Jordyn Brooks

Seahawks Activate LB Jordyn Brooks From Active/PUP List

Jordyn Brooks suffered an ACL tear during the Seahawks’ Week 17 game last season, making him a candidate to start the season on the reserve/PUP list. That is no longer an option for Brooks, who passed his physical Tuesday.

The Seahawks moved the fourth-year linebacker off their active/PUP list. A Brooks return to practice makes him ineligible for a reserve/PUP designation — a move that would have shelved him for the season’s first four games — and increases the chances he will be in uniform come Week 1.

While the Seahawks might slow-play Brooks’ return to regular practice work, Tuesday’s development is obviously a good sign for the contract-year defender. Brooks, 25, has been a three-down performer for the Seahawks for the past two seasons, moving into the lineup alongside Bobby Wagner in 2021 and anchoring the position group after Wagner became a March 2022 cap casualty. Wagner is now back in Seattle, and a Brooks return would give the Seahawks a solid outlook at the position.

In addition to bringing back Wagner, the Seahawks added ex-Steelers first-rounder Devin Bush in free agency. That move came after Cody Barton left for Washington. Wagner is back ahead of an age-33 season, and Bush is looking to re-establish his value after the Steelers let him walk in free agency.

Hurting the Seahawks’ chances in their playoff matchup against the 49ers, the knee injury Brooks suffered on New Year’s Day also put the former No. 27 overall pick on shaky ground regarding his fifth-year option. The Seahawks joined the other teams who made linebacker picks in 2020 — the Cardinals, Ravens and Chargers — in passing. Declining Brooks’ $12.7MM option, the Seahawks made 2023 a contract year for their top tackler. Brooks has only missed one regular-season game since his full-fledged lineup entrance. He led the NFL in solo tackles in 2021 (109) and registered 103 solo stops last season. In that span, Brooks tallied 345 total tackles. Only Foye Oluokun (376) has totaled more over the past two seasons.

Pete Carroll said in May the option decision does not mean the team plans to move on from Brooks after this season, but the Texas Tech alum has a clear opportunity in front of him. Returning to form would put Brooks in solid position for a nice second contract — from either the Seahawks or another team.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/26/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: WR Cody Chrest
  • Placed on NFI: OT Caleb Jones
  • Waived/injured: WR Jeff Cotton

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Among the additions on today’s list, defensive back A.J. Moore is the most notable. The defensive back spent four years with the Texans to begin his career, compiling 69 tackles in 55 games while primarily playing on special teams. The 27-year-old spent a chunk of last season on the Titans practice squad, and he ultimately got into one game with the big-league club.

Seahawks HC Pete Carroll On LB Jordyn Brooks, CB Devon Witherspoon

The Seahawks recently declined the fifth-year option on linebacker Jordyn Brooks, which would have locked in a fully-guaranteed salary of $12.7MM for 2024. Brooks will therefore be eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of the upcoming season.

Seattle’s decision was not a surprising one, as Brooks suffered an ACL tear in January and is therefore a candidate to begin the 2023 campaign on the PUP list. And even if he did not sustain that injury, it’s difficult to know whether the ‘Hawks would have exercised his fifth-year option. After all, $12.7MM is a steep price to pay for an inside linebacker who, despite gaudy tackle numbers, generally struggles in coverage and does not offer much by way of pass rush production.

Head coach Pete Carroll, though, still sees Brooks as a core piece of the club’s defense for the foreseeable future.

“He’s got a long, long future for us,” Carroll said during a recent appearance on 93.3 KJR (via Brady Henderson of “We love the way he plays and what he brings and all of that. We’ve got to orchestrate the way we move forward. The decision we made now (with respect to the fifth-year option), this is not an indication of our future. We expect Jordyn to be with us for a long time.”

In 2021, his first year as a full-time starter, Brooks set the Seahawks’ single-season tackle record with 181, and he became the team’s defensive signal-caller in 2022 after the departure of franchise icon Bobby Wagner. In the wake of Brooks’ injury and Cody Barton‘s decision to join the Commanders in free agency, Seattle reunited with Wagner and signed former Steelers first-rounder Devin Bush. Both of those contracts, however, are for one-year terms, and the ‘Hawks did not select any inside linebackers in the draft.

