Seahawks position preview: Cornerback breakdowns, starters, and cuts
The returning group
Contract: 4 years $3,258,620 (Final year)
2019 Stats: 13 passes defended, 65 tackles, 2 TFL
Griffin‘s final act of 2019 came when he combined on a sack with his identical twin Shaquem Griffin (who was credited for the sack). Now, going into the final year of his rookie contract he will look to capitalize on a stellar three-year career so far and (hopefully) a good 2020 season to get an extension with the Seahawks or find a big deal elsewhere.
Griffin has shown potential in his time in Seattle to be a good CB1 or a great CB2 right now, and for many years into the future. His man coverage skills are excellent and his PFF grade for 2019 was a superb 77.0. Hopefully, Griffin can make headlines again in 2020 to follow his Pro Bowl season in 2019, but the discussions between the Seahawks and Shaquill’s agent will surely be dominating headlines as well.
Contract: 4 years $2,758,724 (3rd year)
2019 Stats: 3 INT’s, 8 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 2 sacks
Tre Flowers had an up and down 2019, but it was a positive year in terms of his progression and potential. In only his second season in the NFL, and second season playing cornerback after playing safety at Oklahoma State, Flowers had moments that showed his potential of being a great all-around corner in the NFL. He looked excellent blitzing with Carroll sending Flowers at the QB in zone corner blitzes occasionally and he recorded two sacks doing so. He also had 3 interceptions which was tied for the team lead.
The big problems with Flowers 2019 were his spotty coverage skills and penalties. Tre had a problem with pass interference penalties in 2019 and related to that had problems getting beat all the time in one on ones. Flowers will now probably fall into a CB3 role in 2020, which will be good for the Seahawks depth with Flowers being one of the best backup corners on any roster, but this will certainly be an interesting story for Flowers as we will see if this fuels him to get better, or if his lack of playing time hurts his progression.
Contract: 1 year $750,000
2019 Stats: 3 games played, 1 tackle
Neal was picked up by the Seahawks for their practice squad after being cut by the Falcons at the end of last summer. He was then activated from the practice squad late in the season and appeared in three games as a backup corner.
Neal has some versatility with the ability to play corner and safety, which along with his outstanding size that Pete Carroll always seems to like, might keep him on the roster going into the 2020 season.
Contract: 1 year $675,000
2019 Stats: 3 games played, 3 tackles (All with Dolphins)
Linden Stephens returned to Seattle in April after being cut by the Dolphins, who took Stephens off of the Seahawks practice squad in December. The Dolphins did give him some opportunities last year before they cut him, as Stephens bounced around on five different teams before getting his first NFL regular season action.
Stephens’ way to make the roster this season will be as the slot corner, where he currently stands in the third spot on the depth chart as Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi has been dominating the competition. So with that being said, the writing is on the wall for Stephens.
Contract: 1 year $1,187,500
2019 Stats: 7 games played, 8 tackles
Thorpe has found a special teams role with the Seahawks to be the way for him to stay in the league, and he has been regarded as one of the best gunners on punts in the NFL the last few seasons. In his four years in Seattle, Neiko has been on the field for just 170 defensive snaps but has 968 special teams snaps. While Thorpe spent most of the previous season injured and has rarely got opportunities on defense with the Seahawks, his special team’s expertise will most likely put him on the opening day roster.