFC head coaches availability at the NFL meetings Tuesday in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll speaks during the NFC head coaches availability at the NFL meetings Tuesday in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Four things we learned about Seahawks offseason at NFL meetings

Pete Carroll spoke about the rotation at safety, Bobby Wagner’s return and more.

By Bob Condotta / The Seattle Times

PHOENIX — Pete Carroll is really happy to have Bobby Wagner back, Jamal Adams isn’t going anywhere, and there is still some work to do to reshape the defense.

Those were among the topics the Seahawks coach discussed when he spoke to the media Tuesday at the NFL’s annual league meetings.

Here are four things we learned from Carroll’s media session.

Adams, Diggs, Love could play together

Asked about the signing of free agent safety Julian Love, Carroll volunteered that the two-year, $12 million contract the Seahawks gave the former Giants starting safety doesn’t foreshadow anything about the futures of Adams or Quandre Diggs — Seattle’s projected starting safeties in 2023.

“I know there’s some conversation like what we did with Julian, does that have some impact on Jamal or Quandre,” Carroll said. “It doesn’t. We have a clear thought of what we’re going to do with our guys and how we want to play them. And we feel very fortunate to have all our guys.”

Carroll said Love could see time at nickel corner, a spot he played with the Giants, but also said Seattle may use three safeties often.

That was something the Seahawks intended to do regularly last season before Adams was hurt in the first game against Denver. He was injured on a play in which he lined up at weakside linebacker. Seattle envisions using that package regularly in 2023.

Asked if the team could use Adams, Diggs and Love together 25% of the time, Carroll said: “They’ll play together a lot more than that.”

But first Adams must get healthy from the quadriceps injury against Denver.

Carroll gave no timeline for when Adams might return, other than to express optimism that he may be back for the start of training camp.

“Sounds really good,” Carroll said of Adams’ progress, adding the team had sent trainers visit Adams “10 days ago.” Adams has been rehabbing in the Dallas area.

“He’s pushing it,” Carroll said. “He’s going to try to bust whatever projections that would keep him from not being ready for the start of the season. He’s looking to get that done.”

Geno Smith on board with QB search

Carroll’s visit to the league meetings came after he and several team staff, including general manager John Schneider, conducted a tour last week of pro days featuring three of the top-ranked quarterbacks available in the NFL draft — Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Kentucky’s Will Levis. Carroll and Schneider on Thursday will attend Florida’s pro day, which will include quarterback Anthony Richardson.

The team has capped each visit with a group selfie taken by the QB.

Carroll said the trips have been “a freaking blast” to be “within the spectrum of the whole quarterback thing” and likened them to his days recruiting as a college coach at USC.

Could the Seahawks really consider taking a quarterback with the fifth overall pick?

Some might have thought they wouldn’t consider a QB at No. 5 after re-signing Geno Smith to a three-year deal that could be worth as much as $105 million. The Seahawks also re-signed backup Drew Lock.

As would be expected, Carroll again didn’t rule it out, saying “we’ll see what happens.”

Some may wonder what Smith thinks of the Seahawks publicly relishing in their quarterback possibilities.

Carroll, though, said he’s talked with Smith about Seattle possibly drafting a QB and added he understands the bigger picture.

“Geno was well aware of what was going on,” Carroll said. ” … He was totally on board. He understands. If we get a guy he’s gonna take care of him and look after him. He gets it.”

Wagner’s return is ‘win-win’

It took almost a month from the news that linebacker Bobby Wagner would be released by the Rams until Seattle re-signed one of the most iconic players in franchise history.

But Carroll said in his mind the return of Wagner — who signed a one-year contract reportedly worth up to $7 million — was never really in doubt.

“I think it’s such a win-win for everybody,” Carroll said. ” … It was just a logical thing for us to work out. … We just had to get through it. It just took some time to get it done. But there really was never any thought that we weren’t going to get it done in my mind.”

One of those things to work through might have been communicating with Wagner that the team and the defense are different now than when he left.

Carroll noted that the team has tweaked its scheme, going with more of a 3-4 now than in Wagner’s last Seahawks season in 2021, though he also noted the Rams run a similar defense, so he got experience in it.

But also different is that Jordyn Brooks has had a year as the “green dot” helmet wearer, meaning he relays the play calls to the rest of the team. Brooks’ ACL injury suffered Jan. 1 leaves it unclear when he will return and was the primary impetus for re-signing Wagner. Seattle also has added free agent linebacker Devin Bush, who could play either inside role.

Carroll indicated nothing is set with who will handle which roles in 2023, though obviously the uncertainty of when Brooks will return also factors in.

Carroll said he has “already started that conversation” with the linebackers that they will have to fight for their roles in training camp.

“It’s not the same as it was (in 2021),” Carroll said. ” … I’ve said specifically to Jordyn, ‘This isn’t the same thing.’ I’ve said (that) to Bobby as well.

” … Just to have that kind of competition brewing on the horizon, it’s good for everybody. It helps everybody and it’s gonna make us better.”

There’s still work to do on defense

Along with the Wagner and Love signings, Seattle signed defensive linemen Dre’Mont Jones and Jarran Reed following a disappointing 2022 season in which the Seahawks ranked 25th in the league in points allowed.

Those signings, and particularly a three-year deal given to Jones that averages just over $17 million a year, mean Seattle has little salary-cap space left — officially just under $9 million, but also still having to account for 10 draft picks and other possible moves.

But Carroll said the Seahawks still hope to make improvements to the defense, adding, “There’s a lot of work to do still. We know that. And we’re faced with different circumstances to deal with just because we’ve spent a lot of money already.”

That had Carroll essentially making a recruiting pitch to some players to leap on board regardless, saying, “We’ve got a couple of great spots for guys.”

The Seahawks are thought still open to bringing back Shelby Harris and Al Woods, both recently released in cap-saving moves.

Carroll said the team is also talking to defensive lineman Poona Ford, who became an unrestricted free agent March 15.

“Hopefully we can keep talking,” Carroll said. “We’d love to have him back. We need him to come back.”

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