Seahawks scouting punter from Kenya, according to reports
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks may be looking to move on from Jon Ryan. According to unnamed sources, Seattle may have found their next punter in the nation of Kenya. But is Seattle truly ready to make a change?
The Seahawks are never afraid to find a player in an unusual place. At least not under John Schneider and Pete Carroll. Think how many productive Seattle players were undrafted in the successful seasons of 2014 and 2015.
Jon Ryan is not getting any younger. And Seattle is looking to cut cost. Ryan will make a base salary of $2.6 million in 2018. Why not save some money by releasing him? It appears this may be exactly what Seattle is looking to do.
And the search appears to be starting (and maybe finishing) in Kenya. Abasi Korir is a 21 year-old who has never played football. However, Tom Malone, former USC punter under Pete Carroll and one-time Seahawk, now mentors children globally on the finer arts of kicking a football.
How good is Korir?
According to reports, in January Malone tipped off Schneider that Korir was a “natural” and “possibly the best prospect he had seen in raw form.” Malone said Korir had played soccer most of his life, but never really fit in with other players. Korir never learned to kick the ball “soccer style.” Instead, the left-footed Korir prefers to play with only one shoe but the shoe goes on his kicking foot and not his plant foot.
Korir, who speaks fluent English due to spending ages 14-16 in Australia, says, “I like to feel the grass in my right foot. It’s like hope. I can’t describe it. And with that hope I kick the football and hope it goes far.”
Malone says that Korir is “NFL ready right now. This is a kid who never kicked at high elevation. He may average 50 yards-a-punt in year one.”
As an international player, the Seahawks could sign Korir to a free agent contract immediately. Whether Schneider does is whether he still thinks Ryan can still be among the best punters in the NFL. Or if he thinks Korir can be part of the change in Seattle.
Related Story: Non-April Fool's read: Who could backup Russell Wilson this season?)
(Editor’s note: April Fool’s Day! There is no such person as Abasi Korir about to play in the NFL. As far as I know… – Lee)