So, despite the ACL tear and Brooks’ shortcomings, it is very possible that Carroll’s remarks were more than lip service, and that he truly does envision a new contract for Brooks at some point. If nothing else, the Texas Tech product offers high-end tackling ability and familiarity with the club’s defensive scheme, and there is value in that.

In addition to Brooks, Carroll also spoke about the Seahawks’ selection of cornerback Devon Witherspoon with their first pick (No. 5 overall) in last month’s draft. That choice registered as something of a surprise, as Witherspoon does not have the length that Seattle typically looks for in its CBs, and the team had a more pressing need for a front-seven defender.

One of this year’s top non-QB prospects was Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, who would have seemingly represented a good marriage of need and value for the Seahawks. The club’s decision to bypass Carter in favor of Witherspoon suggested to many that Seattle was scared off by Carter’s character concerns and/or his underwhelming Pro Day performance, but Carroll said that was not the case.

“We spent a lot of time (with Carter) and felt comfortable that we knew what we were dealing with,” Carroll said (Twitter link via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times). “There was just a special aspect of Devon and the way that he fit in. Was going to be a rare opportunity, so we jumped at it.”

Predraft reports indicated that Carroll was more inclined to select Carter than other members of the team’s power structure, but even if Carter was the head coach’s preference, it’s difficult to argue with the Witherspoon selection. Witherspoon was widely-regarded as the best corner in the draft, he plays a premium position, and he and second-year pro Tariq Woolen should form a young, dynamic starting tandem on the boundaries of the Seattle defense.

2024 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 2 to officially pick up fifth-year options on 2020 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. The 2020 CBA revamped the option structure and made them fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, fifth-year option salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement and performance- and usage-based benchmarks:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the third-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • At least a 75% snap rate in two of their first three seasons
    • A 75% snap average across all three seasons
    • At least 50% in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will receive the average of the third-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

  1. QB Joe Burrow, Bengals ($29.5MM): Exercised
  2. DE Chase Young, Commanders ($17.45MM): Declined
  3. CB Jeff Okudah, Falcons* ($11.51MM): N/A
  4. T Andrew Thomas, Giants ($14.18MM): Exercised
  5. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins ($23.2MM): Exercised
  6. QB Justin Herbert, Chargers ($29.5MM): Exercised
  7. DT Derrick Brown, Panthers ($11.67MM): Exercised 
  8. LB Isaiah Simmons, Cardinals ($12.72MM): Declined
  9. CB C.J. Henderson, Jaguars** ($11.51MM): Declined
  10. T Jedrick Wills, Browns ($14.18MM): Exercised
  11. T Mekhi Becton, Jets ($12.57MM): Declined
  12. WR Henry Ruggs, Raiders: N/A
  13. T Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers ($18.24MM): Exercised
  14. DT Javon Kinlaw, 49ers ($10.46MM): Declined
  15. WR Jerry Jeudy, Broncos ($14.12MM): Exercised
  16. CB AJ Terrell, Falcons ($12.34MM): Exercised
  17. WR CeeDee Lamb, Cowboys ($17.99MM): Exercised
  18. OL Austin Jackson, Dolphins ($14.18MM): Declined
  19. CB Damon Arnette, Raiders: N/A
  20. DE K’Lavon Chaisson, Jaguars ($12.14MM): Declined
  21. WR Jalen Reagor, Vikings*** ($12.99MM): To decline
  22. WR Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($19.74MM): Exercised
  23. LB Kenneth Murray, Chargers ($11.73MM): Declined
  24. G Cesar Ruiz, Saints ($14.18MM): Declined
  25. WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers ($14.12MM): Exercised
  26. QB Jordan Love, Packers ($20.27MM): Extended through 2024
  27. LB Jordyn Brooks, Seahawks ($12.72MM): Declined
  28. LB Patrick Queen, Ravens ($12.72MM): Declined
  29. T Isaiah Wilson, Titans: N/A
  30. CB Noah Igbinoghene, Dolphins ($11.51MM): Declined
  31. CB Jeff Gladney, Vikings: N/A
  32. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs ($5.46MM): To decline

* = Lions traded Okudah on April 11, 2023
** = Jaguars traded Henderson on Sept. 27, 2021
*** = Eagles traded Reagor on August 31, 2022

Seahawks To Pass On LB Jordyn Brooks’ Fifth-Year Option

Shortly after the Cardinals declined Isaiah Simmonsfifth-year option, one of their NFC West rivals will do the same with their 2020 linebacker investment. The Seahawks are not exercising Jordyn Brooks‘ option, Jeremy Fowler of reports (on Twitter).

