Coby Bryant

Seahawks Activate CB Coby Bryant From IR

NOVEMBER 23: After placing rookie sixth-round safety Jerrick Reed II on IR following a torn ACL, Carroll was indeed able to find room on the roster for Bryant. The second-year Cincinnati product is now set to return to a crowded cornerbacks room led by Witherspoon, Woolen, and Brown with solid contributions from Jackson and Burns. Brown seems to have taken his third cornerback role while Jackson started ahead of him all last year, so it will be interesting to see how Bryant fits into the defense moving forward. Reed, in his first season out of New Mexico, hasn’t been asked to do much as a rookie on defense but is currently third on the team in special teams tackles.

In addition to the two IR transactions, the Seahawks also activated practice squad quarterback Brett Rypien for tonight as a standard gameday elevation. They’ll hope he’s not necessary, but with Geno Smith banged up heading into the Thanksgiving Day matchup with the division-rival 49ers, Rypien will serve as Drew Lock‘s backup should Smith be forced to the bench for any reason.

NOVEMBER 19: The Seahawks selected Coby Bryant in the fourth round of the 2022 draft, and Bryant appeared in all 17 games in his rookie season, including six starts. He also enjoyed a 65% snap share.

He started the first two games of the 2023 campaign at nickel and played in 77% of Seattle’s defensive snaps despite exiting the club’s Week 2 contest early due to a toe injury. That injury ultimately forced the ‘Hawks to place Bryant on injured reserve.

According to head coach Pete Carroll, Bryant is healthy and is ready to return to the field (via Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic). However, the Seahawks have not yet opened his 21-day practice window because they feel they do not have enough room for him on the active roster.

That serves as both an indictment of Bryant’s play as well as a testament to the quality of Seattle’s cornerback depth chart. Rookie Devon Witherspoon, the No. 5 overall pick of this year’s draft, has been on the field for every defensive snap this season, and he has thrived. Pro Football Focus’ metrics presently position the Illinois product as the eighth-best corner in the league out of 109 qualified players, and the 55.2% completion rate and 80.7 quarterback rating he has yielded support that assessment. He has also amassed two sacks, a pick-six, and 12 passes defensed.

Riq Woolen, who earned a Pro Bowl nod and led the league with six interceptions in his rookie season in 2022 — he was selected one round after Bryant — is enjoying a solid sophomore season, and he rarely comes off the field. Tre Brown, meanwhile, has a 60% snap share and has generally played well, and Michael Jackson and Artie Burns have been useful complementary pieces.

Bryant, who was tied for third in the league with four forced fumbles in 2022, has struggled in coverage, having yielded a 75% completion percentage and 116.5 QB rating in 2022 and a whopping 90% completion percentage and 98.7 QB rating this year. In his limited action in 2023, PFF assigned him an abysmal 39.1 coverage grade.

As such, Bryant may need to wait for an injury or a sudden downturn in performance from one of his fellow CBs to come off of IR and aid in the Seahawks’ push for an NFC West title.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/23

Today’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

  • Signed off Bears practice squad: DE Jalen Harris
  • Placed on IR: DL Efe Obada
  • Waived from IR: CB Troy Apke

The Packers will soon be getting some reinforcement on defense, as the team designated safety Darnell Savage Jr. for return from injured reserve today. The defensive back has missed the last four games while recovering from a calf injury. The former first-round pick started all six of his appearances to begin the season, collecting 34 tackles. The fifth-year starter will provide the Packers with a welcome boost when he inevitably returns to the field.

It seems like Green Bay is already preparing for Savage’s return, as the team moved on from another defensive back. Dallin Leavitt spent the past year-plus with the Packers, with the veteran joining the organization following a four-year stint with the Raiders to begin his career. Leavitt got into all 17 games for the Packers in 2022, with all of his snaps coming on special teams. The veteran has seen a handful of defensive snaps in 2023, collecting two tackles in 10 games.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/14/23

Here are today’s minor transactions heading into the Week 6 weekend:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Dean took the starting role the Eagles had in store for him in Week 1, but a foot injury interrupted his second NFL campaign. The 22-year-old was poised to return ahead of Sunday’s game by returning to practice earlier this week, though, and a first-team role is expected to await him upon suiting up. Dean taking on a heavy workload will relegate Nicholas Morrow (who was promoted from the practice squad) to backup duty despite the latter’s strong performances so far.

Seattle has seen fellow corners Devon Witherspoon and Riq Woolen enjoy considerable success, but the team’s secondary will be shorthanded without Bryant. The latter will miss at least the next four weeks as a result of the IR move as he recovers from a toe injury. The 2022 fourth-rounder, who has seen his defensive snap share jump from 65% to 77% this year, has not played since Week 2.

