The Seahawks Friday re-signed LB O’Brien Schofield and added free agent CB A.J. Jefferson, while declining to exercise LG James Carpenter’s fifth-year contract option, meaning 2014 is a make-or-break year for the the Seahawks’ top pick in the 2011 draft (25th overall). And an NFL deadline for restricted free agents to move has passed, meaning WR Doug Baldwin will be back.
The decision on Carpenter was expected given that his injury problems, 330-pound weight and sub-par performances have limited him to 26 of a possible 48 starts in his career, including 10 starts in 16 games in 2013, but he did start in the Super Bowl.
Baldwin did not sign an offer sheet from another team, meaning he will return to Seattle. Had he moved, the acquiring team would have had to give the Seahawks a second-round pick. The team made a tender in March for $2.1 million that assures he will be with the Seahawks in 2014.
The only question is whether he plays under the one-year offer or signs a longer deal.
Schofield, 26, was signed by the New York Giants in free agency but failed their physical exam (knee) and the offer was rescinded. He had no publicly disclosed injuries last season, and played in the Super Bowl. He did have an ACL tear repaired at Wisconsin in 2010. He will receive the $730,000 veteran minimum.
Mostly as a special-teamer, Schofield played in 15 games in 2013. He started two games and had seven tackles and a sack. He was signed off waivers from Arizona in July. He was a fourth-round pick in 2010 by the Cardinals, and played in 35 games with nine starts.
Jefferson was released by the Minnesota Vikings in November on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. He pleaded guilty in March, and received a 90-day sentence that was suspended for time served (three days). He also played in Arizona, signing as a rookie free agent in 2010. He spent two seasons with the Cardinals, playing 18 games with seven starts. He was traded to the Vikings on Sept. 1, 2012. He played 25 games with seven starts before his arrest.
Assistant coaches added
The Seahawks added Will Harriger as an offensive assistant, Chris Morgan as an assistant offensive line coach and Chad Morton assistant special teams coach. Nate Carroll, son of head coach Pete Carroll, was named assistant wide receivers coach and John Glenn quality control/defense coach.
Harriger, whose career began in 2004 at Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, spent the majority of his time coaching linebackers. He has also coached at Tennessee-Martin (2005-06), Auburn (2007), Texas (2008), Tennessee-Martin (2009), Texas Tech (2010-11) and most recently at Florida (2012-13).
Morgan spent the last five years with the Oakland Raiders (2009-10) and Washington Redskins (2011-13) in the same capacity. Since 2012, the Redskins lead the NFL with 4,873 rushing yards, ahead of Seattle by 106 yards.
Morton, a seven-year NFL veteran as a running back/kick returner, spent the past five seasons with the Green Bay Packers, four as assistant special teams coach. Primarily a kick returner as a pro, Morton aided the development of kickoff returner Randall Cobb, ranking second in the NFL with a 27.7 average.