On the same day the Seahawks started their offseason conditioning program at team headquarters -- without Richard Sherman, who is among those away from the voluntary work -- Seattle brought back two running backs in its quest to return to a more balanced offense.
Troymaine Pope and Terrence Magee re-signed as exclusive-rights free agents to return in 2017.
Pope was Seattle’s leading rusher last preseason, becoming a fan favorite. The Seahawks tried to sneak him through waivers onto their practice squad before the regular season began, but the New York Jets claimed him for their active roster. After the Jets barely used him -- one rushing attempt in half a season -- they released him, and he re-signed with Seattle’s practice squad. He got promoted to the active roster when the Seahawks waived Christine Michael in November. Pope then became one of a whopping 19 Seahawks to carry the ball last season. He rushed 11 times for 43 yards for Seattle as an undrafted rookie from Jacksonville State.
The returns of Pope and Magee (three carries, 12 yards last season) leaves the Seahawks with 11 running backs on their offseason roster. Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy and C.J. Prosise headline the group. Only one of those 11 backs is listed as a true fullback: third-year pro Malcolm Johnson. That’s an obvious place Seattle will be looking to add before the preseason, if not in next week’s draft than perhaps by signing a free agent.
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Former Washington Huskies and Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece was effective in the fullback role at the end of last season after the Seahawks signed him. The 31-year old is still an unsigned free agent and thus an option.