Seahawks Rookie CB Devon Witherspoon Competing For Starting Role

The Seahawks return two starting cornerbacks next year in Michael Jackson and Tariq Woolen, as well as Coby Bryant, who started six games as the team’s primary nickel cornerback last year. Still, Seattle decided to draft Illinois’s Devon Witherspoon as the draft’s first cornerback off the board at No. 5 overall. Despite his high draft pedigree, Witherspoon will have to compete with the incumbent starters to establish his role as a rookie.

The team is currently running Witherspoon in the slot with two former college teammates out of Miami (FL) in Jackson and Artie Burns on the outside, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. Burns is simply filling in for a currently injured Woolen, while Bryant has reportedly been sidelined lately, allowing Witherspoon more time in the slot early.

There are some early ideas out of workouts concerning how the depth chart might shape up. Henderson posits that the team may work with Witherspoon starting on the outside across from a healthy Woolen in base packages. When the defense needs to add an extra defensive back, Witherspoon will shift inside to the slot with Jackson replacing him on the outside.

His spot in the starting lineup isn’t guaranteed, though, as Henderson reports that Jackson is have a strong spring with regular dominant outings in 7-on-7. Jackson was a surprise for the Seahawks’ defense last year, starting every game despite only having appeared in four games in his first three seasons of NFL play before that. Playing alongside the rookies in what was perhaps the league’s least-experienced cornerbacks group, Jackson was third on the team with 75 total tackles, adding an interception, 12 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. If he continues to impress throughout the summer, it’s not out of the question that he may retain a starting role.

In that case, Witherspoon will likely start games at nickelback and rotate in when needed on the outside. In situations when a slot corner is needed while Witherspoon is outside, Seattle can go back to Bryant or even turn to safety Julian Love, who has experience working in the slot, as well. He hasn’t been working at the position much lately, though, as the team has opted to keep Love working at safety, in case Jamal Adams‘s return to the field takes longer than anticipated, but Love does have the requisite experience.

So for now, the depth chart appears to have Woolen and Witherspoon as the top outside options with Jackson and Burns behind them, though Jackson has a chance to retain his starting spot by continuing to impress. At the slot, Witherspoon should be the first option, moving out of his outside position, with Bryant and, potentially, Love behind him. The most experienced members of the position room, Burns and Love, are contributing as depth pieces in what is expected to continue being one of the youngest cornerbacks rooms in the league.

NFC West Rumors: Bosa, McGlinchey, Hawks

It continues to look like the 49ers will wait until 2023 to extend Nick Bosa. The fourth-year defensive end became extension-eligible in January, but unlike 2019 draft classmate Deebo Samuel, Bosa has a fifth-year option for 2023. The 49ers would prefer to wait here, per Nick Wagoner of, and Bosa has not pressed the issue regarding a 2022 extension. This comes after John Lynch said next year will likely be the window for a Bosa deal, despite the expected $24MM windfall the 49ers are expected to receive when they move Jimmy Garoppolo‘s contract off their payroll — via trade or release — by Week 1. This will not be a DeForest Buckner situation, however. Lynch said this week Bosa will be a long-term 49er.

What I do know, as long as we’re here, Nick Bosa is going to be a part of the Niners and he’s going to get paid handsomely to do so,” Lynch said. “His time is coming, and when it does, he’ll get what he deserves because man, what a special player.”

Bosa will be expected to bridge the gap between Aaron Donald ($31.7MM per year) and the field, with the prospect the NFL has at least two $30MM-AAV defenders by Week 1 2023 looking likely. Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • One of Bosa’s top practice opponents will not be on the field for a bit. The 49ers will hold Mike McGlinchey out of practice for at least this week, Kyle Shanahan said (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch). McGlinchey, who missed the second half of last season due to a torn quad, experienced knee pain after an eight-snap preseason opener and underwent a PRP procedure. The fifth-year right tackle does not have a timetable for return, making this a must-monitor situation. The 49ers’ offensive line is already set to look considerably different. Alex Mack retired, Laken Tomlinson signed with the Jets and McGlinchey’s 2021 backup — Tom Compton — is now a Bronco. Colton McKivitz, who spent most of 2021 on San Francisco’s practice squad, resides as McGlinchey’s current understudy.
  • Drew Lock missed the Seahawks‘ second preseason game Thursday and remains away from the team. Pete Carroll said the QB trade acquisition is “really sick” with COVID-19, which the team announced he contracted Tuesday. After a solid start (minus a late-game fumble) in Seattle’s preseason opener, Lock is losing ground to Geno Smith by missing time. Smith remains in the lead for the Seahawks’ QB1 post, Eric Williams of Fox Sports writes. This seems like a situation in which both players will start games for the 2022 Seahawks, but Smith remains in pole position to get the Week 1 call.
  • After the 49ers cut Darqueze Dennard, they look set to give their slot cornerback job to rookie Samuel Womack, Branch notes. The fifth-round pick, who had been viewed as behind Dennard in this competition earlier in camp, intercepted two passes in the 49ers’ preseason opener. Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley are expected to be San Francisco’s outside corners.
  • The Seahawks traded one of their slot options, Ugo Amadi, to the Eagles for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. They may well call on a rookie to man the post as well. Coby Bryant is looking like he will play in the nickel role, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. The Seahawks have not used presumptive outside starters Sidney Jones or Artie Burns during the preseason. Seattle chose Bryant in the fourth round and Tariq Woolen in the fifth; the latter worked as an outside corner in the team’s second preseason tilt Thursday.

