The Seahawks made a handful of roster moves Friday, terminating the contract of linebacker Marcus Smith, waiving cornerback Elijah Battle and signing linebacker Erik Walden and running back Justin Stockton to fill out the 90-man roster ahead of Saturday’s preseason matchup against the Chargers in Los Angeles.
Walden, an 11-year NFL veteran, comes to the Seahawks after one season with the Tennessee Titans, a team he recorded 36 tackles and 4.0 sacks for in 2017. Prior to last season, Walden spent four years with the Indianapolis Colts, racking up a career-high 11.0 sacks in 2016. Walden, who turns 33 next Tuesday, has tallied 36.0 career sacks throughout his career and has played for five different teams, also spending time with the Kansas City Chiefs (2008), Miami Dolphins (2008-10), and Green Bay Packers (2010-12).
“He has been an outside ‘backer and a nickel rush guy, been real physical and tough, and we’ll see how he fits into the competition," Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said of Walden's addition following Friday's Seahawks workout.
Stockton, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Texas Tech, adds depth to Seattle’s running back group heading into the second preseason game with 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny expected to miss time this preseason after undergoing surgery on his finger. Stockton finished his 2017 season with the Red Raiders by rushing for 797 yards and four touchdowns on 132 carries, making eight starts in 11 games. Stockton also made 27 grabs for 235 yards and a touchdown in 2017 and went over 100 yards rushing a team-leading four times last season.
Smith re-signed with the Seahawks this past March and transitioned to linebacker this offseason after originally joining the club as a defensive end before the start of 2017's training camp. A former first-round pick back in 2014, Smith played in 14 games for the Seahawks last season, recording 15 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a pass defensed and two forced fumbles.
"Really, there were some personal reasons that came into it," Carroll said of the move with Smith, also noting it was not a health-related move. "He has been a great kid in the program and all, and all things considered, that’s as far as I’m going with it. It was the right thing to do, and he understood and he agreed with it.”
Battle, a cornerback out of West Virginia who spent time with the Arizona Cardinals after going unselected in the 2018 draft, signed with the Seahawks this past Sunday.