Seahawks Send Bold Message on Starter Amid Benching Rumors

Michael Jackson

Getty Seattle Seahawks cornerback Mike Jackson is fighting for a starting spot.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll does not sound ready to send veteran cornerback Mike Jackson to the bench quite yet despite the team using the No. 5 pick to select Illinois standout Devon Witherspoon. Carroll gushed over Jackson’s minicamp performance labeling the veteran as the best player of the practice sessions.

“We have all the flexibility we need [at cornerback],” Carroll told reporters on June 8, 2023. “Michael Jackson’s had the best camp of anybody. Came in had a great camp and he stepped up for the challenge of it. Had just a really productive, almost a dominant camp for us and so that’s great to see that. We need it.”

The widespread thought has been that Jackson will be replaced by Witherspoon. Yet, while Witherspoon will almost assuredly start opposite Pro Bowler Tariq Woolen, Jackson could snag the nickel corner position.

The Seahawks also appear open to starting Witherspoon out at the nickel spot which would leave Jackson as one of the starters outside.

Carroll’s comments come amid previous speculation that Coby Bryant would start at nickel. Bryant was sidelined during minicamp practices with a toe injury, and Jackson appeared to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Pete Carroll on Seahawks Cornerbacks: ‘This Is as Competitive as We’ve Been in a Long Time’

Woolen is recovering from offseason surgery but so far there are no indications that the star will be sidelined for the start of the upcoming season. The early signs point to Bryant and Jackson fighting to be the third corner with Seattle possessing flexibility to utilize the players in different spots. Carroll predicted a “real battle” in training camp while also praising Tre Brown indicating this could be the deepest cornerback group the franchise has had during his tenure in Seattle.

“Tre Brown did really well in this camp as well and so with the depth with Mike and Spoon and ‘Riq and Tre,” Carroll remarked. “That’s a good group. Coby’s got stuff to do for us, too. So, it’s going to be a real battle in camp and I hope everybody stays healthy, so they can put their best foot forward and all that.

“But this is as competitive as we’ve been in a long time, and we expect to call on those guys. They’re going to be covering people. They’re going to be working hard. They’re going to be in match-ups and all the press stuff that we work so hard at and all that.

“These guys are gonna bring it, and we’ll see how much we can utilize it, but it’s an area that I’m really fired up about, yeah.”

Mike Jackson Started All 17 Games for the Seahawks in 2022

Jackson is on a team-friendly one-year, $940,000 contract making him a near lock to make the roster despite some rumblings about the corner being a potential cut candidate. Pro Football Focus gave Jackson an underwhelming 60.2 grade for his play in 2022.

Jackson notched 75 tackles, 12 pass deflections, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception while starting all 17 games for the Seahawks in 2022. The pressure is on the Seahawks corners with position battles set to officially get underway in less than two months as training camp kicks off.

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