Brock Coyle gives Seahawks solid MLB fallback plan

Seattle Seahawks reserve linebacker Brock Coyle has established himself as a valuable special teams player, and a viable backup to Pro Bowl middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.

He’s one of the Seahawks you’ll hear the least about. Brock Coyle isn’t flashy, didn’t play at a big college, wasn’t even drafted, and doesn’t start for the team. Yet he may be one of their most important players.

He’s certainly one of their most underrated.

Coyle made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of the University of Montana. He possessed prototype MLB size, ran fast, and hit hard. And it was his willingness to play all special teams that really added to his value. He started two games as a rookie when Wagner was injured, registering 9 tackles and 4 assists.

The kid from Bozeman, Montana looked like he belonged.

But in 2015 he battled injuries and was only active for 8 games.

When the Seahawks signed Steve Longa out of Rutgers after the draft, it appeared Coyle might have some compeition. Longa was an uber-productive tackler for the Scarlet Knights, and expressed his desire to only play for Seattle once he went undrafted.

But Longa has failed to stand out, and Coyle is healthy. From the early onset of training camp it was obvious that not only was Coyle the best of Seattle’s reserve linebackers, he’s good enough to start in the event of a long-term Wagner injury.

As an undrafted player who made good, Coyle is exactly the kind of guy the Seahawks love to build the backend of their roster with; young and cheap. He’s set to make only $600,000 this year.

Next year will be decision time for Seattle. He’s eligible to be a restricted free agent. The Seahawks can protect him by placing a higher tender on him, but it’ll cost them more money against the salary cap.

If he stays healthy again in 2016 and continues to contribute on special teams and as Wagner’s understudy, you can bet the Hawks will do everything they can to try and keep one of their most valuable backups.

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