The Seahawks like to take risks in free agency more than most teams. Sometimes these pay off and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche could end up being a key signing. The question about Nkemdiche hasn’t really ever been about talent; He has that. The question has been whether he actually wants to play football or not.
And Nkemdiche has the talent to play football at a high level and make quite a bit of money doing it. Sure, we want our favorite NFL players to love playing the game, and lots of them do, but they also play it to earn a paycheck to be able to afford life in general.
There is a chance that Nkemdiche has always been a bit overrated. He was the number one overall recruit in high school in 2013 and went to Mississippi and never lived up to the hype. Still, he showed enough athleticism and strength to be a first-round draft choice in 2016 for the Arizona Cardinals.
Seahawks might get the best from Robert Nkemdiche
Nkemdiche ended up not playing much in his rookie season because he was out of shape and didn’t seem to care whether he was playing football or not. Over three years with the Cardinals, Nkemdiche started 6 games and had just 4.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. He played two games with the Dolphins in 2019 before he got hurt and then missed the 2020 season.
Nkemdiche, however, will be just 27 years old for most of the 2021 season so, if motivated, he should have a lot of years left to play football. He’s got the size and the strength. Is he ever going to have 8 sacks in a season? Based on his history so far, no. But entering Seahawks OTAs this offseason, Nkemdiche has got himself into great shape which might mean he is finally motivated to produce.
There is no guarantee Nkemdiche makes the Seahawks roster or any NFL roster this year. But if he shows that he wants to play then he likely has too much talent for Seattle to let him go. Robert Nkemdiche isn’t Jarran Reed but he has the talent to come close and a little energy from him may be all Pete Carroll needs to keep Nkemdiche on the team.