After spending the first 10 years of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, guard Jahri Evans will don new colors for the first time in 2016, as he signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday.
The Seahawks announced the move, as well as the decision to waive guard Kona Schwenke to make room for Evans.
The 32-year-old Evans is a six-time Pro Bowler who made it every year from 2009 through 2014, and he is a four-time All-Pro selection as well. Additionally, he has played in and started all but seven games since entering the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick out of Bloomsburg University in 2006.
Evans' durability has fallen off in recent years, however, as he missed two games in 2013 and battled through a wrist ailment for much of the 2014 campaign.
The 2015 season was the toughest year of his career in that regard, as a knee injury forced him to miss five contests.
Cutting ties with Evans cleared up cap space for the Saints to address their struggling defense.
While it was disappointing from Evans' perspective, his agent, Jerrold Colton, described his client's excitement regarding the opportunity to continue his career elsewhere, per ESPN.com's Mike Triplett:
Jahri has appreciated 10 great years. It's been a great run for a kid from Bloomsburg with a great city and a great organization. And he got to ride it out with one coach, one quarterback, a lot of the teammates he came in with. Too good to be true. It's sad that it's come to end, but now he's ready for the next chapter.
Evans' track record is strong, but it is fair to wonder if he is capable of avoiding injury and returning to the Pro Bowl form he has displayed for much of his career.
A new atmosphere could be a major positive for Evans since he has never known anything other than the Saints, but it is just as possible that head coach Sean Payton's system contributed to his individual success.
He lands in a great situation in Seattle, however, with quarterback Russell Wilson leading a potent attack. Perhaps the one weakness for the Seahawks is their offensive line.
Before the signing, Mark Glowinski and rookie Germain Ifedi were projected to be the starting guards, per Ourlads.com. Evans has a golden opportunity to usurp one of them.
Evans has the makings of one of the most intriguing free-agent acquisitions of the offseason. If he manages to perform anywhere near the All-Pro level he showed from 2009 through 2012, then he could turn out to be one of the most effective signings of 2016.
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