Brooks has been an every-down player for the Seahawks over the past two seasons, but the former first-rounder is coming off a late-season ACL tear. While the 25-year-old defender is set to team with Bobby Wagner again in 2023, neither is signed beyond this season.

[RELATED: 2024 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker]

This option choice involved the same cost as the Cardinals’ Simmons call; because Brooks is a Seahawks starter without a Pro Bowl honor, he landed on the third tier of the option structure. Brooks would have been entitled to a fully guaranteed 2024 salary of $12.72MM. The Seahawks have never picked up a fifth-year option on a player they drafted. Only Noah Fant, obtained in last year’s Russell Wilson trade with the Broncos, saw his option exercised by the NFC West team.

To be fair, the Seahawks have traded first-round picks or traded down in drafts. Those moves reduced the number of Seattle fifth-year option decisions. That said, the team has now declined six fifth-year options (Brooks, L.J. Collier, Rashaad Penny, Germain Ifedi, Bruce Irvin, James Carpenter) since the 2011 CBA introduced this clause. While the Carpenter, Irvin and Ifedi options were guaranteed for injury only, the Seahawks still began the option era by keeping their first-rounders on four-year deals. Brooks does not join Collier and Penny as a first-round misstep, however, and can potentially earn a long-term deal with a bounce-back season in 2023.

The Seahawks kept Brooks as their linebacker third wheel as a rookie, as they still rostered K.J. Wright at that point. After letting Wright walk in free agency a year later, Brooks became a full-timer. He led the league with 109 solo tackles that season, totaling 184 overall and 10 for loss, and did not miss a game. Brooks played 16 games last season, finished with a worse Pro Football Focus placement (68th) among linebackers but suffered the ACL tear at a bad time. He will spend this offseason rehabbing and should not be considered a lock to start the season on time. The Seahawks have nearly four months to determine whether Brooks will begin his season on the reserve/PUP list, which would sideline him for at least four games.

Joining Collier and Penny in being a surprising first-round pick, Brooks should still have a path back to Seattle for 2024 and beyond. Cody Barton defected to the Commanders in free agency, and in addition to Wagner, UFA addition Devin Bush is on a one-year deal. Despite being armed with two more picks from the Wilson trade and picking up more from the Broncos to facilitate their Riley Moss trade-up, the Seahawks did not draft an off-ball linebacker this year.

NFC West Notes: Rams, Hopkins, Seahawks

Coming off disappointing seasons, the Cardinals and Rams may be looking to make high-profile cost cuts. DeAndre Hopkins and Jalen Ramsey may well be available in trades, with the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora noting deals involving the two former All-Pros will come down to “when” and they are moved and not “if.” Both Ramsey and Hopkins have already been traded, each moving from the AFC South to the NFC West — Ramsey in 2019 and Hopkins in 2020. Although Ramsey required two first-round picks to be pried from Jacksonville, La Canfora adds neither player should be expected to bring in the kind of haul fans would anticipate.

Both talents are signed to lucrative extensions. Ramsey’s five-year, $100MM deal (which set the cornerback market in 2020) runs through 2025. Hopkins’ $27.25MM contract runs through 2024. Ramsey, 28, should be expected to command more in a trade compared to Hopkins, 30. Coming off a suspension- and injury-limited 2022, latter has been rumored to be a possible trade chip. Several teams called the Cardinals on Hopkins at the deadline. Ramsey, however, has been a dependable piece in L.A. His exit would leave the Rams vulnerable at corner, considering they have rotated low-cost pieces around Ramsey at the position for years.

