The race for the Defensive Rookie of the Year trophy comes down to two stellar cornerbacks: Tariq Woolen of the Seattle Seahawks and Sauce Gardner of the New York Jets. Both players have put together impressive seasons (even by veteran standards). Because of this race, many are pitting the two rookies against each other, especially online. However, their wholesome interaction that was caught by NFL Films proves that there’s no beef between these two.
#Jets rookie CB @iamSauceGardner and #Seahawks rookie @_Tariqwoolen had a great conversation after the game about their future and careers ❤❤
"Why they trying to make us beef for no reason?"pic.twitter.com/hKuTR6NJC0
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 7, 2023
Tariq Woolen and Sauce Gardner are basically built from the same cloth: tall, athletic cornerbacks who can stop any wide receiver in the league. Gardner’s pedigree was not hard to spot: he was drafted fourth overall by the Jets for a reason. On the other hand, Woolen was a bargain-bin steal for the Seahawks. He was taken in the fifth round, but he’s playing like a first rounder this year.
The Seahawks’ playoff hopes are still alive in Week 18: a sentence no one expected to say this year. After trading away Russell Wilson to the Broncos, many expected them to sit at the bottom of the standings. Yet here they are, one lucky break away from sneaking into the post-season. As an added bonus, their pick from the Broncos has the potential to be a top-three pick as well. Talk about getting the best of both worlds!
We’ll see if Tariq Woolen can finish his rookie campaign strong with another exquisite lockdown performance against the Los Angeles Rams. No matter who wins in this race, the Seahawks rookie’s words will hold true: both he and Gardner will be the future of the league.