NFC West Rumors: Hopkins, Brunskill, Seahawks, Rams

While there was some contention in regards to the six-game suspension handed down to Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, the NFLPA considers his case a closed issue, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. There was a sliver of hope that the ban may be reduced from six to four games, and Hopkins still believes there may be, but it seems all but certain that he will be out for all six.

With Hopkins out, Arizona’s receiving room will be led by trade acquisition Marquise Brown, veteran A.J. Green, and second-year player Rondale Moore. The depth gets pretty thin behind those three with Andy Isabella, Antoine Wesley, and Greg Dortch on the roster, among a few others. The Cardinals also shopped Isabella earlier this year.

Here are a few other rumors from around the NFC West, starting with a note out of the Bay Area:

Latest On Seahawks’ CBs Room

The cornerback position group in Seattle is one of the more intriguing in the NFL this year. The Seahawks look to put together a formidable group of corners with last year’s trade acquisition, a veteran attempting a comeback, and two mid-round rookies. 

With D.J. Reed leaving for the Jets, Tre Flowers to the Bengals, and Bless Austin in Denver, the Seahawks return only three cornerbacks who started games in 2021 for the team: Sidney Jones, Tre Brown, and John Reid. To fill out the roster, Seattle brought in Artie Burns as a free agent and drafted Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant and Texas-San Antonio’s Tariq Woolen in back-to-back rounds.

Jones was a second-round pick out of Washington back in 2017 for Philadelphia. He only appeared in one game of his rookie season due to an Achilles injury, but received a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Eagles. A nagging hamstring injury kept him from consistently contributing during his sophomore season, but he was able to start four games that year for Philadelphia. An injury to starter Ronald Darby gave Jones an opportunity in Year 3, but another hamstring injury sidelined him and Jones was cut just prior to the 2020 season having only started eight games for the Eagles.

Jones signed with Jacksonville and started six games for the Jaguars, but, once again, injuries held him out of multiple games. The Jaguars extended his contract in March 2021 just to trade Jones five month later to the Seahawks. In Seattle, Jones finally found himself healthy, appearing in all but one game and starting 11. Jones is currently taking some time off the field after sustaining a concussion in practice, but he is is expected to return to a starting role in 2022.

Burns is the other cornerback running with the ones this offseason. Burns is a former first-round pick that many in Pittsburgh will regard as a bit of a disappointment. Burns started his career in Pittsburgh as the No. 3 cornerback behind William Gay and Ross Cockrell. He eventually replaced fellow rookie Sean Davis as the starting nickelback and, in his first career start, picked off Joe Flacco for the Steelers’ first interception by a defensive back that season. Burns was a full-time starter in his second season before losing playing time to Davis, Coty Sensabaugh, Mike Hilton, and Cameron Sutton over the next two years. Pittsburgh declined Burns’ fifth-year option and allowed him to walk in free agency.

Burns signed with the Bears but was carted off the practice field with a torn ACL weeks before the season started. He re-signed with the Bears and, after getting small morsels of special teams snaps in the team’s first 10 games, Burns started six of Chicago’s final seven games last season. Following the dismantling of the Bears’ coaching staff after the 2021 season, Burns followed former Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai to Seattle, where Desai would take the role of associate head coach/defensive assistant. Seattle seemed to notice how Burns was progressing in Desai’s defense and decided that bringing him in could certainly benefit the Seahawks secondary.

“We still feel like he is an ascending player and, sure enough, he has familiarity with the scheme from being in Chicago last year,” defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “You’ve seen that benefit pay off since he has been here. He has great command, helps out the young guys.”

Although Jones and Burns will slot in as the starters going into the season, Burns’ influence on “the young guys” is crucial as first- and second-year players fill out the depth chart just behind them. Brown is entering his second season out of Oklahoma. Brown’s rookie season saw two separate stints on injured reserve, but he started three of the five games he appeared in. Add to the roster the two rookies, Bryant and Woolen. Bryant was a playmaker for the Bearcats en route to winning last year’s Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in college football. Woolen made the switch from wide receiver to cornerback while with the Roadrunners. He put together a productive college career but really shot up draft boards with a 4.26 40-yard dash time and a 42-inch vertical at the NFL Combine. All three will play significant roles in the Seahawks secondary, along with veteran free agent addition Justin Coleman.

