Seahawks sign tight end Tony Moeaki, bring back Bryan Walters
The Seahawks signed free-agent tight end Tony Moeaki on Tuesday. Moeaki was the Chiefs’ main tight end in 2010 and 2012. Seattle re-signed receiver Bryan Walters, who is expected to resume punt-return duties.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Seahawks on Tuesday added an intriguing free-agent tight end, Tony Moeaki, and re-signed receiver/returner Bryan Walters.
To make room on the 53-man roster, the Seahawks waived linebacker L.J. Fort and safety Terrance Parks, the latter receiving an injury settlement. Both Fort and Parks had been signed last week from the practice squad and played on special teams in Sunday’s 30-24 win over the Raiders.
Walters had been released on Saturday to make room for Parks. But Walters cleared waivers and was brought back to the Seahawks on Tuesday, making for a happy 27th birthday for the Juanita High School graduate.
Walters seems likely to resume his duties as the team’s punt returner, a job he held from the second game of the season until missing the Carolina game with a concussion and being released last weekend.
Doug Baldwin handled punt-return duties against the Raiders, but also hurt his groin during the game. Coach Pete Carroll said Monday the injury was not serious but had hinted the team would add a returner. Walters leads the Seahawks with 12 punt returns for 109 yards in five games.
Moeaki, meanwhile, has played in just two games since the 2012 season — the final two games of last season with the Buffalo Bills — while battling a variety of injuries. He was waived by Buffalo in September with an injury settlement.
But he was the primary starting tight end for Kansas City in 2010 and 2012, with a combined 80 receptions for 1,009 yards those two seasons.
The 27-year-old, who played at Iowa, is listed at 6 feet 3, 252 pounds and is the fourth tight end on the roster, joining Zach Miller, Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet. However, Miller has missed the past five games after having ankle surgery, and it is uncertain when he will return.
FootballOutsiders wrote of Moeaki before the season: “If he can stay healthy, he could become a real presence in the Buffalo passing game,’’ and that he had “considerably more upside as an athletic presence’’ than Buffalo starter Scott Chandler. But FO also wrote “but there have been head, knee, shoulder and back issues in his relatively brief NFL career.’’
Fort, signed to the practice squad two weeks ago, was elevated to the active roster last week due to injuries at linebacker. He played only on special teams against the Raiders, however, getting 17 snaps. Parks also played only on special teams against the Raiders, getting 13 snaps.
The Seahawks also signed receiver Jalen Saunders and safety Dion Bailey to the practice squad and released WR Chris Matthews from the practice squad. Saunders played in three games this year for the Jets, returning six punts for 26 yards. However, he also fumbled two times.
The Seahawks announced that rookie safety Eric Pinkins will remain on the reserve/non-football injury list, so his season is over. The sixth-round pick from San Diego State suffered a Lisfranc injury before the season working out on his own. He was eligible to begin practicing with the team three weeks ago, but the team had to decide whether to put him on the 53-man active roster or leave him on IR for the rest of the season.