Nick Vannett spent his first three seasons with the Seahawks, but the tight end does not appear to have any love lost for his former team. After signing with the Broncos, Vannett told The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala that he felt “kicked to the curb” by the Seahawks.
“I always felt like toward the end of my tenure with the Seahawks, I felt like I was slowly getting kicked to the curb a little bit,” Vannett explained to The Athletic. “They had another guy, a young guy, they brought in, Dissly, they were pretty high on and they kind of saw him to be my successor. I don’t know, like slowly I feel like they kind of minimized my role, they weren’t getting me involved as much. From what I heard, the Steelers were looking for a tight end and they had been trying to make an offer for quite some time, and I think they finally made an offer that the Seahawks couldn’t refuse.”
The Seahawks traded Vannett early last season to the Steelers for a fifth round pick. Seattle selected Vannett in the third round of the 2016 draft, but the tight end failed to live up to expectations. Vannett’s best season came in 2018 when he notched 29 receptions for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
The trade occurred just a few weeks before Will Dissly sustained a season-ending injury that left the Seahawks thin at tight end. Vannett played in three games for the Seahawks in the 2019 season prior to being dealt.
The Seahawks Signed Former Pro Bowl Tight End Greg Olsen
If all goes as planned, the Seahawks will have a crowded tight end room next season. The Seahawks signed veteran tight end Greg Olsen and are also hoping Dissly will return next season as well. Jacob Hollister filled in admirably in Dissly’s absence giving the Seahawks plenty of options at tight end. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll expects Olsen to have a major impact both on the field and in the locker room.
“He can’t help but make an impression about his smarts, his awareness and his resolve to be great and to do something great and be a part of something,” Carroll noted, per NFL.com. “He’s just on a high level, so we’re very fortunate to have him. I think he’ll make a very fast transition. He and Russell worked in the spring time and when the summer time comes up they’ll be together often. I don’t think there’s any ceiling we should put on their ability to get together. I’m really excited about that.”
Vannett is not expected to be the top option for the Broncos given the team just drafted Noah Fant in 2019. The tight end did not make a major impact with the Steelers finishing with 13 catches for 128 yards during his short time in Pittsburgh.
The Seahawks Expect to Have Dissly Back for the Start of the Season
The Seahawks indicated at the NFL Combine that Dissly is expected back for the start of the season. Seattle hopes to utilize Olsen and Dissly on the field together in two tight end sets.
“I don’t know why he wouldn’t be,” Seahawks GM John Schneider said, per Field Gulls. “I don’t have a reason to say that he wouldn’t be at this point. He’s doing a great job with his rehab.”