RENTON — The Seattle Seahawks brought back a familiar face on Tuesday and made a trade for a position in need of some depth.
The Seahawks signed veteran tight end Luke Willson and acquired cornerback John Reid from Houston for a conditional late-round draft pick. Willson’s signing was official on Tuesday while Reid’s trade is expected to be finalized on Wednesday.
Both moves are tied to depth concerns and injuries with expected contributors for Seattle. With Willson, his signing comes after Colby Parkinson went down with a small fracture in his foot earlier in training camp. The move for Reid came after rookie Tre Brown came out of last Saturday’s preseason game against Denver with a sore knee and the Seahawks needing bodies at the position.
Willson is a fan favorite and been a part of the Seahawks in some facet for most of his NFL career. Willson was a fifth-round pick by Seattle in 2013 and has spent parts of seven seasons with the Seahawks. Willson appeared in eight games for Seattle in 2019 and last season played three games for Baltimore before joining the Seahawks and playing in five more games.
Aside from his on-field contribution, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said he values the attitude and energy Willson has brought over the years.
“We’re trying to live on the high end of this thing, and keep the spirit up and keep the energy high. Expectations are really high to do that and it takes leadership and then participation,” Carroll said. “Certain people just have more juice than others and Luke has always been great. He’s been a great part of that for us.”
Reid was a fourth-round pick of the Texans and appeared in 13 games with one start as a rookie. Seattle was intrigued with Reid’s speed as a possible outside cornerback option and can provide depth depending on how long Brown is sidelined.
Brown was one of three picks Seattle made in the 2021 draft and played 56% of the defensive snaps against the Broncos. Seattle is also uncertain how long safety Ryan Neal could be sidelined with an oblique strain, which also may lead to the shuffling of some cornerbacks with safety experience in the secondary.
“We want to make sure that we have depth and have the kind of competitive speed that we need out there,” Carroll said of his cornerbacks. “We’ve been good all the way throughout. We’ve had numbers the whole time. We’re right at the edge of that we got to make sure we can keep our guys together.”
While Seattle made the two external moves, it also welcomed a significant number of players back to practice who had been out with small injuries, including cornerbacks D.J. Reed and Marquise Blair, offensive linemen Cedric Ogbuehi and Ethan Pocic and running back Travis Homer.