The NFL trade deadline quickly approaches, and several teams are examining moves that could clear up some cap space, bring in extra draft picks, or secure a piece of the puzzle. According to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Seattle Seahawks could move a former first-round pick.
Rapoport provided the update on October 24 before multiple games kicked off. He explained that trading pass rusher LJ Collier could be an option for the Seahawks. The 29th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft hasn’t been a factor along the defensive line in 2021 while only appearing in games against the Rams and Titans.
“A former first-rounder, Collier has only been active for two games this season after collecting three sacks last year,” Rapoport said in an article from NFL Media. “The Seahawks have had discussions centered around Collier at various points this season and prior to it, and Collier is just 26. A fresh start may make sense for all sides, especially with plenty of teams needing edge help.”
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Collier Played a Major Role During the 2020 Season
The former TCU standout had a strong 2020 campaign overall. He started all 16 games and tallied three sacks and seven quarterback hits while helping the Seahawks secure a 12-4 season and the NFC West crown.
The situation changed, however, entering the 2021 campaign. The Seahawks made Collier inactive for the first game of the season and sparked questions from the fans and members of the media. Many wondered why Collier was inactive after serving as a key contributor during his sophomore campaign.
According to The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar, general manager John Schneider provided an explanation prior to the September 12 season-opening game against the Colts. He said that the scheme change, as well as the health and depth along the defensive line, led to Collier starting the year on the inactive list.
Other Defenders Have Stepped Up During the 2021 Season
While Collier has spent his season primarily on the inactive list, other members of the defensive line have stepped up and tried to make plays. This list includes such names as Al Woods, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, and Darrell Taylor.
Woods, Mayowa, and Robinson all have one sack each during the first six weeks of the season. Taylor, on the other hand, leads the team with four sacks. He registered quarterback takedowns against the Colts, Vikings, 49ers, and Rams while adding another 13 solo tackles.
Taylor remains a question mark for the game against the Saints on Monday, October 25. He suffered what initially appeared to be a neck injury on October 17 against the Steelers and left the field on a cart. However, his MRIs came back clear and opened up an opportunity for a return.
Head coach Pete Carroll provided some optimism about Taylor’s return to the field. He said that there was a scenario in which the defender could actually suit up while recovering from a sore neck. Though Carroll clarified that the pre-game warmups could play a significant role.
“He practiced today too,” Carroll said, per the Seahawks website. “Let’s just wait until we get all the way to game time and see if everything works out OK. I think he’s doing really well, he’s anxious to play and excited about that. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t, but we’ll just make sure. The work he did today was the most work he did this week and let’s just see how he comes back tomorrow.”