Seattle Seahawks sign WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

<div>DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 08: <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Laviska Shenault;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Laviska Shenault</a> Jr. #5 of the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Carolina Panthers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Carolina Panthers</a> runs with the ball in the second quarter against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Detroit Lions;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Detroit Lions</a> at Ford Field on October 08, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.</div> <strong>(Nic Antaya / Getty Images)</strong>

The Seattle Seahawks signed wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. to add depth to both their pass catching and kick return units on Tuesday.

Shenault, 25, has struggled to breakthrough in the NFL despite being a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Shenault had two fairly successful seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars with a total of 121 receptions for 1,219 yards and five touchdowns, all of which came as a rookie.

But after being traded to the Carolina Panthers in 2022, Shenault was unable to build upon that success on an admittedly bad Panthers team. He had just 37 catches for 332 yards and a touchdown over the last two seasons combined and appeared in just eight games for the team last year.

After playing 585 and 697 offensive snaps during his two years with Jacksonville, Shenault's usage dropped to just 206 snaps in 2022, and 92 snaps in 2023. Carolina relied on Shenault more as a kick returner, but even that was limited to just six total returns for 167 yards last year.

"I think Seattle is a good spot because this is going to be a hard-nosed team," Shenault told John Boyle of "I play with some aggression and I think that's big."

With the NFL making significant changes to the rules for kickoffs for the upcoming season, the need for kick returners will be much higher than in recent seasons. The rule changes – detailed in full here – are designed to increase the number of kick returns while also limiting high speed collisions.

Exactly how teams will adapt to the new rules is yet to be seen, but the expectation is for more kickoff returns to occur. Shenault and Dee Eskridge will be among the options the Seahawks will try in those roles through training camp, though there might be only one roster spot available between the two players.

Shenault accounted for 1,126 yards from scrimmage with 11 touchdowns during his best season at Colorado in 2018. He caught 86 passes for 1,011 yards and six touchdowns, while also adding 115 yards on 17 carries and five touchdowns as a rusher.


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