0

Coutu back in NFL with Seahawks

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Brandon Coutu made a great first impression with Seattle, and another strong showing this time around could earn the Collins Hill grad a job in the NFL.

The 26-year-old signed a free-agent contract with the Seahawks on Sunday, putting his name into the placekicking competition alongside rookie free agent Wes Byrum, who kicked Auburn to a BCS National Championship last season.

Coutu was a seventh-round draft pick of Seattle in 2008 and hit 7 of 7 field goals, including a 52-yarder, in the preseason. The showing led the Seahawks to a rarity -- keeping two kickers on the 53-man roster. Coutu backed up veteran Olindo Mare for the 2008 season, but never got onto the active roster and was released in final cuts before the 2009 season.

Seattle lost Mare to Carolina in free agency this year, leaving Byrum as the only kicker on the roster until Sunday's signing of Coutu.

Coutu's accuracy has never been a question -- he made 53 of 66 field goals (80.3 percent) with a 58-yarder during his career at Georgia -- but his distance on kickoffs was one factor that hurt him during his first stint with the Seahawks.