SEATTLE – The first time Kerry Hyder Jr. had a breakout season, an injury ensued that cost him a full year.
At this point in his career, and after signing with the Seattle Seahawks, he joined his fifth other team. The last Hyder can afford is another major setback.
“I accept the trip. It’s been a lot of ups and downs, but I’m preparing for every moment, especially this one, ”said Hyder this week. “I’m so excited to be part of a group that I can add, I can add leadership, I can add play on the field. I felt unwanted and someone brought you in. That’s what I longed for. “
Hyder signed a two-year $ 6.5 million deal with the Seahawks in March after posting the best season of his career last year with San Francisco and Seattle to deepen the line of defense.
Last season’s success was a great opportunity for the almost 30-year-old. With the 49ers injured in their defensive line, Hyder started 14 of 16 games and achieved career bests in sacks (8½) and tackles (49).
It was expected that Hyder would be in a rotation with Nick Bosa and Dee Ford last season before injuries gave Hyder a bigger chance. In his first season with the 49ers, he played nearly 70 percent of the defensive snaps.
“It’s just the games, the ability to play and not just being a spot duty player, and the coaches who trust you and allow you to play. I think that helped,” said Hyder.
Hyder’s best previous year was with Detroit in 2016 when he had eight sacks and 19 quarterback hits. But he suffered an Achilles tear that cost him the entire 2017 season with the Lions. Hyder began his career with the New York Jets and played for Dallas in 2019.
Hyder seems to have a special fit when he comes to Seattle. His height and weight are similar to Michael Bennett’s when he stood on the Seattle defensive line for five seasons between 2013 and 17. Hyder said his hope is to be as versatile as Bennett, to be able to dash out of traditional defensive end positions, but also slide in and create more interior space if necessary.
“The features were there because I saw that,” said Hyder. “Same body type as something like that. That’s one of the reasons I went to Seattle. I can see myself in the same role as Mike. “
Hyder said the freelance agency was different this time around when it had a career year behind it, although teams faced the lower salary cap. He also insisted that despite being 30 years old, he still has a lot to give before the start of the next season.
“I’ve had an unorthodox trip to the NFL so I may not have the mileage that guys have. I had time on the training team and I had time to sit outside, ”said Hyder. “Here are some young legs. I still have a lot of time. “