Monday, August 29, 2011
On the Seahawks' Kelly Jennings trade
By Mike Sando
Five quick notes/thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' trading cornerback Kelly Jennings to Cincinnati for defensive tackle Clinton McDonald:
Size matters: The Seahawks have gone big and tall at cornerback. Jennings is listed at 5-foot-11, but he's slight of frame and struggled in matchups against bigger receivers.
- Experience does not matter: Jennings was one of two cornerbacks on the Seahawks' roster with significant starting experience. The team has decided to go young -- very young -- and Jennings was practically ancient by Seattle cornerback standards at 28.
- Roster churn: Jennings' departure leaves the Seahawks with five of their own first-round choices and three from other teams. One of their own, cornerback Marcus Trufant, took a pay reduction from $5.9 million to $3 million recently. One of the others, linebacker Aaron Curry, restructured his contract in a manner that makes him easier to trade or release next year. The other three first-rounders project as long-term starters. James Carpenter, Russell Okung and Earl Thomas were chosen by the team's current leadership. The Seahawks are taking a sledgehammer to the foundation they inherited. Chris Spencer, Lofa Tatupu, Josh Wilson, Lawrence Jackson, Rob Sims and Darryl Tapp were all relatively high draft choices under previous regimes.
- Money inconsequential: The Seahawks paid a $200,000 signing bonus to Jennings as part of the one-year deal he signed this offseason. That bought little security in the end.
- NFC West reunion: Jennings heads to a Bengals secondary already featuring NFC West castoffs Taylor Mays and Nate Clements, both late of the San Francisco 49ers. Jennings was never going to live up to his first-round status in Seattle. He has more value to the Bengals without those expectations.
- Clinton who?: McDonald was a seventh-round choice of the Bengals in 2009. The team had released him previously. He played in eight games last season. McDonald stands just under 6-2 and converted from linebacker in college. Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly, writing for his 2009 draft guide, lauded McDonald for possessing toughness and a mean streak. He thought McDonald would project as a three-technique defensive tackle in a one-gap scheme. McDonald was not expected to earn a roster spot in Cincinnati.
Lots more moves to come. Teams must reduce to 80 players by Tuesday.