Adam Seward was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 draft by the Carolina Panthers. He appeared in only four games with five tackles in his rookie season before being placed on injured reserve.
For his four-year career — all of it with Carolina — he has played in 40 games with two starts and 45 tackles. Seward garnered some interest from New England last offseason as a restricted free agent, but the Patriots apparently decided he was not worth the compensation risk and opted not to sign him, so he played yet another season with the Panthers.
Seward returns an interception against the Colts in the 2008 preseason
AP Photo/Mike McCarn
In 2008, he played mostly on special teams and was on and off the inactive list, with nine games, zero starts, and only four tackles. He reportedly paid a visit to Indianapolis this week, this time as an unrestricted free agent that has been on the market for three weeks.
Although the Colts are catching him on a bit of a downswing, his career is far from over, as he will only be 27 in June, despite the fact that he will be entering his fifth season in the NFL. He was frustrated by the lack of opportunity in Carolina last season and would most likely flourish in a situation like the one in Indianapolis, where most jobs are up for grabs and no one outside of defensive captain Gary Brackett has a stranglehold on a roster spot.
Seward can play inside or outside, is fast and athletic, especially for his size — quite a bit bigger than the Colts are used to at 6-feet-2 and 250 pounds. He struggles a bit in man-to-man coverage, but has the speed, instincts, and savvy to pick up his assignments in the zone coverages that Indianapolis deploys.
With Freddy Keiaho and Tyjuan Hagler still free agents, Indianapolis needs to find some way of re-stocking the cabinet at linebacker and the draft will not prove to be sufficient given that they are already very young at the position.
Also, in the 2008 preseason game he played against the Colts, Seward had two tackles, two TFL, a half-sack, a quarterback hurry, an interception and a pass defended, so Indianapolis is certainly very aware of who he is and what he can do if given the opportunity.
Here are some other names from Adam Caplan's Best Available Free Agents that could be intriguing:
- Nate Webster. He's getting a little long in the tooth &mdash he'll be 32 in
November — but he can still cover a good deal of ground in coverage and in the
running game. He would be a valuable asset in terms of veteran leadership
and would provide quality depth, but his ability and opportunity to fight for —
and win — a starting role has probably passed.
- Cato June. The Colts are certainly familiar with him and he is familiar
with them. Familiarity might breed contempt, but it also gives June the
ability to step right into the lineup and contribute. At this point, both
sides knows what the other brings to the table and they seem more than willing
to have a staring contest and see if anyone gets hurt when mini-camps and
training camp start.
- Hagler. He's the higher risk/higher upside guy and can be had at a
lower price than can Keiaho. He's another player that is looking to catch
on with a team later as opposed to sooner, since there won't be too much in the
way of free agency action between now and the draft. After the draft,
camps open and teams see what they have. If they don't like what they
have, they'll call Hagler and get him on a plane. And Indianapolis may not
like what they have in May if they don't start making some moves soon.
- Keiaho's price and terms would need to drop very precipitously for him to be back in blue and white for the 2009 season. If anything, he'll re-join the team if someone gets hurt during the season and he's still looking for a job. But don't look for anything to happen soon... and the longer the Colts have to right the ship, the less the chance of Keiaho being on it.
However, Indianapolis has been very good about leaving the door open a crack when a free agent departs. Jim Caldwell said recently that he hoped to bring Dominic Rhodes back for next season.
The issue is that there are only so many spots and only so much cap space. Cap space is less flexible than player demands, so free agents that are interested in playing for the Colts either need to lower their demands or find a team willing to meet them.
Chances are that Hagler and Keiaho will find some takers, but June and Webster might be on hot standby through training camp.
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