The Seahawks added an experienced and versatile cornerback to their secondary on Friday, signing cornerback Artie Burns.
Burns, a former first-round pick out of Miami, nearly signed with Seattle as a free agent two years ago, general manager John Schneider said, but instead signed with the Bears.
After missing the 2020 season with a torn ACL, Burns had a strong 2021 season with Chicago playing under defensive coordinator Sean Desai, who is now in Seattle as the associate head coach-defense.
"Two years ago we got very close to signing him," Schneider said Wednesday after the Seahawks had agreed to terms with Burns. "We thought we were going to do it coming from Pittsburgh, and then at the very end he had a close friend who played for Chicago, and he went there. He ended up getting injured and you could see him really ascending this season in Sean (Desai's defense)."
Said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, "Sean did a great job with him. We had really great information. He's a talented kid. He can do all the stuff we would like him to do, so we're looking forward to it."
Burns said the presence of Desai played a big role in his decision to come to Seattle.
"It was big just to be able to stay in the same system and be familiar with some of the same teachings that I was just in in Chicago," he said. "He's a detailed coach. Smart, resilient, definitely wants to win. He was a great coach last year, definitely."
In five seasons, Burns, 26, has started 38 games and appeared in 69, recording four interceptions, 33 passes defensed and 172 tackles. The 6-foot, 187-pound Burns has experience as an outside starting cornerback and as a nickel corner—he saw most of his playing time inside last season—giving the Seahawks options with how they can use him.
In addition to being a football standout, Burns was the nation's top-ranked hurdler at the under-20 level and he participated in both sports and the University of Miami.