A Ramsey trade before June 1 is not especially palatable for the Rams, who are again projected to enter the offseason over the cap. Dealing the All-Pro talent after that date, however, would save the team $17MM. The Rams having not restructured Ramsey’s deal makes a trade something to monitor, The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes (subscription required). Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • This season’s Rams staff did not particularly appeal to Sean McVay by season’s end, Peter King of NBC Sports notes. Upon returning, McVay is expected to make staff changes. This may have been behind the Rams’ call to allow their position coaches to interview for other jobs without the threat of blocking the meeting. Whatever the reason, the Rams’ staff should look different in 2023. McVay also likely has a bit of regret of not taking a major TV job last year, per King, who adds no top-level gig was on the table for the six-year Rams HC this year.
  • The Rams will attempt to extend one of their UFA-to-be D-line starters (A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines), Rodrigue adds, but probably will not keep both. A former sixth-round pick who has started for the past two seasons, Gaines appears likelier — per Rodrigue — to be the team’s higher priority. Robinson’s expected market value could price out the Rams, who have Aaron Donald making a cool $10MM more than any other interior D-lineman.
  • Jamal Adams, who suffered a torn quad tendon in Week 1, remains without a timetable, Pete Carroll said this week. Jordyn Brooks‘ ACL surgery is scheduled for Friday. The late-season ACL tear will make top Seahawks tackler a candidate to begin next season on the PUP list. Surgery could be in the cards for tight end Will Dissly, but he will first attempt to rehab his knee injury without a procedure (Twitter links via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta).
  • Despite issues in the first season under DC Clint Hurtt, the Seahawks are planning neither staff changes nor a move back to a 4-3 defense, Carroll said. Seattle, which brought in Hurtt and ex-Bears DC Sean Desai to install a Vic Fangio-style scheme, finished outside the top 20 in yards, points and DVOA this season.
  • The second-team All-Pro nod 49ers special-teamer George Odum received will increase his 2023 base salary by $250K, Field Yates of tweets. Odum, who signed with the 49ers in 2022 after a Colts tenure, will also collect a $250K incentive for the All-Pro nod. Odum led the league with 21 special teams tackles. Attached to a three-year deal worth $5.7MM, Odum has become one of the NFL’s best special-teamers. He earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in 2020.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/3/23

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks Suffers Torn ACL

11:57am: Brooks has suffered a torn ACL, head coach Pete Carroll said on Monday. The news confirms the team’s worst fears, and means he will be unavailable for the remainder of the season, regardless of how deep (if at all) Seattle goes into the postseason. Brooks will now focus on the rehab process as he looks to the 2023 campaign.

8:59am: The Seahawks kept their playoff hopes alive yesterday, but their defense is likely to be shorthanded for next week’s regular season finale. Linebacker Jordyn Brooks exited Seattle’s win over the Jets with a knee injury which has the team fearing the worst.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Brooks is believed to be dealing with a “significant” injury, and that the initial outlook on his condition is “not good at all” (Twitter link). Further testing is required at this point before a firm diagnosis can be confirmed, but any absence would represent a crucial blow to Seattle’s defense given the former first-rounder’s production.

Brooks suffered the injury midway through the second quarter of Sunday’s contest, and was carted off the field and quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. That left the Seahawks without their defensive signal-caller and leading tackler. Brooks had already made four stops prior to suffering the injury, giving him 161 on the season, his second straight as a full-time starter in the middle of Seattle’s defense.

The Texas Tech alum set a franchise record with 183 tackles in 2021, and put up similar numbers prior to the injury. Brooks currently sits third in the league in that department, having added one sack and five pass deflections. His struggles in pass coverage have led to a third straight underwhelming year in terms of PFF grade on the other hand, something which comes as little surprise given his skillset coming out of college.

Cody Barton took over for Brooks in the middle of the second level after the latter’s injury, with Tanner Muse playing the weak side. That combination helped the Seahawks hold the Jets to just six points on Sunday, and they will both likely need to play starter’s snaps once again in Week 18 if Brooks’ injury does indeed turn out to be significant. Seattle needs a win against the Rams and help from the Lions to clinch the NFC’s final postseason berth, though their prospects in the playoffs would be hindered significantly if Brooks were unable to play.

Latest On Seahawks’ LB Situation

The most significant departure from the Seahawks this offseason was Russell Wilson, but the team also lost a future Hall of Famer at the middle linebacker spot. With that position being a significant talking point, analysis from ESPN’s Brady Henderson sheds light on the team’s 2022 plans. 

Especially with Bobby Wagner now in Los Angeles, the door would seem to be open for a reunion between the Seahawks and K.J. Wright. The 32-year-old has made it clear he wishes to return to Seattle“I just want to go back home” he said last month. “I think it’s that simple. Seattle knows that I want to come back. They know how much they mean to me.”

