After a starting stint in the UFL and a couple of late-season games with the Raiders in 2009, Losman was looking to get back into the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks gave him that opportunity on Wednesday
J.P. Losman’s portal for a potential return to the NFL ended up being in Seattle.
The former first-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills signed with the Seahawks on Wednesday. He will compete for the No. 3 quarterback spot with Mike Teel, a sixth-round draft choice last year.
The club also signed tight end Michael Allan, who played at Whitworth and was a 2007 draft choice by the Kansas City Chiefs. To clear roster spots, tight end Patrick Devenny and wide receiver Victor James were released.
Losman, 29, was the 22nd pick overall in the 2004 draft and started 33 games in five seasons with the Bills – including 16 in 2006, when he posted career highs in attempts (429), completions (288), passing yards (3,051), touchdown passes (19) and interceptions (14).
But when the Bills drafted Stanford QB Trent Edwards in 2007 and committed to him as their starter in 2008, Losman started only two games that season after asking to be traded. When his contract expired after the season, the Bills did not re-sign him and Losman decided to sign with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL.
Losman led the Locomotives to the league title, completing 61 percent of his passes for 1,386 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions. He signed with the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 15 after Bruce Gradkowski damaged ligaments in both knees. But Losman threw only one pass for the Raiders.
Losman – the J.P. stands for Jonathan Paul – was a Parade All-American at Venice (Calif.) High School. He began his college career at UCLA, but transferred to Tulane. After sitting out the 1999 season, he was the backup to Patrick Ramsey for two seasons. As the starter in 2002, Losman led Tulane to an 8-5 record. The Green Wave started 3-1 in 2003 but finished with a 5-7 record.
With the Bills, he won 10 of 33 starts – throwing 34 interceptions and being sacked 103 times. He left the Bills after throwing for 6,211 yards – on 558 of 942 passing – and 33 touchdowns.
The Seahawks claimed former Central Washington University QB Mike Reilly off waivers two weeks ago to compete with Teel, but Reilly was released on Tuesday. Losman gives the team a quarterback who has played – and started – in the league to backup starter Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst.
The Seahawks acquired Whitehurst in a March trade with the San Diego Chargers and expect him to develop into a starting-caliber QB. But he did not throw a pass during a regular-season game in four seasons with the Chargers.
“I think Charlie’s done really well,” coach Pete Carroll said this week. “I feel very comfortable with him. He seems to have a good sense for it. He’s not lagging behind any of the learning at all. Charlie has a terrific arm and a nice release. All the physical stuff is there.
“Up to this point, Charlie has done everything we have asked of him. I think he is confident in what we are doing right now. It’s going to come down to play him and see how he does and how he handles the game situations and managing all that is out there.”
Whitehurst was added to increase the competition at the position, but Hasselbeck remains the starter entering his ninth season with the team.
“I am real pleased with Matt being our quarterback right now and in the lead position,” Carroll said. “I have been from the start. I have never wavered on that. However, we are trying to make it as competitive as possible. We are trying to push Matt to make him better and trying to elevate Charlie’s game as well.
“But Matt is in control and in command of what we are doing.”
As for Whitehurst, Carroll added, “I see Charlie as a starter in this league and that is why we went after him. We think he can become a starter and be an effective player. We love the fact that he can move. He has good feet and good mobility.”
And now, Carroll has another quarterback – one who has played in the league – to add to this competitive mix.