RENTON — For the second time in two days, the Seattle Seahawks traded offensive linemen John Moffitt to another NFL team.
Seattle initially moved the former University of Wisconsin player to Cleveland for defensive lineman Brian Sanford.
However, the Browns voided the trade because of lingering concerns about Moffitt’s knee, and he was pulled off the practice field Tuesday in Berea, Ohio.
Moffitt had surgery on two ligaments his left knee two years ago, and elbow surgery during training camp last year.
Sanford’s rights reverted to Cleveland, and Moffitt’s rights returned to the Seahawks.
Seattle quickly made another deal, shipping Moffitt to Denver for defensive tackle Sealver Siliga, in another effort to bolster depth at a thin position.
The Seahawks’ trade with the Broncos will not be consummated until both players pass physicals with their respective teams.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team traded Moffitt because second-year pro J.R. Sweezy had earned the starting job at right guard.
“Well, we gave him a really good chance,” Carroll said about Moffitt. “We alternated all through camp to see if he could get J.R., and J.R. beat him out and did a nice job.”
Sweezy, a converted defensive lineman who started five games for Seattle as a rookie — including both postseason games — said he feels much more comfortable in the team’s scheme this year.
“It’s night and day,” Sweezy said. “It’s unbelievable how much I didn’t know last year compared to this year. So I’d say it’s a big jump.”
Along with Sweezy earning the job, Carroll said he felt comfortable parting ways with Moffitt because of all the versatile young talent on the roster, including first-year pros Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey, and third-year pro Michael Person.
“We would not have been able to do a trade like that if the young guys hadn’t been doing a real good job,” Carroll said. “I think it’s really a statement about those young guys growing, and coming in and helping us.”
Although they were competing for the same job, Sweezy and Moffitt remain good friends, and they had a chance to say goodbye before Moffitt left Monday.
“I talked to him,” Sweezy said. “Gave him my best wishes, and gave him a hug. All the O-line came and talked to him. He’s a great guy, a great friend. It’s rough to see him leave. But it’s a business.”
TATE READY FOR TRIP TO WAITING LAMBEAU CROWD
Receiver Golden Tate has seen an increase in responses on his Twitter timeline with Green Bay — Seattle’s opponent this week.
Tate said he has been getting a lot of feedback from Packers’ fans looking for revenge after his winning catch against the Packers on Monday Night Football last year, which has become known as “Fail Mary.”
“I’m not letting it bother me,” Tate said. “I’m still showing up to practice, and practicing hard. What they say on Twitter, or in Wisconsin, doesn’t affect me. So I’m just going about it day by day.
“I think it’s funny that almost a year later people are still talking about it. But it is what it is. I guess I’m in the record books for that play.”
TIGHT END MILLER RETURNS TO PRACTICE
Tight end Zach Miller practiced Tuesday for the first time since the training camp began. And although he was limited to individual work, Miller moved well.
“It feels really good to get back out and do some stuff,” Miller said. “It’s no fun to watch.”
Miller did not want to go into specifics about his foot injury. But he indicated the current issue was unrelated to the torn plantar fascia he suffered against Atlanta in the playoffs.
“Once it heals, it’s supposed to heal stronger,” Miller said. “So I don’t expect any issues with it for the rest of the year, or the rest of my career.”
Carroll said the team will continue to take a conservative approach to getting Miller back on the field, which means he likely won’t play against Green Bay on Friday.
“We’re going to be very careful,” Carroll said. “If you noticed, he’s involved in the early part of practice. We kept him out of team periods and all of that. And we’ll just kind of go one day at a time and see how he responds. We’re still long-haul thinking for the opener.”
Carroll said that Sidney Rice (knee) looked good working in team drills. However, he would not say if Rice would play Friday. He did say the team is taking a long-term approach to get Rice ready for the season opener, similar to Miller. … Linebacker Bruce Irvin (groin) also returned to practice as a limited participant. “We’d love to get him some play time, obviously,” Carroll said about Irvin. “It’s important that we do. And he’s fighting to get back, too.” … Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (groin) also was back at practice. … Carroll said fullback Michael Robinson was violently ill. Robinson did not practice but is expected to make it back this week. Derrick Coleman worked with the starters with Robinson out. … Running back Christine Michael practiced for a second straight day, but Carroll said the rookie running back still is limited by back spasms. … Although he returned to practice on a limited basis last week, receiver Bryan Walters remains out with a hamstring injury. … DL Jesse Williams (knee) and OL James Carpenter (foot) also didn’t practice. But Carpenter worked through some pass sets on the side. … CB Tharold Simon (foot), WR Percy Harvin (hip), DE Chris Clemons (knee) and DL Greg Scruggs (knee) remain on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. LB Korey Toomer (hip) remains on the non-football injury list.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org @eric_d_williamsblog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks