With his team seeking pass rushing reinforcements, coach Pete Carroll may have interest in taking a blast to his past from his coaching days at USC.
According to Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports, Carroll and the Seahawks are expected to host linebacker Nick Perry on a free agent visit this week. The seven-year veteran was released by the Packers on March 12.
Carroll signed Perry, who was named to the USA Today All-American Team starring at Martin Luther King High School in Detroit, MI, to USC as part of a loaded 2007 recruiting class. After redshirting during his freshman season, he played a key role on the Trojans’ defensive line over the next three seasons and garnered First-Team All-Pac 12 honors as a junior in 2011.
Perry opted to forgo his final year of eligibility and entered the 2012 NFL Draft, eventually being selected by the Packers with the No. 28 overall pick in the first round.
Playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme, Perry struggled to carve out a consistent role with Green Bay during his first four seasons due to injuries, as he started only 16 games and recorded just 12.5 sacks during that span. He finally broke out in 2016, posting career-highs in tackles (52), sacks (11.0), and tackles for loss (12).
As a reward for his breakthrough season, the Packers signed Perry to a five-year, $60 million deal prior to the 2017 season, but injuries again derailed him over the next two seasons. Ankle and shoulder injuries ended his 2017 season prematurely after finishing with 7.0 sacks in 12 games, while he endured his worst season production-wise last year with just 1.5 sacks in nine games before once again landing on injured reserve due to a knee issue.
Finally healthy again, Perry hopes a change of scenery can help him get his career back on track and Seattle might be the ideal destination for him to make it happen at the right price.
Possessing great size at 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, Perry played defensive end for Carroll during his time at USC and recorded 21.5 sacks in three collegiate seasons while playing the position. Believing a scheme change could bring out the best in him, the Seahawks may envision him filling a major void as a starter across from Frank Clark in the same role.
If he passes his physical and the Seahawks decide to sign Perry, he also won’t count as part of the compensatory draft pick formula since he was released by the Packers.