Monday, July 4, 2022

Seahawks’ Noah Fant discusses trade from Broncos, Seattle QB battle and the new chip on his shoulder

The Seattle Seahawks are beginning a new chapter in 2022. This offseason, the franchise decided to ship longtime quarterback Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick to the Denver Broncos in return for three players and five draft picks. While losing the leader that led them to a Super Bowl back in 2014 is tough, the Seahawks did land one of the more intriguing tight ends in the NFL.

Noah Fant is a former first-round pick who has been in the top 10 among tight ends in receptions and receiving yards for two seasons now. The former All-Big Ten player out of Iowa is an athletic receiver who likely has his best football ahead of him. He’s certainly hoping this move north sparks something. The Seahawks picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal, and he’s ready to roll. 

“It’s been great, man,” Fant told CBS Sports when asked if he’s settled into his new city yet. “It’s a great city to be in. I had never been to Seattle before I got traded. But I settled in great, and it’s a great place to be.” 

Fant recently teamed up with USAA, official NFL Salute to Service partner, and new teammate Chris Carson for a fun tour of some of Seattle’s top sites to promote USAA’s new moving tips

“Chris was able to show me around the city and show me all the cool things to do,” said Fant. “It’s really cool to come into a team and have great teammates like that that are willing to show you around.” 

Fant has gotten over the initial shock he felt when the Broncos made the decision to part ways with him. After all, Denver spent the No. 20 overall pick on him just three years ago. He said he wasn’t expecting to find himself on the move this offseason.  

“Yeah I was definitely really shocked,” he said. “I didn’t have any clue of what was going on and just kinda had to go with it when I got word of it. But yeah, it’s been a really good transition for me and I’m a big believer in things happen for a reason and I think that I was meant to come here for a reason. I definitely feel the love that the coaches have shown me that they wanted me here, and I think it’s gonna go well.”

Fant has been feeling the love from his new teammates and coaches because he’s making some big plays in minicamp. In fact, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Fant has had “maybe the most spectacular camp of anybody,” per John Boyle of the Seahawks’ official website. Fant downplayed the comment, saying he’s still out to prove himself to his new team. But he certainly appreciates the kind words.

“Yeah a little bit,” Fant said when asked if he’s been showing out on the practice field. “I think I’ve been just trying to do what’s asked of me and be a part of the offense to the best of my ability. You know it’s cool to hear those fond words from coach Carroll, but I obviously have a lot more proving to do, I’m a new guy on the team, and I’m just gonna try to keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” 

Fant is especially excited about this new offense. He thought he would be more of a pass-catching tight end making plays down the field in Denver, but he was used more in the short field — which he called “frustrating” earlier this offseason. Fant said offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense is more tight-end friendly. 

“I think being in the offense, it’s definitely a tight-end friendly offense that I can see from already just being in it that I can do some cool things and be a part of some cool things,” said Fant. “It’s a very balanced offense on the run and pass game, and a lot of things can play off of that. So I’ve been really excited being a part of it.” 

While Fant has impressed early, the main storyline surrounding the Seahawks this preseason is the quarterback battle. There’s always the possibility Seattle could add someone like Baker Mayfield, but Fant said he thinks Geno Smith and Drew Lock have potential. 

“I think both of them have some great leadership qualities, obviously Geno has been in the program and he’s a big guy on developing relationships, and being there and being present and getting the work done. And Drew’s also hungry, and they’re both competing for that starting job and I think they both have all the ability to do that,” said Fant. “It’s going to be really cool to see who comes out on top, and they definitely embraced the competition and are looking to both get better and take our team to where we wanna go.

“A lot of the narrative is kind of like ‘The Seahawks are rebuilding,’ but that’s not how we feel on the team, and that’s not how we feel with our quarterbacks. We think we can win games, so we’re excited to prove that and show that out on the field.”

No matter who is throwing him the football, Fant is entering this season motivated to reach his full potential as a tight end. 

“Yeah I mean definitely,” Fant responded when asked if he feels like he has a chip on his shoulder. “Right? Nobody expects to get traded, and it’s kind of a weird thing, you know, one team let you go and get picked up by another team. But there’s definitely a chip on my shoulder and motivation to use to keep getting better and improve even faster. That’s definitely something that has given me a little bit of motivation, and I’m looking forward to putting that on the field and putting that on display.” 

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