With the start of the 2016-2017 NFL season less than three months away, rumors are swirling around the Seattle Seahawks and who is going to make their roster. While the Seahawks were, once again, one of the best teams in the entire NFL during the 2015-2016 season, their ultimate goal of winning another Super Bowl did not come to fruition. Regardless, the Seahawks still have one of the best teams in the NFL, and they could possibly be adding a surprise player before training camp. While nothing is imminent, former NBA player Nate Robinson tried out for the Seahawks today as a defensive back.
As ESPN reports, the tryout took place today, but there is no word yet on how Robinson performed. While Robinson started this season as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, he was waived after only two games. He then signed with Hapoel Tel Aviv of the Israeli Basketball Premier League. Even though Robinson could probably have a future playing basketball overseas, he is apparently ready to give up on it and attempt to become a professional football player.
Standing at only 5-foot-9, Robinson was surprisingly effective over the course of his 11-year career in the NBA. While he was never the tallest player on the court, he was a streaky shooter who often got hot from the 3-point line. He averaged 11.0 points per game, 3.0 assists, and 0.9 steals. He also won the dunk contest during his rookie season in 2005-2006, which is impressive since he was going up against much taller players.
While Robinson was undersized for an NBA player, his height of 5-foot-9 is close to average for an NFL cornerback. At 32-years-old, Robinson is not explosive as he once was, but he still may have the athleticism that is required to succeed as an NFL defensive back. It is unlikely that Robinson would ever be at the top of the depth chart for the Legion of Boom, but he could potentially make the roster as a backup. In a more likely scenario, Robinson would make the practice squad.
In April, Robinson spoke to ESPN regarding his desire to make it to the NFL.
“The biggest challenge is probably all the haters, everybody counting me out, somebody not really giving me the opportunity. That’s what I think the biggest challenge will be, getting somebody to give me that chance. If somebody gives me that chance, I know they’ll fall in love with the fierce competitor that I am because I catch on quick. Once I do that, then the sky’s the limit. I don’t know. It seems like they wouldn’t want me to be the first one to do something like this. That’s a huge challenge.”
While other professional athletes have played multiple sports at the same time, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders being the most notable, Robinson is attempting to get into his second sport much later in his life. Regardless of the odds, Robinson has as good of a chance as anyone. Besides already knowing the work ethic and preparation that it takes to succeed in a professional sport, Robinson was a successful cornerback at the University of Washington. As the Washington Post reports, he was also a talented player on the offensive side of the football in high school.
“Robinson, a Seattle native, last played football at the University of Washington in 2002. He played in all 13 games at cornerback, starting in the final six games of the season, before dropping the sport and focusing on basketball. Robinson also played both sports at Rainier Beach High, totaling 21 touchdowns and more than 1,700 total yards as a senior.”
While it is still early in the process of former NBA player Nate Robinson’s attempted transition to the NFL, rumors will likely continue to come out regarding his chances. Being from Seattle, it makes sense that Robinson’s first opportunity came with the Seahawks, but he could potentially work out for additional teams as the weeks go by.
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