The Seattle Seahawks are still figuring out the best way to restructure their defense for the 2023 NFL season and following the second week of OTAs, suddenly cut 338-pound nose tackle, Forrest Merrill on Friday, June 2, as first reported by NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport.
Merrill started out his NFL career with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021 after going undrafted out of Arkansas State.The 26-year-old appeared in four games during his rookie season, recording a total of four tackles. The Chargers released him ahead of the 2022 NFL season and he was without a team until Seattle scooped him up last month.
The Seahawks are seriously shuffling around the nose tackle group as the team also cut Lattrell Bumphus this past week. With Merrill gone, the Seahawks have one open spot on the 90-man roster, per The Seattle Times‘ Bob Condotta, sparking speculation on over which player they’ll look to sign next.
One fan tweeted, “WELCOME 2 SEATTLE QUINNEN WILLIAMS,” in hopes that the Seahawks are secretly looking to steal the First-Team All-Pro tackle amid his contract extension issues with the New York Jets. Another fan tweeted, “Time for Frank Clark baby!!!!” — the former Seahawks edge who remains a free agent following his release from the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Seahawks Only Have 5 Players at Tackle
Unfortunately, the Seahawks’ limited cap space makes adding a player like Clark or Williams pretty difficult and Condotta believes the team will likely look to sign another prospective nose tackle.
With Merrill gone, “This leaves 5 players who are listed as nose or defensive tackles or who have played that spot so far in the offseason program: Bryan Mone, Myles Adams, Austin Faoliu, Cameron Young and Jonah Tavai,” he tweeted. “I’d expect Seattle to keep looking for DT/NTs, though probably not any big names.”
Mone is still recovering from an ACL tear suffered late last season, and his return timetable remains unclear. “It’s been a little bit up and down for him,” Carroll told reporters on Thursday. “It hasn’t been quite as forward-moving as some of the recoveries. He’s a huge guy, 360 pounds, so it’s harder on him than it is on the other guys. He’s working really hard, he’s been here the whole time, and he’s dedicating himself to it. We’re hoping he’ll make it back, we’re counting on him.”
Cameron Young Is Battling Myles Adams to Be Starting Nose Tackle
The Seahawks’ fourth-round pick from the 2023 NFL Draft, Cameron Young, could unseat Adams as the team’s starting nose tackle depending on how things pan out during training camp.
The Athletic‘s Mike Dugar wrote, “At nose tackle, 290-pound Myles Adams is currently atop the depth chart. Signed as a rookie free agent in 2020, Adams played 185 defensive snaps last season and appeared in 10 games, playing big defensive end and nose tackle. He had 16 total tackles and four quarterback pressures.
“But even with Adams returning, there’s a possibility Young could be the team’s starting nose tackle by the season opener, which means Young may be just as important to Seattle’s success in 2023 as the early-round picks.”
Young, who weighed 304 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, has since gained 16 more pounds and is already impressing defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt. “The measurable stuff is obviously impressive,” Hurtt told reporters on May 25.. “He’s a large man with long arms, big hands, is strong, and is physical at the point of contact, but he’s a guy that has good football awareness, ideas and feel of things going on.”
“In terms of transitioning into a different scheme and how you are going to play him, he has all of that stuff, and you just have to continue to develop and train him to get him up to speed on things,” Hurtt continued. “He has done a nice job so far. He’s a guy that is unselfish, physical, rugged and plays a position that doesn’t get a lot of fanfare.”