Aiming to Fortify Tight End Group, Seahawks Stockpiling Veterans
Following the acquisition of Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen last week, the Seahawks could potentially feature one of the deepest, most experienced tight end groups in the league next season.
After being riddled with injuries this past season, Seattle faced plenty of uncertainty at the tight end position heading into the offseason. Will Dissly has been rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon, Ed Dickson missed the entire year with knee problems, and Jacob Hollister is a restricted free agent.
In the first step to shore up the group, general manager John Schneider moved swiftly to sign Olsen, who had been recruited to Seattle by quarterback Russell Wilson.
Last season with Carolina, the 13-year pro played in 14 games and caught 52 of his 82 targets for 597 yards along with a pair of touchdown receptions. In addition, Olsen also averaged 11.5 yards per catch and produced a 63.4 percent catch rate according to Pro-Football-Reference.com.
While Olsen hasn’t been healthy for a full season since 2016, the Seahawks are hopeful that he’ll be able to stay on the field next season. Speaking with the media on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Pete Carroll reiterated that the 34-year old tight end’s health isn’t a concern for Seattle moving forward.
“He’s had a very clean process to get to this point. He had one foot injury that kind of turned into another related thing on his foot, but other than that, it’s really focused,” Carroll explained. “He did have a concussion last year, missed a couple of weeks, but he came back and played. He’s in pretty darn good shape right now for all of those years he’s played.”
Carroll indicated that if both Olsen and Dissly remain healthy, they will likely see plenty of time on the field together next season and could be a dynamic pairing.
“Will Dissly is a really good football player. We’ve loved everything that he’s done,” Carroll said. “He was thrilled to hear that Greg was coming, for obvious reasons, because he wants to be great and he wants to learn from Greg. So, they’ll both play on the field at the same time, I’m sure. And it will be exciting to see that happen.”
With both Olsen and Dissly on the field, along with receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, Wilson won’t have any shortage of red zone weapons to throw to. Each tight end should also help move the chains and be effective middle of the field options.
Furthermore, Schneider mentioned his desire to bring back fan favorite Luke Willson as additional depth behind Olsen and Dissly. The door remains open for him, Hollister, and even Dickson to be on the roster heading into camp.
“Will [Dissly] is coming off his injury, [Ed] Dickson was injured last year, we’d love to have Luke back as well,” Schneider stated.
Since both Olsen and Dissly have shown to be injury-prone over their careers, having at least four or five quality tight ends entering training camp probably is a necessity for the Seahawks. Along with retaining a few more veterans, they could also choose to use one of their eight draft picks on a tight end in April to develop a long-term contributor at the position.
While there’s no guarantee more than three or four of these players will make the 53-man roster next season, that would be a good problem to have, as Seattle's depth at the tight end position should stack up favorably against other teams in the NFC. As a result, the offense should be able to produce at an even higher level as long as Olsen and Dissly can stay on the field together next season.