Seahawks Suddenly Cut Super Bowl Champ to Sign Versatile UDFA

Chris Garrett, LaTrell Bumphus

Getty Just before the start of OTA, the Seahawks cut outside linebacker Chris Garrett (L) in order to sign former Tennessee nose tackle LaTrell Bumphus (R).

While the Seattle Seahawks signed over 25 undrafted free agents following the conclusion of the 2023 NFL Draft to round out their 90-man roster, they are still making adjustments to the team.

Just hours before the Seahawks’ organized team activities (OTAs) kicked off at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington, the Seahawks announced two roster moves.

The Seahawks added to their defensive line by signing nose tackle LaTrell Bumphus, an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee. In order to make room for Bumphus, Seattle cut outside linebacker Chris Garrett. The Concordia-St. Paul alum was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. While Garrett earned a championship ring his rookie season after the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, he was subsequently released from the team.

The 24-year-old linebacker spent a year on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad before signing with the Seahawks practice squad on January 10. While Seattle signed Garrett to a reserve/futures contract a week later, it seems the team is heading in a different direction when it comes to beefing up their defense for the 2023 NFL season.

LaTrell Bumphus Can Also Play Tight End

While Bumphus’ size gave some fans pause, as the 6-foot-3, 290-pounder is on the smaller side for an interior defensive lineman, he actually started off his college career as a tight end with the Volunteers. In 2018, Bumphus appeared in 12 games as a reserve tight end and on special teams before switching to defense the following year, per Tennessee’s website.

The tight end turned defensive tackle spent six seasons with the Vols, during which appeared in 55 games and made 24 starts. Bumphus recorded 66 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and two passes defended.

Sports Illustrated‘s Zach Dimmit called Bumphus “an interesting prospect” due to his versatility as a player. While “it’s unlikely that the Seahawks will utilize Bumphus’ receiving skillset on an offense that was one of the league’s most tight end-happy units last season,” Dimmit wrote, “it certainly makes for an intriguing thought.”

“Who knows? Maybe the Seahawks could line up Bumphus at tight end on the goal line and use him in a classic play-action or jump-pass scenario that the defense won’t see coming. Quick! Better pencil in your long-shot bets for Bumphus to be a one-time touchdown scorer next season.”

LaTrell Bumphus Is the 6th Nose Tackle Seattle Has Signed in the Past 3 Weeks

While Bumphus attended rookie minicamp with the New York Giants, per reporter Art Stapleton, he eventually found his NFL home on the opposite coast. However, the 23-year-old nose tackle will be facing some heavy competition for a spot on the active roster. The News Tribune’s Gregg Bell pointed that Bumphus marks their sixth nose tackle signing in the past three weeks.

With Poona Ford’s exit for the Buffalo Bills, and Seattle parting ways with Shelby Harris, Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods, the Seahawks needed to add some depth to the position.

The Seahawks drafted Mississippi State defensive tackle Cameron Young in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, before adding former Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Forrest Merrill and former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Austin Faolui. Seattle also signed undrafted free agents Robert Cooper (FSU) and Jonah Tavai (San Diego State), per SB Nation.

Read More