Seahawks Lose Former First-Round Pick: Report

Pete Carroll

Getty Head coach Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks saw a former first-round pick leave in free agency.

The Seattle Seahawks are moving on from one of their reclamation projects.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on March 21 that safety Johnathan Abram “plans to sign” with the New Orleans Saints. The contract is reportedly dependent on Abram passing a physical on March 22.

Abram played five games, making two starts, for the Seahawks during the 2022 season. He recorded 10 combined tackles and 2 pass defenses in Seattle.

In addition to the Seahawks, Abram also played for the Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers last season.

Johnathan Abram to Sign With the Saints

Abram began his career as a first-round pick for the Raiders in the 2019 NFL draft. He played three full seasons for the Raiders although Abram dressed for just one game his rookie season because he tore his rotator cuff and labrum in Week 1 of 2019.

Over his first three years, Abram recorded 207 combined tackles, including 8 tackles for loss and 7 quarterback hits. He also had 11 pass defenses and 3 interceptions in 28 games.

After Las Vegas declined to pick up his fifth-year option, Abram played the first eight contests of 2022 for the Raiders, racking up 40 combined tackles, but he lost his job after Week 6. The Raiders then waived Abram two weeks later on November 8.

The Packers claimed Abram off waivers on November 10. He dressed for Green Bay, playing mostly special teams, during the next two games, but the Packers then made him inactive the next two weeks. The Packers waived him on November 29, and the Seahawks claimed him a day later.

Abram received significant playing time on defense during his third game in Seattle. He then not only started the final two games but lined up for every defensive snap in Weeks 17 and 18.

Seahawks Sign Safety Julian Love, Tender Ryan Neal

While it’s too bad Abram won’t be back with the Seahawks, Seattle upgraded safety this offseason, which made the former Raiders first-round pick expendable.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on March 17 that the Seahawks signed former New York Giants safety Julian Love.

Additionally, the Seahawks placed the right of first refusal on restricted free agent Ryan Neal. That means Neal can negotiate with other teams, but the Seahawks can match any offer than Neal receives.

The Seahawks also have Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs signed at safety.

Adams is aiming to return after two straight season-ending injuries. The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta reported that the team may plan to use Adams more at weak-side linebacker next season. But the Seahawks still have enough depth that Abram was not a necessity to re-sign.

Besides, Adams, Diggs, Love and possibly Neal, the Seahawks also have safety Joey Blount on the roster for the 2023 season.

Abram originally committed to play college football at Georgia in 2014. After his freshman season, he transferred to junior college and then played his final two college seasons at Mississippi State.

In the 2019 NFL draft, Abram was the second safety off the board. Mississippi State had three first-round selections that year. He was also the third pick for the Raiders in the first round of 2019.

According to Spotrac, the Seahawks have a little more than $13.1 million remaining in salary cap space for the 2023 season.

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