Scouting Report: Shawn Springs

Why Seattle let him leave: Because of injuries and because his play had slipped, especially last year. Perhaps injuries have started to wear him down. Springs has missed nine games the past three seasons because of various injuries.

He had a shoulder injury last year that caused him to miss four games and he was benched for two games late in the year, returning to the lineup for the final three games. Rookie Marcus Trufant had a better season.

The Good: Springs is immensely talented and one Seahawk source said his speed remains very good. He still has all the talent in the world, not to mention confidence. Springs liked to tell reporters that he and Champ Bailey, the guy he's now replacing, were the two best cover corners in the league. Once upon a time he was right. Springs is an upbeat guy, despite being unhappy the past several seasons in Seattle.

The Bad: Springs is coming off his worst season, though it can be partially explained to injuries. He was toasted by Baltimore's Marcus Robinson several times in a loss. In the past, Seattle would put Springs on the opposition's best wideout, but not last year. That could be a function of Trufant's play. Or Springs. We'll see. Springs needs to stay healthy, something the guy he's replacing always managed to do. And there was also that four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy in 2001. He said he was taking a steroid to help a hamstring injury.

The Verdict: Another gamble. Springs has a lot of talent, but his best seasons came early in his career. Still, he's been frustrated in Seattle because of the numerous changes at defensive coordinator and the lack of success. Coming home could rejuvenate Springs, who attended high school in suburban Maryland. If he's healthy, he's very good. He might not be at Bailey's level, but he wouldn't be that far behind. I also like his size (6-foot, 195). But he must stay healthy for this to work out well.


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