Justin Coleman didn’t make much of an impression during his first stint with the Seattle Seahawks.
It would have been awfully hard to.
After all, the undrafted cornerback out of Tennessee resided on Seattle’s practice squad for three short days before being signed to the New England Patriots’ 53-man roster on Sept. 9, 2015.
It was another ride on what’d been a merry-go-round of transactions for Coleman, who was previously claimed off waivers by the Patriots from the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 4 only to be waived the next day as New England aimed to retain him on the practice squad.
The Seahawks had other plans to lure him once he cleared waivers, of course. Though in the end, those plans were short-lived as Coleman found himself back with the Patriots in time to kick off the 2015 regular season.
Some 12,000 frequent-flyer miles later.
In Foxborough Coleman would stay to appear in 20 games over the next two campaigns. And there he remained until Friday, when the Patriots traded him back to the Seahawks in exchange for a 2018 seventh-round pick.
“He’s really versatile,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said of Coleman in his Monday press conference, via Seahawks.com. “He’s a really active cover guy in all kinds of nickel situations, not just inside but outside as well. [The Patriots] moved him around a great deal.”
Coleman started three contests over his two regular seasons with the Patriots, and recorded 29 tackles and eight pass deflections while logging 527 snaps on defense and 80 on special teams. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound corner was active for both playoff games in 2015, yet was scratched for all three en route to Super Bowl LI in 2016 on a depth chart led by Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Eric Rowe.
Coleman did not play in last week’s preseason finale against the New York Giants. But what the 24-year-old had already put on film gave Seattle the impression they were looking for two years ago.
Carroll credits the Patriots for that.
“We’ve seen him play a ton of man-to-man. He’s a really good matchup guy,” Carroll said. “He covers big guys, he covers small guys. They put him on all kinds of matchups, so we had a really good evaluation of him. Really not from the days he was here – we got nothing done then – but from the time that we’ve seen him on film, it was easy to see that he had a chance to be a factor.”
Coleman now checks into a Seahawks cornerback corps featuring Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Neiko Thorpe and rookie Shaquill Griffin. Two other corners, Deshawn Shead and DeAndre Elliott, sit on physically unable to perform and injured reserve, respectively. And another, Tramaine Brock, now sits on Vikings’ roster after what was an eventful weekend.
“That spot kind of opened up for us in the nickel area,” said Carroll, “and it made great sense to go get somebody. We found a really good guy and we’re lucky to have him.”
The pick New England acquired in the Coleman deal was paired with a fifth-rounder to add edge-rusher Cassius Marsh on Saturday.