Hawks address CB depth, other roster spots

Blackmon and WilliamsA day before free agency, the Seahawks took care of several roster questions — adding two cornerbacks and keeping two of their own pending free agents — while also learning James Carpenter probably will join Byron Maxwell on the way out of town.

The additions of 30-year-old cornerbacks Will Blackmon and Cary Williams address the major depth problem the Hawks face at that position — Maxwell leaving, Jeremy Lane dealing with a broken wrist and torn ACL, Richard Sherman healing up a torn ligament in his elbow and Tharold Simon apparently recovering from shoulder surgery.

Blackmon seems like the perfect solution. He knows Seattle’s system, having played in Gus Bradley’s defense in Jacksonville the past two years after showing well in Seattle’s camp in 2013.

The only reason Blackmon got the boot in final cuts in 2013: The Hawks were deep at corner, with Sherman, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Maxwell and Lane.

So Blackmon got picked up by Bradley and proceeded to start 11 games over the past two years. In 2013, he recorded 40 tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Last season, he had 28 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble but missed the final eight games with a broken finger.

Williams is a journeyman who is considered average, but he certainly held his own last season, allowing just 56.6 percent completions, 89.5 passer rating and five touchdowns on 99 targets. He intercepted two passes.

It’s no guarantee who will end up starting opposite Richard Sherman, but Blackmon and Williams certainly offer some good competition and — more important, at this point — some good health.

Meanwhile, losing Carpenter would not be a huge blow for the Hawks.

Alvin Bailey started three games for him in 2014 (Weeks 10-12), and the Hawks ran for 678 yards against the Giants (350), Chiefs (204) and Cardinals (124). With Max Unger in for the first two games, the Hawks gave up just two sacks in each game. Bailey, who also started two games at left tackle, gave up just one sack all season.

Bailey is the favorite to take over at left guard for now, but the Hawks certainly will add competition — probably through the draft (Jake Fisher?).

As for the Hawks’ 18 other free agents, Seattle has retained Greg Scruggs, Mike Morgan and Anthony McCoy. The team also tendered exclusive free agents Ricardo Lockette and DeShawn Shead.

Morgan was a significant re-signing for depth reasons. Like Scruggs, he was going to be a restricted free agent, but Seattle avoided the RFA tender and kept one of its top special-teams players while avoiding the need to sign a free agent.

You had to figure the Hawks would give the once-promising McCoy one last chance to stay healthy. He has missed the past two seasons with Achilles injuries. A sixth-round pick in 2010, McCoy caught 18 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.

With Zach Miller released the other day and the Hawks apparently missing out (whew?) on Julius Thomas, the competition could be pretty interesting among McCoy, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet and whoever else the Hawks add.

Many expect them to be in the chase for Cleveland’s Jordan Cameron, a concussion-prone tight end who played for Pete Carroll at USC. He certainly will be cheaper than Thomas, who reportedly is going to get $9 million a year from Jacksonville.

There’s a lot of chatter about the Seahawks pursuing Andre Johnson, who was released by Houston on Monday, but Seattle fans should not get their hopes up about the 33-year-old receiver.

Apparently Seattle is one of four teams on his wish list, but the others all throw the ball a whole lot more and are every bit the threat the Hawks are to reach the Super Bowl. He seems likely to pick the Patriots, Colts or Packers over the Hawks.

The Hawks seem likely to pass on receivers in free agency and grab one or two in the draft again.

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