RENTON The Seahawks have signed free-agent cornerback Tramaine Brock to what is believed to be a one-year contract.
On Tuesday, coach Pete Carroll confirmed the free-agent visit by the San Francisco 49ers’ starter the last two seasons.
“We’re trying to figure it out. We want to see him,” Carroll said. “We’ve played against him for a long time. We want to get to know him and understand what’s going on.
“This is as we have always done. If there’s an opportunity to potentially help the club, we’re just checking it out and making sure we understand what’s going on.”
Judging by all other one-year deals the Seahawks have done with free agents since March, Brock’s deal is also likely to be a low-risk, non-guaranteed contract at or just above the veteran salary for a seven-year veteran for 2017: $900,000.
Brock turns 29 on Sunday. He joins linebacker Michael Wilhoite, who may become the Seahawks’ new starting strongside linebacker, as veteran former 49ers starters Seattle has signed since last season.
Seattle also signed linebacker Rodney Butler. The team waived wide receiver Jamel Johnson. Safety Jordan Simone was waived/injured after sustaining a major knee injury in Sunday’s preseason opener at Los Angeles.
In April Brock was accused in a police report in Santa Clara, California, of domestic assault against the mother of his children. The 49ers released him almost immediately, a decisive act by new general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan that set a new standard on that team. Felony domestic-assault charges were filed against him in June.
Last week the Santa Clara district attorney’s decided to drop those charges because of what it said was a lack of evidence and failure of the alleged victim to cooperate.
He’s started 31 of 32 games the last two seasons for San Francisco.
The Seahawks are in the middle of trying to decide who will be their starting right cornerback to begin the season opposite Richard Sherman. DeShawn Shead remains out likely until at least October, if not longer, following reconstructive knee surgery from an injury in January’s playoff loss at Atlanta. Of course the Seahawks are going to at least look at a veteran, free-agent starter at one of the league’s most difficult positions to play.
Seattle drafted rookie Shaquill Griffin in the third round this spring to eventually be a starting cornerback. He has been impressive in training camp, and had something of a mixed-bag performance in Sunday’s preseason opener. Griffin allowed Antonio Gates to get open in front of him on a touchdown pass from Philip Rivers on the Los Angeles Chargers’ opening drive -- but how many veteran NFL defensive backs have watched Rivers hit Gates for a touchdown in the last decade? (Many, many.)
Griffin was all smiles in the locker room following Sunday’s game.
Jeremy Lane, usually the Seahawks’ nickel defensive back inside, returned to practice Tuesday from what he said was a “tweaked” groin that sidelined him for almost two weeks. Lane had been the starting right cornerback in base defense during practices before his injury. He is in the second year of a four-year, $23 million contract extension and is coming off a poor 2016 season. It began with him returning from a broken arm and torn knee ligament he got in Super Bowl 49.
Lane said he knows of Brock from having played against him in so many NFC West games over the last few years.
Brock doesn’t appear at first glance to fit the Seahawks’ prototype at cornerback. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall, three inches shorter than Griffin and five inches shorter than Sherman. That suggests more of a nickel-back role for Seattle’s defense.
The team still remembers the disaster that ensued after they signed NFL veteran Cary Williams a couple years ago to be that starter opposite Sherman; Williams never learned Carroll’s step-kick technique for Seahawks defensive backs, and Seattle cut Williams in December of that 2015 season just two weeks after he had been starting -- and after giving him $7 million for just 10 games of service. That’s how Shead got the job last season.
As for Brock, the lawyer for the alleged victim in his dropped domestic-violence case issued an open letter last week.
“On August 8, 2017, my client chose not to testify, availing herself of her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination,” attorney Alan M. Lagod wrote. “She then was given immunity and continued to refuse to testify utilizing the protections afforded by California Code of Civil Procedure § 1219. She was subsequently found in contempt and fined $100.00.
“My client’s choice not to testify was voluntary and not dependent upon past or future actions by any part. She has indicated to me that this was a verbal altercation. She and Mr. Brock look forward to co-parenting their two young children.”
Brock wrote a statement and disseminated it last week upon the charges against him being dropped:
“I would like to formally apologize to my family and children for the verbal altercation that brought about this situation. These past 5 months have been a time to reevaluate and grow as a person. I had hoped to keep family matters private, but at this time I have to get the facts out. I have never put my hands on the mother of my children, as what has been publicly reported. The information in the police report is untrue. I stayed in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of my children, which was not in my best interest. As the case I was involved in has been dismissed, I am eager to move forward and focus on sharing custody of my two children and ensuring a stable environment for them.
“Lastly, I look forward to continuing my football career in the near future.
Tramaine Brock Sr.”