Patrick Chukwurah Returns to the NFL, but Does He Have Much to Offer?

Tyson Langland@TysonNFLNFC West Lead WriterJanuary 9, 2013

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 14:  Linebacker Patrick Chukwurah #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates a play against the Tennessee Titans at Raymond James Stadium on October 14, 2007 in Tampa, Florida. The Bucs won 13 - 10.  (Photo by Allen Kee/Getty Images)
Allen Kee/Getty Images

Earlier in the week, I thought it was a slam dunk that the Seattle Seahawks would sign Ray Edwards after Chris Clemons' season ended with a torn ACL. They tried him out on Christmas Eve, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that he would possibly sign with the team two days later on the 26th.

Obviously, the signing never happened, and Seattle proved they were just doing its due diligence on free agent defensive ends.

Fast forward two weeks and here we are having the same conversation.

No immediate signing took place after they found out about Clemons' ACL injury. Not to mention, Seattle didn't announce the fact they were even trying anyone out, but come Tuesday, Edwards, Aaron Maybin, Patrick Chukwurah and Travis LaBoy all tried out for the Seahawks brass.

To the surprise of everyone, Ian Rapoport of announced that Chukwurah will indeed be signing with the 'Hawks as early as Wednesday. He hasn't played in the NFL since 2007 and last made an appearance playing football with the UFL's Flordia Tuskers.

Rapoport went on to add: "The 6-foot-1, 250-pounder held out hope that he'd still play in the NFL, despite working as a personal trainer and being out of the league for years."

Let's just say he must have had one hell of a workout to beat out the likes of Maybin and Edwards. Both players have had more recent success than Chukwurah. The last productive season the 33-year-old player out of Wyoming had was way back in 2006 where he recorded 4.5 sacks for the Broncos.

In 2007, current defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and defensive line coach Todd Wash were both on Tampa Bay's staff while Chukwurah was with the Buccaneers. This could play into the reasoning as to why Seattle signed him as well.

It's also worth noting that Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times believes Chukwurah will rotate snaps with rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs as Bruce Irvin's backup. Even in limited snaps, he could make his presence felt just like he did in the UFL where he led the league in sacks in consecutive years. 

It's doubtful that he will come in and make an immediate impact, but if the Seahawks can get a couple of productive series out of him—that's all they can ask for. It's doubtful that he will play on rush downs—Seattle will be looking for him to be a one-trick pony on passing downs.

Don't be surprised if he doesn't log more than 10 snaps come Sunday in the Georgia Dome.

And for the sake of Bradley's defense, Seattle needs to pray that every other defensive end and lineman stays healthy. The last thing coach Carroll's club needs is Chukwurah playing over half of the teams defensive snaps.

That has disaster written all over it.


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