However, Henderson writes that while the two sides have “discussed a possible return”, general manager John Schneider has indicated that such a reunion “would probably be in a non-playing role”. Wright spent last season with the Raiders after a decade in Seattle during which time he was a key member of the ‘Legion of Boom’.

Assuming he doesn’t return to the field, that would point to Cody Barton assuming the starting role alongside 2020 first-rounder Jordyn BrooksThe 25-year-old has made 48 appearances across three seasons in Seattle, but only registered five starts during his tenure, including two in place of an injured Wagner last year. That is likely to change, given that the team didn’t sign a starting-caliber ‘backer in free agency, and elected not to draft one in April.

A Brooks-Barton pairing would represent a further turning of the page on defense for Seattle, a unit which will be led by new DC Clint Hurtt. If the former can build off of his highly productive season in 2021 (in which he made 184 tackles), and the latter can handle a starter’s workload, though, the absence of both Wagner and Wright could be mitigated.

West Notes: Cards, Hawks, Raiders, Lindsay

The Cardinals‘ defensive resurgence will be tested this week. Budda Baker is dealing with a torn thumb UCL, and Kliff Kingsbury expects the high-priced safety to undergo surgery soon, Howard Balzer of notes. Baker is expected to miss at least Sunday’s game against the Panthers, per Ian Rapoport of, but given that this injury sidelined Drew Brees five weeks and will shelve Jalen Reagor longer, a multiweek absence would not be surprising. Baker confirmed surgery is in the cards (Twitter link). The fourth-year safety, however, played all but one of the Cards’ defensive snaps against the Lions — despite having sustained this injury previously.

An interesting name has surfaced as a possible replacement. The Cardinals brought in T.J. Ward for a workout, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Ward interestingly played three seasons with the Broncos, serving as one of the anchors for Denver’s No Fly Zone Super Bowl-winning secondary, but did not make their 53-man roster in Vance Joseph‘s first year as the team’s head coach. The then-Joseph-led Broncos cut the veteran safety in 2017, leading Ward to the Buccaneers. Joseph is now the Cardinals’ DC. Ward, 33, has not played since the 2017 season.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Pete Carroll said during a radio interview Chris Carson has a Grade 1 knee sprain, and Adam Schefter of notes (on Twitter) the Seahawks‘ starting running back is in line to miss one or two games. A questionable tackle from Cowboys defensive lineman Trysten Hill, which included a post-play twist of Carson’s leg, led to the injury. Carson has dealt with injuries during his time as Seattle’s starter — including a broken leg in 2017 and a season-ending hip malady last year — but has only missed three games over the past two seasons. The Seahawks have Rashaad Penny on their PUP list, leaving free agent addition Carlos Hyde as the next man up.
  • Seahawks first-round rookie Jordyn Brooks suffered a knee injury as well, but he did not suffer ACL damage and should return this season. Brooks is recovering from an MCL sprain, per Rapoport (on Twitter). The first-year linebacker will likely miss a game or two.
  • Raiders first-round cornerback Damon Arnette is visiting a thumb specialist Tuesday, and Rapoport notes he could miss up to six weeks (Twitter link). This was an aggravation of a previous injury, with Arnette having broken his thumb prior to the regular season’s outset. Arnette fell awkwardly on the injured thumb during Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
  • Second-year Raiders safety Johnathan Abram played through an AC joint sprain Sunday, but questions about the injury persist. Abram collided with a TV cart during the Raiders’ Week 2 win over the Saints, and the NFL has engaged in discussions with ESPN about where the network’s carts can be during games, per Pelissero and Rapoport. The cart was closer to the field because of the COVID-19 pandemic restricting cheerleaders, photographers and other personnel from the sideline. Abram missed almost all of last season following an injury during the Raiders’ Week 1 game on a Monday night.
  • The Broncos are now down five of their six Pro Bowlers, after Jurrell Casey‘s season-ending biceps tear. But that number of injured standouts could be reduced to four soon. Phillip Lindsay returned to practice last week and may be on track to face the Jets on Thursday, Mike Klis of 9News notes. Lindsay has been battling turf toe since suffering the injury during Denver’s opener.
  • The stomach pains that caused Chiefs guard Andrew Wylie to be transported to the hospital prior to Monday night’s Chiefs-Ravens game are believed to have stemmed from appendicitis and not a COVID-related concern, Pelissero tweets.