With players getting healthy at some positions, the Seahawks have the roster flexibility to make additions at others, and did so on Tuesday, signing veteran tight end Tony Moeaki and re-signing receiver Bryan Walters. To make room on the roster, the Seahawks waived linebacker L.J. Fort and safety Terrence Parks, both of whom were added last week to provide depth at positions dealing with multiple injures.
The Seahawks are expecting to have both Kam Chancellor and Jeron Johnson back, which allows them to release Parks and bring back Walters. Last week Walters was waived to make room for Parks to be signed off the practice squad.
Moeaki, meanwhile, provides depth at tight end with Zach Miller still recovering from ankle surgery. If he can stay healthy, the former third-round pick out of Iowa could provide a big boost to a currently inexperienced position, but that is a big if. Moeaki was Kansas City’s starting tight end as a rookie in 2010, catching a career-best 47 passes for 556 yards and three touchdowns, but he missed all of the following season due to injury. He then started 14 games in 2012, but appeared in just two games with Buffalo in 2013, and has not played this season.
Walters likely will return to the punt-return job he held down for the first six games this season before missing the Carolina game with a concussion. The Seahawks used Richard Sherman there against the Panthers, then had Doug Baldwin return punts in Sunday’s game against Oakland, but Pete Carroll hinted Monday that change could be coming, noting that while Baldwin had a nice 38-yard return, he also made a poor decision to field a punt at Seattle’s 4-yard line.
“We did OK,” Carroll said when asked about the return game. “You saw Doug made a decision backed up that we’d like to do otherwise, so he’s still learning. We’ll figure that out. We’ll see what happens this week, you’ll see some things that occur during the week. Foreshadowing.”
It hardly comes as a surprise, but Carroll was foreshadowing the return of Walters, who may not be the most explosive option in the return game, but whose sure hands and sound decision making are very important traits to Carroll.
The Seahawks also made a couple of practice squad moves, signing safety Dion Bailey and receiver Jalen Saunders, while releasing receiver Chris Matthews and tight end Brett Brackett. Bailey, who signed with Seattle as an undrafted rookie out of USC, was waived with an injury settlement early in training camp. Saunders, a fourth-round pick by the Jets this year, also has punt-return experience, so the Seahawks could be looking at him as an option there. Those moves leave the Seahawks with one open spot on the practice squad, so they could keep Fort or Parks around should they clear waivers.
The Seahawks are expected to make at least one more move this week in order to activate cornerback Jeremy Lane, who is eligible to come off of the injured reserve/designated to return list this week.