RENTON, Wash. -- Veteran offensive tackle Eric Winston is 30 years old and the president of the NFL Players’ Association. After eight seasons and 119 consecutive starts, he wanted to be sure he was doing the right thing before continuing his career.
"I’ve been searching for the right situation and what I felt was best," said Winston, who signed with the Seahawks Tuesday. "I know they are definitely capable of winning here and winning big. It was exciting to think I could get a chance to play in some big games I’ve never played in before."
Winston (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) is insurance for the Seahawks at the right tackle spot. They have rookie Justin Britt taking the first-team snaps. The man who was expected to compete with Britt (second-year player Michael Bowie) has been out with shoulder injury.
With Winston’s presence, the Seahawks know they have a quality veteran they can use if they need him.
"We were just looking for depth and a competitive guy to come in and fill the spot," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "We’re very young in the backup guys. Michael has been slowed down a little bit. Eric’s done a lot of playing in his time, so we’ll see how that works out. We’re glad to have him out here battling."
Winston started all 16 games last season for Arizona. He played for Kansas City in 2012, but spent the first six seasons of his career in Houston, where he makes his home.
"I’ve been sweating it out down there working out," Winston said. "I’ve never been around Seattle. What a gorgeous place. What great scenery. The lunch room [at the VMAC], you walk in and see the lake. It doesn’t get too much better than that, so yeah, it’s exciting to be here."
Winston also said he will do all he can to help Britt learn the position.
"I think anytime you become a vet in this league, you’ve got an obligation to the young guys to help them and teach them," Winston said. "If Britt wants me to do that, then I’ll do it. I’ll be here for him to help him, that’s for sure."