Sure, he has one more year left on his rookie contract, but the cornerback simply has not been able to stay healthy in his three NFL seasons and it sure seems doubtful he ever will.
The Seahawks have shown great patience with injury-prone players, and it paid off with cornerbacks Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell.
Simon’s career arc seemed like it was following Maxwell’s — until Simon’s season was ended yet again Saturday when he was put on injured reserve.
Maxwell, a sixth-round pick in 2011, was limited to just 18 games over his first two seasons — thanks to an assortment of injuries. We questioned why the Seahawks held onto him, but they saw promise.
In 2013 and 2014, he proved he was worth the patience — playing 29 games and coming up with six interceptions. It earned him $10 million a year from Philadelphia — a deal the Eagles surely are regretting as he has been burned and injured this season. It also will net the Seahawks a third-round compensatory pick in the next draft. In Maxwell’s case, patience paid off.
It won’t bring the same dividends with Simon, who now will have missed 37 of 48 games since being drafted in the fifth round in 2013.
The Seahawks loved his size (6-3, 202) and had been patient in developing him, just as they were with Thurmond (played in just 22 games in first three years) and Maxwell. But Simon has played so little he has not been able to develop any consistency. He will make a good play and then get burned three times in a row.
He was particularly horrible last postseason, when Carolina and New England burned him for four touchdown passes.
Now he will miss the rest of this season with a dislocated toe.
“His nature has given him a toe that’s got some issues and we’ve just got to work through it,” Pete Carroll said Friday. “He’s had surgery on his other foot. Same toe, same situation. So that’s something we’re trying to work through right now. We’ll see whether that’s necessary or not.”
Obviously, the Seahawks will give him a chance next training camp — assuming his toe is healthy — but it will be his final shot with Seattle.
The Seahawks have plenty of young corners behind Richard Sherman and Cary Williams. Tye Smith is just a rookie, with a lot of promise. Marcus Burley has shown good savvy in the nickel — the Seahawks will own his rights next year and he will be restricted in 2017.
DeShawn Shead will be an RFA next year, and the Hawks surely will retain him. They also have Mohammed Seisay, who is on IR but will be an exclusive-rights free agent next year as well. Jeremy Lane will be a free agent next year, but no one is going to pay him after he misses at least half of this season recovering from his ACL and wrist injuries suffered in the Super Bowl.
All of those guys will make it very tough for Simon to make the team next year, even if he is healthy for once.
To replace Simon on the 53-man roster, the Seahawks added running back Rod Smith from the practice squad. Seattle needs depth with Marshawn Lynch out again with a hamstring injury and Fred Jackson questionable with a high ankle sprain.
Carroll said he hoped Lynch could go next week against Carolina.
As for Jackson, Carroll said, “He’s going and we’re thinking he’s going to make it. He’ll have to work out on game day. But he looks really good and we think he’s going to be able to play.”
Burley is expected to miss 2-3 weeks after thumb surgery, Carroll said.
“He’s going to be able to make it back in a couple of weeks. Really this is an amazing turnaround from a legit broken thumb and all. But the surgery supposedly went great, and maybe three weeks from now he has a chance to get back out here.”
Smith (hip), Demarcus Dobbs (shoulder) and Kevin Pierre-Louis (hamstring) are all doubtful for the game.