Dekoda Watson has signed with the Seahawks for the second time this season. Watson, a veteran linebacker in his 10th season, signed with the Seahawks in late October, but was waived days later when the Seahawks claimed Josh Gordon off of waivers late in the week.
Now Watson fills the roster spot that came open due to Gordon's suspension that came down earlier this week.
Watson, a seventh-round pick out of Florida State in 2010, has played for six teams during his career, most recently spending the past two years with the San Francisco 49ers. When the Seahawks signed Watson earlier this year, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the hope was that Watson could add something to the pass rush while also contributing on special teams.
"We're hoping to give him a chance to give us some rush on the edge," Carroll said. "He has been a really accomplished teams guy, too. He can give us some additional boost there."
Watson has not played in a game this season, and when he signed with Seattle in Week 9, he joked that he was just hoping for a call come playoff time.
"To be honest with you, I was just kind of hoping that somebody might have called during the playoffs and say, 'Hey, Dekoda, we'd like you to come out,'" he said.
That call came a bit earlier than the playoffs, but Watson is signing with a playoff-bound team heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. And getting a chance to play in his 10th season would be a big accomplishment for Watson, having come into the league as an unheralded seventh-round pick.
"Ultimately that was my goal," Watson said of making it to a 10th season. "Being drafted in the seventh round, being considered a sleeper—back in the day, scout.com didn't even know what a South Aiken (High School) was, or Aiken, South Carolina was. For that to be my motivation, being an underdog all my life, I like to prove people wrong and I let that drive me. Then, when I have my own kids that shows them that a lot of things are not going to be handed to you. Their situation is going to be handed, you have to work. Good, bad, and the ugly, I appreciate it and I'll continue to thrive with all of my obstacles, all of my trials and tribulations."
In addition to signing Watson, the Seahawks also made an addition to their practice squad, signing rookie linebacker Sutton Smith, a sixth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Northern Illinois. Smith, who has spent time on the practice squads of both Pittsburgh and Jacksonville this season, was the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American in 2017 after leading the nation in tackles for loss with 29.5 to go along with 14 sacks. Last season Smith recorded 15 sacks, 26.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.
Seattle had an open spot on the practice squad having released linebacker Jermaine Grace on Tuesday.
Ahead of the Seahawks' December 15th game against the Carolina Panthers, they were joined by a special 12, Ashton. Ashton is from Poquoson, VA and was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in October 2017. His love of the Seahawks began when the team drafted S Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech, in the 2010 NFL Draft. Ashton's grandfather also attended Virginia Tech and was a Hokie season ticket holder. Ashton's favorite player is Russell Wilson because he is from Richmond, Virginia, but he truly loves the entire team and watching them play every Sunday.
Ashton joined the Seahawks in Charlotte on Saturday for the team's walk-thru and quickly got put in the mix greeting the team and running plays with the offense. On Sunday, Ashton and his family attended the game enjoying the pregame festivities from the sidelines in the company of Seahawks' mascot Blitz and Panthers' mascot Sir Purr.