The Seahawks are expected to bring in veteran quarterback Josh Johnson for a visit soon, the Seattle Times confirmed.
Johnson’s visit was first reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Johnson, 32, hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2013 but started five games for Tampa Bay from 2009-11. Johnson is a cousin of former Seahawks player Marshawn Lynch and helped Lynch co-found his Fam 1st Family Foundation.
Johnson has been a free agent since being waived by the Raiders in May.
The visit comes in the wake of spotty performances by Seattle’s two backup quarterbacks — Austin Davis and Alex McGough — in Thursday’s 19-17 loss to the Colts in the Seahawks’ preseason opener.
Seattle did not score an offensive touchdown following a 12-play, 75-yard drive led by starter Russell Wilson, who then left the game. Davis, a veteran who was the Seattle’s backup last year, led a 68-yard drive on the next series but then threw an interception in the end zone.
The Seahawks then didn’t have a drive that lasted more than 20 yards the rest of the game (Seattle had seven more full possessions and another that ended the first half).
It’s unclear if the visit by Johnson was scheduled in the wake of Thursday night’s game or may have already been on the docket, as visits by players are common this time of year as teams continue to evaluate options throughout their roster.
Regardless, it shows that the Seahawks are continuing to look at what might be available when it comes to a backup quarterback.
Davis played only two snaps last season but has experience with new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, having started eight games for the Rams in 2014 when Schottenheimer was the offensive coordinator there.
McGough was a seventh-round pick last April and received rave reviews for his play in the team’s rookie minicamp. He has struggled with inconsistency in training camp, and Seattle coach Pete Carroll delivered a petty frank assessment of his play last week, saying: “I think it’s been really hard on Alex to get going. He’s been struggling. It’s been hard for him. There’s a lot of offense in. We’re a very high-tech offense. There’s a lot going on and he hasn’t been able to get back to where he was in the offseason. We’re giving him a lot of work, and it’s going to come. We’ve seen a lot of good stuff from him, but right now it’s hard on him.”
McGough was 10-13 passing against the Colts but for just 48 yards with a long of 12 and was sacked twice. Davis was 4-5 for 51 yards and was also sacked twice along with an interception.
The Seahawks are thought to be exploring who else might be available as a backup quarterback if the team feels the need to add depth and competition.
One name that may be off their radar is Colin Kaepernick, a former starter for the 49ers who has not played since the 2016 season after becoming one of the leading faces of the efforts of NFL players to protest to raise awareness about police mistreatment of minorities and other social issues.
The Seahawks had Kaepernick in for a visit in the spring of 2017 and then had another scheduled for last April after the club waived Trevone Boykin — who was the backup in 2016 and on the practice squad last year — following his arrest on a domestic violence charge.
However, that visit with Kaepernick was postponed amid somewhat conflicting reasoning over exactly why. ESPN reported that the Seahawks postponed the meeting when Kaepernick said he wouldn’t stop kneeling for the national anthem. However, one source said the Seahawks asked Kaepernick a broader question about what his plans would be for his off-field activities if he were to play football in 2018 and that Kaepernick — who kneeled for the anthem during his most recent season in the NFL with the 49ers in 2016 — said he didn’t know. The Seahawks were said to want a firmer plan from Kaepernick about all of his off-field activities — including but not solely limited to kneeling for the anthem — and how that might impact football.
Kaepernick hasn’t been reported to have had a visit with any NFL team since.