Seahawks Sign Local TE With Head-Turning Guaranteed Contract

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NFL draft, the Seattle Seahawks continued to add talent to the roster. In one of the Seahawks’ first moves, they signed tight end Jack Westover.

The move raised some eyebrows since Westover, a local talent who went undrafted out of the University of Washington, due to his contract.

The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta posted, “Seattle giving Westover a $25,000 bonus and guaranteeing $50,000 of his salary indicates strongly they expect him to at least make the practice squad. Seattle has only recently begun guaranteeing salary for UDFAs but still hasn’t done it too often.”

Husky Jack Westover signs with the Seattle Seahawks.

Homegrown boy stays in Washington! @UWHuskiesWire

— TooMuchCamber (@Too_MuchCamber) April 28, 2024

Westover was a no-star recruit before attending football camp at Washington the summer before his senior year at Mount Si High School, where he earned MVP honors. With a strong connection to the coaches, he earned a walk-on spot before receiving a scholarship two years later. During the 2022 and 2023 seasons, he worked with assistant head coach Ryan Grubb, who’s now the Seahawks offensive coordinator.

Last season, Westover recorded 46 receptions for 433 yards and four touchdowns along with one rushing score.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote of Westover, “A two-year starter at Washington, Westover was a hybrid H-back in [sic] Ryan Grubb’s spread scheme (2023 snaps: 42.5% inline, 38.6% slot, 16.4% wide). After playing only two games of high school football, he evolved from a fullback running ISO blocks to a versatile tight end who commanded more and more targets.

“A former basketball-focused athlete, Westover has terrific ball skills.” The 24-year-old posted an 82.1% reception rate when targeted in 2023 (No. 1 among FBS tight ends).

Brugler also predicted Westover would “fit best” in Seattle. “Westover isn’t a special athlete or smash-mouth blocker, but he is a well-rounded player in a smaller body who catches the ball really well. His special-teams background will help his chances.”

Seahawks Analyst Predicts Jack Westover Has a Strong Chance to Make the Final Roster

Jack Westover appreciation post. This turned into a catch on 4th and 2. Huskies scored a TD 2 plays later and never gave the lead back. He doesn’t catch this, Utah has the ball at their own 42 up 1.

— Dave “Softy” Mahler (@Softykjr) November 14, 2023

Former quarterback turned analyst Brock Huard was thrilled Seattle landed Westover. He predicts the prospect carving out a spot on the 53-man roster.

Under new head coach Mike Macdonald, Seattle released tight end Will Dissly and lost Colby Parkinson in free agency. In addition to re-signing Fant to a two-year, $21 million deal, Seattle signed Brown to a one-year, $3.2 million deal. The Seahawks also drafted former Michigan tight end A.J. Barner in the fourth round.

Westover, projected as a seventh-rounder, “is an unbelievably natural pass catcher,” Huard said on Seattle Sports.

Has any UW player been as clutch as Jack Westover in 2023?

This crucial 4th down catch continued the drive, leading to a 33 yard Rome Odunze TD to give them the lead.

— connor (Deathrow KP) (@keithpricetrut1) November 12, 2023

“He’s gonna be a better pass catcher than Pharaoh Brown. AJ is good at it, but I think (Westover’s) skill set and his hands are even better than that. So you’re giving him an opportunity with Noah Fant to maybe be that real pass-catching (threat). And they’ve kept four-plus tight ends around here (on the roster in previous years).

“So I would think Westover went to the exact right fit with background, people that believe in him. And what [a] cool opportunity just to go down the road.”

The Seattle Times Mike Vorel agrees. “I get he doesn’t provide typical TE measurables, but I can’t recall ever seeing Jack Westover drop a pass,” Vorel posted. “Might be a useful guy to have around.”

The Seahawks Handed Out a Handful of Guaranteed Contracts to UDFAs

Here’s a list of the UDFAs I’ve confirmed to be signing with the Seahawks, with contract details for a few of them (SB=signing bonus, BS=base salary). More names have been connected to Seattle, but I’m still trying to confirm those are signings as opposed to rookie camp invites.

— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) April 30, 2024

Westover wasn’t the only undrafted player earning guaranteed money from the Seahawks, nor did he receive the biggest deal. ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported that former South Dakota State offensive tackle Garrett Greenfield signed a contract with a guaranteed $175,000 base salary and a $20,000 signing bonus.

Former Houston edge Nelson Caeser earned a $100,000 base salary guarantee, as did former Boise State running back George Holani, and former Grambling State edge Sundiata Anderson.

As noted earlier, “The Seahawks are now including partial base-salary guarantees in offers to UDFAs,” Henderson posted. “They were one of a small handful of teams who weren’t guaranteeing money beyond signing bonuses, but with a new cap guru in Joey Laine, they decided to change their approach.

“As with other teams, the Seahawks’ base-salary guarantees contain offset language, meaning Seattle wouldn’t be on the hook for that money if a player they cut ends up signing elsewhere and makes that money from his new team, either on the 53-man roster or practice squad.”

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