Seahawks release Marcus Smith, add veteran LB Erik Walden

posted by Curtis Crabtree - 

Indianapolis Colts v Seattle Seahawks

RENTON -- The Seahawks officially added veteran pass rusher Erik Walden after his reported agreement with the team early week.

His addition has come at the expense of linebacker Marcus Smith.

Smith was released on Friday as he had been away from the team the last few days attending to a personal matter. Head coach Pete Carroll said after the team's walkthrough on Friday that it was a decision both parties felt comfortable with.

"Really, there were some personal reasons that came into it," Carroll said. "He has been a great kid in the program and all, and all things considered, that’s as far as I’m going with it. It was the right thing to do, and he understood and he agreed with it."

Smith spent the 2017 season with the Seahawks and re-signed on a one-year deal with the team this offseason. The former first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles spent all of last year at defensive end for Seattle but the team had been using him as a strong-side linebacker in training camp. Smith had worked with the first-team defense regularly early in camp as Frank Clark and Dion Jordan were sidelined with injuries.

Walden, 32, is a 10-year veteran that spent last season with the Tennessee Titans and previous four years with the Indianapolis Colts. He had a career-high 11 sacks in 2016 before serving in a mostly rotational role last year with the Titans. He's also played for the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

Carroll said they didn't know yet where they were going to use Walden.

"He’s been an outside backer and a nickel rush guy," Carroll said. "He’s been real physical and tough and we’d like to see how he gets into the competition."

The team also added running back Justin Stockton and waived cornerback Elijah Battle.

The addition of Stockton gives Seattle some additional depth at running back as Rashaad Penny recovers from surgery to repair a broken finger and Gerald Holmes, who was signed last week, sits out due to a concussion.

Notes:

-- Wide receiver Doug Baldwin spent most of Friday's walkthrough sprinting back and forth on one of the unutilized practice fields. The Pro Bowl wide out has been sidelined since the third day of training camp due to a sore knee.

However, he's on track to get back on the field in the coming weeks.

"He’s back to going again here, he’s conditioning to get back in," Carroll said. "So next week will be really important to see how far along he comes. Really the fourth week will be the first chance we get to work him really hard, then we’ll see how that goes in terms of that week and heading into the opener. 

"We think he’s going to be fine, but we’d like to have a really good active week next week so the week after that can be a good competitive week, which is short, but we’ll still get after it pretty good."

-- Running back C.J. Prosise will play against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday after missing the preseason opener due to a sore hip flexor.

"We’d like to see him play quite a bit in this game," Carroll said.

-- Defensive end Frank Clark is also set to get his first preseason action after being slowed at the start of camp while recovering from offseason wrist surgeries.

"He’s ready to go. He’s had a great week. He has been battling with Duane (Brown) all week, and he’ll play in the game," Carroll said.

-- Wide receivers Tyler Lockett (toe) and Amara Darboh (hip flexor) will not play against the Chargers. Cornerback Byron Maxwell will be a game-time decision. Cornerback Dontae Johnson and safety Maurice Alexander are expected to play.


Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 1: Defensive end Marcus Smith #97 of the Seattle Seahawks causes Jacoby Brissett #7 of the Indianapolis Colts to fumble in the third quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on October 1, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Seahawks beat the Indianapolis Colts 46-18. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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