Kellen Winslow understands what he'll be asked to do for his new team, the Seattle Seahawks - help keep opposing defenses honest when they stack the line of scrimmage to stop Marshawn Lynch.
"You want to create mismatches so I'm kind of the
knight in the chess game," Winslow said. "You can move me around and
control the middle of the field."
Winslow said he's ready for a fresh start after
the trade from Tampa Bay, as he practiced with his new team this week
for the first time.
Seattle traded a conditional seventh-round pick to
Tampa Bay for Winslow. The pick could improve to a sixth-rounder
depending on the University of Miami product's production.
As of now, Seattle has not renegotiated Winslow's
contract. He still has three years remaining on his current deal, and
is due to make $3.3 million in base salary in the upcoming season, $4.5
million in 2013 and $5.5 million in 2014.
Winslow turns 29 on July 21.
Tampa Bay replaced Winslow by signing former
Indianapolis tight end Dallas Clark to a one-year deal.
The Seahawks plan to pair Winslow with tight end
Zach Miller and use them in two-tight end situations to force defenses
to choose between running more heavy fronts to stop Lynch, or use more
defensive backs to deal with Winslow and Miller in the passing game.
Winslow averaged 73 receptions and 792 yards for
the past three years in Tampa Bay. Miller finished with a career-low 25
catches last season, but Winslow believes the two tight ends can create
a dynamic similar to New England's two tight-end sets.
"Zach Miller is a proven veteran here," Winslow
said. "Hopefully we'll be able to do something like the Patriots are
doing, with (Rob) Gronkowski and (Aaron) Hernandez. We kind of fit that
mold, so I'm sure we'll be fine."
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said the team is
aware of Winslow's knee issues, and the team will manage the situation
as best they can.
"He's got some health issues that we're going to
deal with to make sure we monitor them really well, so he can play his
best," Carroll said. "We're absolutely tuned into it, and we know a lot
about the history. We'll learn a lot more.
"But we think it's such a fantastic addition
because he can make things happen. He can make plays. He should be a
big factor on third down and in the red zone."
Winslow has had six knee surgeries since he's been
in the league, including reconstructive knee surgery after he tore his
ACL in the motorcycle crash in 2005 while with Cleveland, and
microfracture knee surgery in 2007.
"I will have to manage my practice time but ever
since the accident, I do have to live with what I have," Winslow said.
"But I've been playing the last three years 16 games and the last five
out of six years, I've been five years healthy. So I'll be okay. Just
be smart with it and I'll be there on Sunday."
Winslow said he flew to Tampa Bay from his
offseason home in San Diego for the beginning of Tampa Bay's offseason
program last week, only to get a call from head coach Greg Schiano
letting him know that the Bucs were trading him.
"I talked to Coach Schiano about coming back on
Monday and when I arrived Saturday night, I got a call about 11 o'clock
that night that they didn't want me to come in Monday and they were
looking to trade me," Winslow said. "That was it. I was fine with it."
Although it's a new regime in Tampa Bay, Winslow
said he'll miss the players.
"I'm going to miss my teammates out there, my
boys," Winslow said. "I've grown together a lot with those guys, but
it's the NFL. It's hard. It's good to have a job, you know. It's good
to have a job so I'll be okay."
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