It did not take long for quarterback Jason Eason to find a new home after being released by the Seattle Seahawks. Eason passed through waivers unclaimed, but the former highly touted quarterback signed with the Panthers just one day after being cut, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The former Seahawks signal-caller will begin his tenure with Carolina on the team’s practice squad.
“The Panthers are signing former Colts and Seahawks QB Jacob Eason to the practice squad, per source,” Pelissero noted in a series of August 31 tweets. “So with Matt Corral out for the season and Sam Darnold sidelined 4-6 weeks, Baker Mayfield’s backups are PJ Walker and Jacob Eason, a 4th-round pick out of Washington in 2020.”
The Seahawks claimed the former five-star prospect last October after he was released by the Colts. Eason saw some preseason action but did not appear to be a legitimate part of the starting quarterback competition with Geno Smith and Drew Lock.
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Sean Mannion’s first career TD pass! #SKOL
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The Seahawks’ decision to release Eason only to later sign Sean Mannion raised a few eyebrows. Seattle previously signed Mannion during the 2021 preseason, but released the veteran quarterback prior to Week 1.
“The whole Mannion thing [the] past two years has been, well, really strange,” Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith explained on Twitter. “And now that means Jacob Eason’s time is likely done in Seattle. I guess I’m perplexed on this… wouldn’t you rather have a young QB to develop on the practice squad?”
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Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll named Geno Smith the starting quarterback for Week 1 but stopped short of saying the veteran would be able to hold onto the QB1 spot for the majority of the season. During an August 30 press conference, Carroll admitted that the competition is “always on” between Smith and Lock. All this has Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believing Seattle will eventually turn over the offense to Lock.
“For many quarterback competitions, the winner primarily wins the right to be the first quarterback benched,” Florio wrote on August 30. “It’s fair to wonder when that will happen to new Seahawks starter Geno Smith.
“It feels inevitable. Although Smith held off Drew Lock, it’s got a distinct ‘for now’ feel to it. That’s not a wild guess, or a gut feeling. When coach Pete Carroll announced his decision, he dropped more than a few hints that it’s far from a full-season move.”
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— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) August 27, 2022
Despite early indications that it was a tight competition, things did not appear particularly close between Lock and Smith by the end. Lock’s three interceptions against the Cowboys during the preseason finale cemented Smith’s status as QB1. Carroll left the door open for Lock to still have a chance to win the job later in the season.
“Geno was solid in his outing, and Geno is going to start,” Carroll told reporters on August 26. “He’s going to start the opener, and he’s earned it. He’s won the job with the time and the time frames that got messed up for us for Drew. Drew just ran out of time, didn’t make it [in] his bid for it, and so I’m clear about that. I just want to let you know so everybody knows. So you don’t have to ask about it anymore.
“In the meantime, Drew’s got to keep on battling because he can play — and he’s got all kinds of stuff in him. And I want him to be ready at [a] moment’s call, and he’s going to keep growing and pushing and developing as a fantastic player, I think, and I have no problem playing with him, too. So, we’re fortunate to have two guys that can go.”