It appears that Malik Turner’s time with the Seahawks could be coming to a close. The Seahawks were initially expected to retain the wide receiver but changed course by withdrawing their initial tender, per ESPN’s Field Yates.
“The Seahawks withdrew their exclusive right tender on WR Malik Turner, which means he is now a free agent. Not something you often see, as it would appear he’s no longer in their plans for 2020,” Yates reported on Twitter.
The surprising move could indicate the Seahawks will take a wide receiver early in a draft that has one of the deepest classes we have seen. The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta believes the reversal of Turner’s tender means just that for the Seahawks.
“Interesting move here. Seattle added Phillip Dorsett in free agency and may also be eyeing what is considered a really strong draft at receiver,” Condotta tweeted.
The Seahawks Signed Phillip Dorsett Earlier in Free Agency
The signing of former Patriots wideout Phillip Dorsett could have also impacted the Seahawks’ decision on Turner. Dorsett cited playing with Russell Wilson as “one of the biggest reasons” that he signed with the Seahawks.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons why I decided to come,” Dorsett explained to ESPN 710 Seattle. “I’m watching some of the games from last year and I see Russell dropping dimes and just the off-schedule timing of it, he can extend the play and that gives us a chance to make a move and head downfield and he can get it there. I’m definitely excited and I can’t wait to (play).”
The Seahawks Are “Open” to Bringing Back Malik Turner
To make matters more confusing, ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported that the Seahawks are still “open” to re-signing Turner. So why did the Seahawks rescind their offer? The franchise did not want to prevent Turner from other opportunities in free agency but will likely reassess the situation after the draft if he remains unsigned.
“On the Seahawks rescinding Malik Turner’s ERFA tender, my understanding is they’re open to bringing him back later if he’s unsigned. But it’s a loaded WR draft and they’re deep at WR as it is. If he was going to get cut, doing it now gives him a head start on finding a new team,” Henderson explained on Twitter.
Condotta predicted there is a “decent chance” that Turner returns to the Seahawks despite the change in the tender offer.
“On Malik Turner, hearing there’s a decent chance he’s back and that this could be similar to Jordan Simmons where he signs a split [contract] to return, which saves the team some money if he were to go on Injured Reserve. The ERFA wouldn’t have allowed for that,” Condotta noted.
There have also been rumblings that Josh Gordon is applying for an NFL reinstatement. The Seahawks would be a logical landing spot if the receiver is granted reinstatement, and we could see a crowded wide receiver group when the Seahawks open training camp. Gordon’s future status still remains in flux so far this offseason.