Wide receiver depth has become an issue with the Seattle Seahawks, hence the reason they acquired J.J. Arcega-Whiteside from the Philadelphia Eagles this week. The Eagles were ready to cut ties with the 2019 second-round pick before finding a taker in the Seahawks, who plan to move him back to wide receiver after he spent the summer in Philadelphia converting to tight end.
"This is a guy we really liked coming out," said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, via the Seattle Times. "He's an aggressive catcher. A contested catch guy is what we really liked about him, so strong and physical. He made a lot of big plays. He was a go-to guy in the program at Stanford. He's unique. He's a big strong kid. He was 225 [pounds] coming out and he's like 230 now.
"He was playing some tight end for them, which we like all of that, that diversity. I'm always looking for unique guys and this guy brings something possibly unique."
Arcega-Whiteside intrigued the Eagles for his contested-catch ability and his physicality, but he couldn't figure things out once he got to the NFL. He finished with just 16 catches for 290 yards in his three seasons with the Eagles, with only six catches for 121 yards over the last two years.
The Eagles improved the wide receiver position with A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal this offseason, moving Arcega-Whiteside to tight end. Arcega-Whiteside couldn't gain any traction at a thin position, which is how he wore out his welcome in Philadelphia. The Eagles acquired Ugo Amadi in the deal, another player who was on his way out from his current team.
Seattle is currently thin at wide receiver with Dee Eskridge and Freddie Swain injured. Swain did return to practice Tuesday, and was listed as the No. 3 wide receiver. The Seahawks have two weeks to figure out where Arcega-Whiteside fits into the equation.
"I can't tell you anything but knowing who he is, he's got terrific hands, got great catching range, and he's a physical kid," Carroll said. "He admits that he had to learn a lot about blocking, which makes him better, and our guys, all guys, have to block. A matter of fact, our receivers blocked really well this weekend; not always finishing on the guys, but they were really trying hard and really gave great effort. And he's going to have to fit into all that and he's had some backgrounds here to help."