Underperforming Seahawks Receiver Most Likely Player to Be Cut: Analyst

Dee Eskridge

Getty Seattle Seahawks receiver Dee Eskridge could be on the hot seat.

The Seattle Seahawks have plenty of offensive playmakers, and wide receiver Dee Eskridge’s roster spot is far from a certainty. Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon put together the top potential cut candidate for each NFL team, and Eskridge gets the nod for Seattle.

“Honesty is appreciated. General manager John Schneider basically said the team kept Dee Eskridge only because of the coaching change,” Kenyon explained in a May 19, 2024 story titled, “The Best Player Who Could Still Be Cut from Every NFL Roster In 2024 Offseason.” “The second-round pick in 2021 has turned 373 career snaps into just 17 catches and 122 yards. He’s no higher than the fifth receiver right now.”

Consider these numbers from Eskridge: 17 receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown. No, this is not for one year, but all three of Eskridge’s NFL seasons combined. Eskridge failed to record a reception in his four appearances during the 2023 season.

This is not the kind of production teams expect from a former second-round pick. The Seahawks selected Eskridge with the No. 56 overall pick in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft. There is good news for Eskridge as the coaching change to Mike Macdonald could give the wideout a fresh start to potentially save his NFL career.

Seahawks Rumors: Seattle Receiver Dee Eskidge Could Be on the Hot Seat Heading Into Final Season of His Deal

Eskridge is heading into the final season of a four-year, $5.9 million rookie contract, per Spotrac. The receiver is slated to have a $1.4 million cap hit for 2024. Seahawks general manager John Schneider pointed to the coaching change as to why Eskridge is still on the roster.

“We want to give Dee a fresh start, second chance,” the Seahawks GM noted in a March 14 edition of “The John Schneider Show.” “… If our coaching staff would have been here same as last year, we would have probably said, ‘Hey Dee, it’s probably a good time for you to get a fresh start somewhere else.’ But everybody in the building loves him and there’s a new staff here now, so we just told him like, ‘Let’s try this fresh again.’”

Seahawks Receiver Dee Eskridge Was Expected to Flash as a Returner

Yet, Eskridge will likely still need to prove himself to the new coaching staff in training camp to retain his roster spot. Coming out of Western Michigan, Eskridge was expected to be able to be a key contributor on special teams as a returner.

Eskridge posted 17 returns for 467 yards and one touchdown at Western Michigan in 2020, averaging 27.5 yards per attempt. The receiver has contributed on special teams in Seattle but has not given the unit the kind of pop that was initially expected.

The receiver posted 34 catches for 784 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns during this final collegiate season. Heading into the 2021 NFL draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had a third-round grade on Eskridge.

“He’s not a great route-runner, will struggle with contested catches and lacks desired size, but he can really fly and has home run potential from anywhere on the field,” Zierlein wrote in his pre-draft profile. “Eskridge is a linear route-runner with good tempo when working down the field but will need a more limited route tree featuring crossing routes, slants, posts and over routes so he can rely on his speed rather than route-running.

“He can rise up and get the tall throws but catching through contact is where he is likely to struggle. He has gadget potential in the quick game and is a potentially dangerous kick returner, but his biggest selling point might be as a field stretcher from the slot.”

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