Former Panthers WR to sign with Seahawks

Former Panthers WR to sign with Seahawks

After showing promise with the Jaguars, Laviska Shenault could not establish much momentum with the Panthers upon being traded. But the former second-round pick has secured another opportunity.

Carolina Panthers former wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (5) Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks are signing Shenault, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo reports. Twice a 600-plus-yard receiver, Shenault combined for less than 400 during his two Carolina slates. The big-bodied target, who has been used in the backfield at points, will attempt to catch on in a crowded Seahawks receiving corps.

Chosen 42nd overall during Dave Caldwell‘s final Jaguars GM year, Shenault mixed in regularly with the Doug Marrone– and Urban Meyer-led Jacksonville teams. He caught 58 passes for 600 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie and added 63 grabs for 619 yards in 2021. As Doug Pederson arrived, the Jags traded Shenault to the Panthers for sixth- and seventh-round picks.

Shenault, 25, has played for an astonishing seven head coaches in four seasons. Both the Jags and Panthers made HCs (Meyer, Matt Rhule, Frank Reich) one-and-dones as Shenault played out his rookie contract. Both teams attempted to use the 220-pound performer as a gadget-type weapon in the run game. Despite his wide receiver status, the Colorado alum has 50 career carries for 252 yards and a touchdown. The former high-end prospect has some experience as a kick returner, totaling nine returns with Carolina from 2022-23. That skill is soon set to become relevant again, with the NFL approving the XFL-style kickoff on a trial basis.

The Seahawks may well view the inconsistent target as a player in need of some stability, given the historically unusual run of HC turnover that occurred on the teams that employed him. The team has its top three — Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba — locked in, barring a trade. The Seahawks also still employ 2021 second-rounder D’Wayne Eskridge, though he has not produced much as a pro. UDFA Jake Bobo delivered some interesting work as a rookie last season, and 2022 seventh-round pick Dareke Young remains on the roster.

Shenault produced a 1,000-yard season in just nine games with the Buffaloes in 2018, elevating his draft stock. A groin injury limited him as a junior in 2019, when he accumulated just 764 yards. After delivering more inconsistency as a pro, Shenault will still have a chance to showcase his skills elsewhere.

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