Seahawks to consider QB B.J. Daniels as a returner
On Friday, coach Pete Carroll said Daniels could be a quarterback, receiver and punt and kick returner for the Seahawks in 2015.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Bryan Walters, Seattle’s primary punt returner in 2014, officially is an ex-Seahawk, signing Friday with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in an interview on KJR-AM later in the afternoon that the team might not have to look too far for a replacement returner — B.J. Daniels.
Daniels officially is a quarterback.
But Daniels, who threw for 8,433 yards and rushed for 2,068 at South Florida, has long intrigued the Seahawks with his athleticism.
On Friday, Carroll said Daniels could be a quarterback, receiver and returner for the Seahawks in 2015.
“We are really looking forward to B.J. taking a shot and competing at that, and also catching some footballs for us,’’ Carroll said. “He’s a very multitalented guy who could help us at quarterback, as well. He is a kid we are excited about. He’s really tough and strong — weighs 220 pounds — and has great quicks and all of that. So he’s preparing to do that all season.’’
Daniels, drafted in the seventh round by the 49ers in 2013 before being released and signed by Seattle, has spent most of the past two years on the Seahawks’ practice squad. He has filled a variety of roles on the practice squad, including receiver and defensive back, and along the way intrigued the team with his potential as a returner.
He was promoted to the 53-man roster for the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl after an injury to receiver Paul Richardson, with Carroll holding out the idea that Daniels could help in several roles. But he was not active for either game.
And interestingly, he said at the time he has never played a position other than quarterback.
“Quarterback is all I’ve played all my life,’’ Daniels said in January. “Every level I’ve ever played.’’
But Seattle has no obvious punt returners on its roster, and the kickoff-return situation is also in flux with Richardson — who tore a knee ligament in the divisional playoff game against Carolina — questionable for the beginning of the season.
Walters, a graduate of Juanita High School, ascended to the punt-return job after the first game last season after the team decided not to use safety Earl Thomas, who opened the season in that role. Seattle was looking for a returner after losing Golden Tate in free agency after the 2013 season.
Walters averaged 7.7 yards on 27 attempts with a long of 21. Richardson became the kick returner at midseason after the trade of Percy Harvin to the New York Jets.
Seattle undoubtedly will find other players to compete at those spots. But for now, it sounds as if Daniels — who has yet to play in an NFL game — could be the leader.
Wisniewski visits but still undecided
Stefen Wisniewski, the starting center for the Raiders the past three years and a guard as a rookie in 2011, visited the Seahawks on Thursday. But he is expected to take other visits — the first reportedly to St. Louis — before making a decision.
Seattle also will continue to look at its options to add bodies up front after losing guard James Carpenter (signed with the Jets) and center Max Unger (traded to New Orleans) this week.
“He’s a legitimate starter in the league,’’ Carroll said. “He really likes us, and we liked him. That’s a potential thing that can happen. There will be some time before this gets worked out. He’s got some visits and all that. He’s a really solid football player and a smart kid and all that, and we’ll see where it goes.’’
Seattle was visited this week by Shelley Smith, who can also play guard and center. He signed with the Denver Broncos on Friday.
• Carroll said the team would like to sign Tarvaris Jackson to be its backup quarterback for a third consecutive season. “We are in talks, so I hope so,’’ he said. Jackson reportedly had been interested in returning to Minnesota. But the Vikings this week acquired Shaun Hill to back up Teddy Bridgewater.
• Carroll said the team would explore the idea of re-signing DL Red Bryant, who played for the Seahawks from 2008 to 2013 and was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. But he said nothing was close. “We’ll see,’’ Carroll said. “ ... We’ll see what the urgency is from other clubs and how fast things have to move.’’
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699