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Originally published Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 5:30 PM

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Seahawks sign basketball player as tight end prospect

The Seahawks have signed Darren Fells, a 6-foot-7, 280-pound basketball player who hasn't played football since high school.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Darren Fells has the size to play tight end at 6 feet 7, 280 pounds.

He has the athleticism, too, after playing basketball, first in college at UC-Irvine and then professionally overseas for the past few years.

What Seattle's newest tight end doesn't have is experience. He hasn't played football since he was in high school in Southern California. But Seattle saw enough during a tryout this week to sign him to a contract.

Fells, 26, is a long-term project, someone the Seahawks are taking a no-risk chance on. Fells' older brother, Daniel, has played in the NFL going back to 2006 and was with the New England Patriots last season.

Seattle has tried the past two years to assemble a formidable tight-end tandem. In 2011, it was going to be Zach Miller and John Carlson, only to have Carlson suffer a season-ending shoulder injury. Last year, it was going to be Miller and Kellen Winslow, only Winslow declined to take the pay cut that had been previously discussed and was released a week before the regular season.

It's probably too ambitious to think Fells can fill that role as he plays football for the first time in more than eight years, but his athleticism is intriguing enough for Seattle to give him a chance.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or

On Twitter @dannyoneil

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