The NFL is a transient industry. Nothing has illustrated that more than the past two weeks of blockbuster trade after blockbuster trade amid the standard free agency movement.
But even Justin Coleman and Quinton Jefferson have to be surprised by the total lack of familiarity with Seattle’s defensive personnel as they come back to Seattle after three years playing for other teams.
They are reunited with exactly one defender: Poona Ford, who was an undrafted rookie when Jefferson and Coleman were key players for Seattle in 2018.
As we have said many times, failed drafts in 2016 and 2017 meant the Seahawks had no new core to replace the Legion of Boom. John Schneider largely has been Band-Aiding the defense since 2018, when Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman all departed.
Frank Clark was traded in 2019, the same year Earl Thomas, Jefferson and Coleman left in free agency. Short-timers Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin then were part of the big Jadeveon Clowney trade later that year.
In 2020, Tedric Thompson (Thomas’ poor replacement in 2018-19) was released, and Bradley McDougald went to the Jets in the Jamal Adams blockbuster in July.
In 2021, Shaquill Griffin signed a big deal with Jacksonville, Jarran Reed was cut after declining a contract restructure, K.J. Wright was not re-signed and Tre Flowers was waived during the season.
Assuming Rasheem Green, a little-used rookie in 2018 who has turned into a strong rotation rusher, leaves in free agency shortly, Ford will be the only familiar defensive face from the last time Jefferson and Coleman were on the roster.
The newness extends to the offense, too. With Russell Wilson gone and Duane Brown and Ethan Pocic free agents, there are just four holdovers from that 2018 offense: Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson (if he returns) and newly re-signed Rashaad Penny and Will Dissly.
It’s a small reunion crew for Jefferson and Coleman – and a stark reminder of how unstable and ill-planned the roster has been since 2018.