ALAMEDA -- The Seattle Seahawks didn’t want to cut Benson Mayowa. They believed young defensive end had real potential and, with some seasoning, could’ve developed into a productive pass rusher.
Seattle needed his roster spot for other positions, and they hoped to sneak him through waivers and on to the practice squad.
Didn’t work. The Raiders claimed him and stashed him on the back end of the depth chart. Due to injuries and effectiveness, Mayowa is now front and center.
He started Sunday’s game against Cleveland, played a career-high 47 defensive snaps -- and 17 more on special teams -- and proved to be a productive player.
He had five tackles against the Browns, as much as LaMarr Woodley had in six games, including a 30-yard sprint to stop a screen pass.
“I’m just enjoying the opportunity, really,” Mayowa said. “I spent the whole last year, I think I played two or three games. I spent the rest of the season sitting on the bench. When you’re sitting down, you want to see if you can make those types of plays. You want to get out there and play. When opportunity calls, you just have to go out there and show what you can do.”
Mayowa believes his time with the Seahawks prepared him for this opportunity. They taught him how to practice and play at this level. Veterans like Cliff Avril taught him techniques required to thrive in the NFL.
He was excited about the prospect of growing in the Seahawks system, but Seattle had to let him go.
“We think he’s a really good, good prospect,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s not surprising at all to us that he’s playing good football. We just got stuck with some numbers and couldn’t keep him. We have a high regard for him. He’s a good ballplayer and he’s young and learning and scrapping. It’s cool to see him playing so well.”