FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots have traded third-year cornerback Justin Coleman to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2018 seventh-round draft choice. The draft pick had been acquired by Seattle in a prior trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Seahawks know the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Coleman well, as they had signed him to their practice squad on Sept. 8, 2015, three days after Coleman had been released by the Patriots. But the Patriots ended up signing Coleman to their active roster the next day, leading to his quick return to New England.
Coleman played in 20 regular-season games over the past two years for the Patriots, making three starts. His primary contributions came on special teams and in sub packages on defense, as he played in 227 defensive snaps last season (21.8 percent), with most of that action coming earlier in the year. Coleman played 299 defensive snaps in his rookie season (27.3 percent).
The Tennessee alum was considered a bubble player to make the Patriots' initial 53-man roster, but when he didn't play in Thursday's preseason finale, some could have viewed it as an indication he had made the club. A strong training camp and preseason from undrafted cornerback Kenny Moore of Valdosta State might have given the Patriots more comfort in dealing Coleman.
The Patriots have Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe and Jonathan Jones atop the cornerback depth chart, with Moore now a possibility to grab a fifth spot that might have gone to Coleman otherwise.
Coleman entered the NFL in 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings, signing as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee.
As for the seventh-round draft pick the Patriots acquired, it essentially replaces the 2018 seventh-rounder they had traded to the Cincinnati Bengals earlier in the week in exchange for linebacker Marquis Flowers.