The Seahawks have signed 2014 Heisman Trophy fourth-place finisher Trevone Boykin as an undrafted free agent. And Oregon’s Vernon Adams, formerly of Eastern Washington, is apparently joining him in a minicamp tryout bid to be a backup quarterback in Seattle.
The Seahawks had only one quarterback on their roster through the end of Saturday’s draft -- Russell Wilson -- after they didn’t draft one. Coach Pete Carroll has said this offseason he prefers having a veteran backup QB as Seattle has had in recent years with Tavaris Jackson. Jackson is an unrestricted free agent, though general manager John Schneider said on Saturday the Seahawks have been talking to Jackson’s agent exploring a possible return for the 2016 season.
Boykin, a dynamic, athletic passer at Texas Christian, confirmed he had signed with the Seahawks following the completion of the NFL draft on Saturday.
Boykin is 6 feet and 212 pounds. In 2014 he was the offensive player of the year in the Big 12 Conference. Last season he played through an ankle injury, then allegedly punched a police officer during a fight in a bar in January. That got him suspended by TCU for its game against Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.
Asked what he told NFL teams that interviewed him in February at the league’s scouting combine, Boykin said that month in Indianapolis: “I told them the truth. I told them exactly what happened from every detail. Either they accept it or they don’t.
“I mean I’m truly remorseful for what happened. I devastated not only myself but the city of Fort Worth and the last name Boykin. I mean, I wear it with pride. I wear TCU with pride, so having that happen to me, I just try to move forward and be positive about it and show that I am remorseful for it, show that I have learned from it and it’s something that won’t ever happen again.”
What changes has Boykin made off the field to make sure that doesn’t happen again?
“Surrounding myself with positive people, doing more positive things. Every since that incident, it really opened my eyes to the bigger picture knowing that I have an opportunity to play at the next level, so when stuff like that happens it’s life changing -- but it can also be a good thing, too.”
Boykin’s reported signing bonus of $15,000 would be on the high end in the league for undrafted free-agent contracts.
Adams transferred to Oregon for last season after starring at lower-division Eastern Washington -- starring as in more than 10,000 passing yards and 110 TD throws in three seasons there. People around Seattle still talk about what Adams did for Eastern in September 2014 at Husky Stadium against Washington: 31 for 46 passing for 475 yards and seven touchdown passes in EWU’s 59-52 loss to UW.
Last year in his only season at Oregon he threw 26 touchdown passes against six interceptions, with completion percentage of 64.9 percent. But his hype dwindled after he broke the index finger. He played with that injury in the Ducks’ ensuing loss at Michigan State and beyond.
The 23-year-old Adams is 5 feet 11, knocked as too small for the NFL. He’s one inch taller than Wilson, who got the same criticism before Seattle drafted him in the third round in 2012. He turned out OK for the Seahawks.
At the combine, Adams was asked if he was getting tired of hearing about people compare him to Wilson.
“No, I think that’s a blessing,” Adams said. “ I’m blessed to be compared to Russell Wilson, a great quarterback like that.”
Now he will get a chance to backup Wilson, starting Friday when the Seahawks open rookie minicamp.
“I’ve always rooted for him. I did a quarterback camp with him (in college). Drew Brees, too. He’s been getting it done for a long time. I don’t
really think there’s too much about being the short quarterback. It’s about your football IQ. I really think, if you’re prepared well, I think you’re
going to do well. It’s nothing against Tom Brady or Brock Osweiler, I see those guys getting their balls batted down a lot, you know what I’m saying?”
Earlier Saturday evening, USC running back Tre Madden tweeted he’s signed with the Seahawks. Oregon linebacker Christian French is reportedly signed as an undrafted free agent. So are and Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell:
They will join the 10 rookies Seattle drafted this weekend at the rookie minicamp Friday through Sunday next weekend.