After Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond were suspended last season, the Seattle Seahawks were forced to turn to Byron Maxwell as their second starting cornerback across from Richard Sherman.
Maxwell appeared to seamlessly slide into the starting lineup of a defense that would eventually dominate the Denver Broncos in a Super Bowl victory. Even once Thurmond returned to the field, he was limited to playing in the slot and behind Maxwell in base defenses.
The 6’1″, 207 lb 26-year-old is expected to enter the 2014 season as the starter, partly because both Browner and Thurmond have moved on but primarily because of his play.
Questions about Maxwell’s ability to be effective in the Seahawks defense don’t require answers. He answered those questions last season. The important question for the Seahawks entering this season is whether Maxwell is a replaceable piece or someone they need to retain moving forward.
Maxwell is entering the fourth season of his career after being selected in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.
Before the 2013 season, he had barely played and never started. He only became a starter for the Seahawks in Week 13 last year, so the sample size the Seahawks currently have to judge him on stretches just eight games.
Those eight games will set the baseline for how Maxwell is judged after next season.
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