Leave it to Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll to do something unconventional. Earlier today, the Seahawks signed 27-year old former basketball player Darren Fells to a three-year contract.
Most organizations like to use the phrase “leave no stone unturned” in their attempts to improve the talent on their roster, but with the Seahawks, these unorthodox signings have become the norm.
Take cornerback Brandon Browner as an example. When he signed with the Seahawks two years ago, he was also 27 and hadn’t played in the NFL for four years, although he had been playing in the CFL. He was supposedly too big or slow, depending on which scouting report you chose to believe, to be able to make it in the league. All he did was go to the Pro Bowl the year after he was signed.
Then there was the Russell Wilson experiment. He was too short to play quarterback in the NFL and we all know how that turned out for the Seahawks.
I am not saying that Fells is destined to play in the Pro Bowl next season, but I will suggest that he has something you cannot coach and most players need – talent and the right measurements. At 6-foot-7, the 280 pound tight end has the body one would want to create mismatches and if he’s been playing professional basketball, you also know there must be plenty of athletic ability too.
Personally, I wouldn’t expect much of an impact from Fells in 2013 because he hasn’t played football in quite some time. However, if he is as talented as the Seahawks think he is, there is a good chance that he could make an impact in future years and this is exciting if you’re a fan of the team. If he could become a fraction as good as former basketball players such as Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints or Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers, the Seahawks will be quite pleased.
The signing of a talent like Fells to a contract is the perfect example of a low-risk, high reward type of transaction that the Seahawks have taken pride in since Carroll and Schneider took over the organization.