Seattle Seahawks Sign Trio of Draft Picks to Rookie Deals

Now with half of their 2024 draft class under contract, the Seahawks inked former Auburn cornerbacks Nehemiah Pritchett and D.J. James as well as ex-Utah guard Sataoa Laumea.
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Continuing to work towards locking up their entire 2024 draft class, the Seattle Seahawks announced cornerbacks Nehemiah Pritchett and D.J. James as well as guard Sataoa Laumea have signed their rookie contracts.

With Pritchett, James, and Laumea now under contract through the 2027 season on slotted rookie deals, the Seahawks have now inked half of their draft class, as first-round pick Byron Murphy II signed his deal following day one of rookie minicamp earlier this month. With under $1 million in effective cap space available, an additional move may need to be done to create enough space to sign the rest of the draft class, including third-round pick Christian Haynes.

Picked with the 136th pick in the fifth round after running a blazing 4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, the speedy Pritchett will likely begin his time in Seattle competing for snaps as an outside cornerback as well as returning kicks, where he excelled previously for Auburn in 2021. In five seasons with the Tigers, he registered 121 combined tackles, three interceptions, and 22 pass breakups while also returning 10 kicks for 313 yards and a 31.3 yards per return average.

After starting his college career at Oregon, James spent his final two seasons at Auburn playing across from Pritchett as an outside cornerback, tallying 75 tackles and three interceptions in two years with the program. But if Seattle's rookie minicamp proves to be any indication, coach Mike Macdonald and his staff appear interested in seeing how the 6-0, 175-pound defender fares playing inside in the slot despite the fact he only played 55 snaps there in college.

Like Pritchett, James will also get an extended look on special teams on kick and punt coverage units as he aims to carve out a role in a crowded Seahawks secondary headlined by stars Devin Witherspoon and Riq Woolen.

One of the more versatile linemen in college football over the past four years, Laumea earned All-Pac 12 honors as both a right tackle and right guard, thriving at multiple positions. In Seattle, however, with Haynes likely competing against incumbent Anthony Bradford on the right side, his best path to a roster spot looks to be on the left side behind veteran Laken Tomlinson, and he already saw extensive work at left guard in rookie minicamp.

Under the terms of their respective deals with the Seahawks, per Spotrac estimates, Pritchett signed a four-year deal worth $4.39 million, Laumea signed a four-year deal worth $4.23 millions, and James signed a four-year deal worth $4.2 million.

Corbin K. Smith


Graduating from Manchester College in 2012, Smith began his professional career as a high school Economics teacher in Indianapolis and launched his own NFL website covering the Seahawks as a hobby. After teaching and coaching high school football for five years, he transitioned to a full-time sports reporter in 2017, writing for USA Today's Seahawks Wire while continuing to produce the Legion of 12 podcast. He joined the Arena Group in August 2018 and also currently hosts the daily Locked On Seahawks podcast with Rob Rang and Nick Lee. Away from his coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL, Smith dabbles in standup comedy, is a heavy metal enthusiast and previously performed as lead vocalist for a metal band, and enjoys distance running and weight lifting. A habitual commuter, he resides with his wife Natalia in Colorado and spends extensive time reporting from his second residence in the Pacific Northwest.