The competition at strongside linebacker now includes the player who held that job for much of last season. Mike Morgan, who has spent his entire career with the Seahawks since joining the team as an undrafted free agent in 2011, re-signed with Seattle Monday.
Linebacker Arthur Brown, who signed with the Seahawks this offseason, was released to make room on the 90-man roster.
Morgan first established himself with the Seahawks as a core special teams player, then began to see more playing time in recent years, starting two games in 2015, and three last year while serving as the team's primary strongside linebacker. Morgan opened the season as Seattle's No. 1 strongside linebacker, but missed seven games due to a sports hernia that required surgery.
"I'm glad to be back here," Morgan said after Monday's practice. "To be out here with the guys again, running around, playing football, it's beautiful. It's awesome.
Morgan said he had been in contact with multiple teams during the offseason, but was glad to end up back in Seattle.
"Going somewhere else and having to learn a new playbook at this time versus coming here, knowing the people, knowing the calls and all that stuff, it ended up working out in my favor," he said.
Earlier this offseason, the Seahawks added a pair of free agents, Michael Wilhoite and Terence Garvin, who are competing for the job at strongside linebacker. Marcus Smith, who signed earlier this week after being waived by the Philadelphia Eagles, is also an option at strongside linebacker in addition to being a potential nickel pass-rusher.
Morgan, who is from Dallas Texas, played for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll for four years at USC, meaning he is heading into his 11th season of playing football for a Carroll-coached team. Morgan, 29, also spent time this offseason working out in Hawaii with Michael Bennett and other NFL players.
"He's as dyed in the wool as you can get," Carroll once said of Morgan. "He's been with us for so long, and he's always been a terrific team member. He has the flexibility to play all the spots, everything makes sense to him. He's also a very good teammate in terms of helping his other guys around him understand, learn, and what we expect and all of that. He's been a great player for us for a long time, and we've been very lucky to have him."
Photos from the first day of 2017 Seahawks training camp practice at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center.