Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks release Malik McDowell, the most mysterious--and worst--top draft pick in team history

The Seahawks’ part of the Malik McDowell mystery and lost opportunity has ended.

Saturday Seattle reportedly waived from its non-football injury list its top draft choice from 2017, who never played a game for the team.

The move was according to Ian Rapoport of the league-owned NFL Network.

The NFL doesn’t typically publish official transactions for Saturdays or Sundays in the offseason. It saves such weekend transactions for official notice on Mondays.

A Seahawks spokesman did not respond to a request for clarification of McDowell’s official status on Saturday.

McDowell, 22, had been on the Seahawks’ NFI list since the team waived him last July 26. No other team claimed him and then Seattle put him on the NFI list for all of last season.

He is leaving as the most unfortunate—meaning worst—draft pick in Seahawks history.

They are releasing him two years after drafting him 35th overall, and without him ever playing or even practicing for them. That’s because of a mysterious ATV accident weeks after he signed his rookie contract and collected a $3.2 million signing bonus.

He and his family obviously believe he still could someday play in the NFL. They are not ready to close the door on his playing career.

It’s by now also obvious the Seahawks’ medical staff believes he either cannot or should not play football, because of the injuries from his accident that McDowell’s family has kept a tightly controlled secret.

Last year Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said: “I think, for the family, we’ve been told...they’ve asked us, you know... so we are (mindful of how to) express all that took place, and all that.

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.
Support my work with a digital subscription