Seahawks 2021 Free Agent Primer: Phillip Dorsett

Back in January, coach Pete Carroll suggested Seattle had interest in bringing back Dorsett after he missed the entire 2020 season due to injury. But will that actually come to fruition once free agency arrives in March?
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Following an early Wild Card round exit, the Seahawks have officially transitioned into an offseason that could be one of the most significant of the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era.

When the new 2021 league year kicks off in March, Seattle will have a whopping 24 players set to become unrestricted free agents. Four players will be restricted free agents, while six will be exclusive rights free agents and several others will be entering the final year of their current contracts ready to negotiate extensions, including safety Jamal Adams.

Over the next several weeks, I will break down each and every one of the Seahawks' unrestricted free agents by revisiting their 2020 seasons, assessing why they should or should not be re-signed, breaking down an ideal contract, and making an early prediction on whether or not the player will return in 2021.

Continuing our series, a lingering foot injury prevented Phillip Dorsett from ever seeing the field for Seattle last season. Now fully healthy, will the team give the speedy wideout another opportunity?

Season In Review

Signed to a one-year contract in March, Dorsett performed well during the first couple weeks of Seattle's training camp, looking every bit the part of a viable third receiving option behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Unfortunately, he aggravated a foot injury during the team's first mock scrimmage and despite numerous attempts to come back, he landed on injured reserve and eventually underwent surgery, missing the entire 2020 season.

Why Seattle Should Re-Sign Him

Before his foot began acting up midway through camp, Dorsett put his elite sub-4.30 40-yard dash speed on full display, torching opposing defensive backs numerous times for explosive downfield receptions from Russell Wilson. He seemed to build a strong rapport quickly with Seattle's franchise quarterback and had a firm grip on the No. 3 receiver gig behind Metcalf and Lockett. His ability to run routes from outside and in the slot would have brought much-needed flexibility to the passing game that ultimately wound up hurting them in the second half of the season. Given his explosiveness, he also had the potential to factor in as a runner on jet sweeps as well as special teams as a returner.

Why Seattle Should Let Him Walk

Once a first-round pick for the Colts, Dorsett has never lived up to expectations despite possessing rare athletic traits and blazing track speed. In five NFL seasons before signing with Seattle, he surpassed 500 receiving yards just one time and only had one season with more than three touchdown receptions, yielding pedestrian production despite playing with Andrew Luck and Tom Brady. While he was hindered in part by the offensive scheme, he barely averaged 12 yards per reception in his three seasons with the Patriots and didn't develop in the short-to-intermediate game as envisioned. After missing an entire season due to injury, durability concerns have to be considered when deciding whether or not to re-sign him.

Ideal Contract

1 year at $900,000

Prediction

Though he didn't play a single down last season, coach Pete Carroll indicated to reporters in his end-of-season press conference that the Seahawks would have interest in bringing a healthy Dorsett back in 2021. Considering how good he looked before re-injuring his foot, his dynamic game-changing speed, and the fact he should be cheap to sign, that option certainly remains on the table for an organization with minimal cap room currently and only four draft picks in April. With that said, don't expect the Seahawks to rush to re-sign him as they weigh other alternatives. It's possible Dorsett could be a player who remains available deep into free agency or even after the draft and the team could revisit signing him at that point if the need remains.

Previous Seahawks Free Agent Primers

Chris Carson

K.J. Wright

Shaquill Griffin

Mike Iupati

Benson Mayowa

Quinton Dunbar

Ethan Pocic

Jacob Hollister

Bruce Irvin

Carlos Hyde

Cedric Ogbuehi

David Moore

Lano Hill

Nick Bellore