After an injury cost him his opportunity with the Green Bay Packers in 2020, second-year cornerback Will Sunderland will get another chance to win an NFL roster spot next season with the Seattle Seahawks.
Sunderland, who signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2020, was officially added to the Seahawks’ offseason roster on Monday, helping bolster their cornerback depth heading into the start of their three-day minicamp on Tuesday. He took the roster spot of safety LaDarius Wiley, who was waived on June 11.
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Sunderland Faced Struggles in Year 1
Sunderland getting left off the Packers’ initial 53-man roster in 2020 wasn’t the least bit surprising after the way he struggled during his first NFL training camp. Not only had he missed numerous practices with an undisclosed injury, but fellow depth cornerbacks, such as Kabion Ento and Stanford Samuels III, had also outperformed him when he was able to stay on the field.
While Sunderland initially reverted back to Green Bay’s injured reserve list when no other teams claimed him off the waivers, the Packers only held onto him for another three days before waiving him again — this time with an injury settlement. Nearly two months of recovery later, he signed with the Indianapolis Colts’ practice squad, where he remained for the rest of the 2020 season.
The Colts felt confident enough in Sunderland’s developmental potential to sign him to a reserve/future contract for 2021, but the additions of Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie in free agency left their roster overstuffed with cornerbacks. Both Sunderland and Roderic Teamer — and fellow cornerback who had also signed a futures deal — were waived in May shortly after the 2021 NFL draft.
The raw potential is still there for Sunderland, who clocked a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash during his 2020 pro day at Troy and measures on the bigger side (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) for cornerbacks. He will need consistently good showings whenever possible to break through with the Seahawks, though, beginning Tuesday’s start of minicamp.