Rounding out the current roster is Reid, former Cowboys’ fifth-round pick Mike Jackson, and undrafted rookies Elijah Jones and Josh Valentine-Turner. With a top six of Jones, Burns, Brown, Bryant, Woolen, and Coleman, it’s going to be a tough run for Reid, Jackson, Jones, or Valentine-Turner to make the final roster. After spending last year with the Seahawks, Reid may be in the best position to push Coleman for a spot, but Coleman has seniority and experience over Reid.

An injury-riddled Washington native returning as starter, a fallen star from Miami looking for a resurgence, and a host of young go-getters with everything to prove, this secondary is a bit of an island of misfit toys. The Seahawks may need some minor miracles on offense to put them in playoff contention, though, which means it’s the perfect time to experiment with some interesting projects, like they are at cornerback, to see what they can make work.

Seahawks Sign Three Picks, Finalize Draft Class

The Seahawks entered the day with three unsigned draft picks, but they finished signing all of their rooks today. The team announced that they’ve signed second-round linebacker Boye Mafe, second-round running back Kenneth Walker III, and fourth-round defensive back Coby Bryant.

Mafe was selected with the No. 40 pick following a standout career at Minnesota. That includes a 2021 campaign where he compiled 26 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and seven sacks en route to second-team All-Big Ten honors. In Seattle, he should temporarily provide some depth behind the projected starting linebacker trio of Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, and Uchenna Nwosu.

Walker had a breakout season at Michigan in 2021, finishing with 1,636 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. That performance earned him a long list of awards, and the Seahawks ended up using the No. 41 pick on him, making Walker the second RB off the draft board. With Chris Carson retiring, the rookie will immediately see a role on Seattle’s offense alongside running back Rashaad Penny.

Bryant earned the Jim Thorpe award as college football’s top defensive back in 2021 after finishing with 34 tackles, two interceptions, and 11 passes defended in 14 games with Cincinnati. The Seahawks used the No. 109 pick on him, and he’ll provide some depth at cornerback.

With the signing, the Seahawks have signed their entire draft class:

Round 1: No. 9 (from Broncos) Charles Cross, OT (Mississippi State) (signed)
Round 2: No. 40 (from Broncos) Boye Mafe, DE (Minnesota) (signed)
Round 2: No. 41 Kenneth Walker III, RB (Michigan State) (signed)
Round 3: No. 72 Abraham Lucas, OT (Washington State) (signed)
Round 4: No. 109 (from Jets) Coby Bryant, CB (Cincinnati) (signed)
Round 5: No. 153 Tariq Woolen, CB (Texas-San Antonio) (signed)
Round 5: No. 158 (from Dolphins through Patriots and Chiefs): Tyreke Smith, DE (Ohio State) (signed)
Round 7: No. 229 Bo Melton, WR (Rutgers) (signed)
Round 7: No. 233 (from Vikings through Chiefs): Dareke Young, WR (Lenoir-Rhyne) (signed)

Latest On Seahawks’ D.K. Metcalf, CB Competition

The Seahawks have seen multiple franchise pillars depart this offseason, but they have maintained an optimistic tone with respect to keeping one of their young stars. Still, the recent actions of D.K. Metcalf have caused a stir in the organization. 

The 24-year-old made headlines with his unexcused absence from Seattle’s minicamp. That decision “surprised the team some,” according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Metcalf had been present for a portion of the voluntary offseason program, which could explain why members of the team were caught off guard by the move to skip mandatory practice last week.

Metcalf is among the numerous wideouts from the 2019 draft class who are in line for second contracts, something which is taking place within the context of a skyrocketing WR market. Head coach Pete Carroll provided an update on contract talks, saying that things are still “semi-quiet” right now, but that negotiations could intensify in the coming weeks. Condotta, likewise, states that “the drama [surrounding Metcalf] may linger all summer but it should end by fall.”

While the Metcalf situation is front and center right now in Seattle, the offseason has also led to speculation about the team’s cornerback situation. As Condotta’s colleague Adam Jude writes, there appears to be a competition along the outside which is “wide open.” He notes that Sidney Jones has been practicing with the starters, which should come as little surprise given that he started 11 of 16 contests last year. However, Jude adds that one, if not both of rookies Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen could take on starting roles this season, given their performances in practice, as the team looks for a D.J. Reed replacement.

Bryant and Woolen won’t have the chance to push for a starting spot until training camp in July. By that time, the Seahawks may have already taken care of their most pressing financial issue.