Auditing Last Season's Offseason Checklist, Pt. 2

Draft, Sign, Develop or Trade for a Starting Caliber Quarterback

Another move that should be done now, and not when the team is so destitute that it must look to the first round of the NFL draft to fill this need. Colt Brennan, John David Booty and/or Erik Ainge may all slip into the third round. Each, to my eyes, have what it takes to make it in the pros.

Ainge didn't see a snap before being suspended for steroid use. Brennan looks to be on the trajectory of the career backup. Booty's fate depends quite about on this next draft. I would have been happy to see any of the three take the field for Seattle in 2008. It's really way too early to know if any of the three has a future, but Seattle is again at square one in preparation for life after Hasselbeck. It's not a great group of quarterbacks, and I think I overestimated them before getting a better look, but if Seattle's unwilling to take a plunge on a top quarterback talent, continually drafting marginal talent and seeing if one develops beats the hell out of effectively doing nothing.

Permanently Covert Seneca Wallace to Wide Receiver

Wallace has the skills to be a Pro Bowl receiver, but nothing more than an adequate quarterback. Seattle needs a quarterback in place who can eventually supplant Matt Hasselbeck, they need a #1 wide receiver right now. The offseason is the perfect time to commit to turning the 27 y/o old Wallace into a full-time wide receiver. At the same time, Wallace could still be the emergency, third string quarterback.

Seattle did move Wallace to wide receiver, but only in desperation. Wallace was injured returning a punt and the experiment was permanently shelved. If Wallace is to become a competent wide receiver, the team needs to commit to it, not half step. The chance of that happening is quickly approaching zero.

Extend a Long Term Contract to Mike Clark and Darren Krein

The Seahawks strength and conditioning coaches are clearly doing a bang-up job. Taking care of this little stuff can pay huge dividends in team health.

Seattle suffered a slew of injuries in 2008, but broken bones, torn muscles and torn tendons are not the fault of the strength and conditioning coaches. I stand by the above. Both are still on staff.

Clear Up the Running Back Mess

It's not necessary that Seattle use an early round draft pick on a running back. A late round pick, or a low cost castoff like Julius Jones or Mewelde Moore would more than suffice - that is, if Seattle needs to add another running back at all. What is for certain, though, is that Seattle must at the very least drop Shaun Alexander down the depth chart. Way down. Even considering the cap penalty, it is justifiable to outright cut Alexander, ideally after June 1st, so that it would be split over the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Alexander, at his very best as a rusher, is still a liability for his extremely poor play as a receiver. The Seahawks cannot hope to be the best team in football with Shaun Alexander as their starting tailback.

Seattle cleared up its running back mess only to create another. I never understood why Seattle insisted on keeping Maurice Morris after signing Jones. Morris is a quality running back, and if Seattle retained him and didn't sign Jones, I would have been fine with it. Mike Holmgren does not do two running backs. He flirted with it in 2008, but when push came to shove, he rode his horse. The team was worse for it. Jones was pissed. Morris is a free agent. TJ Duckett could never escape short yardage downs. The team, despite having its two starting running backs on the roster all of last season, has more questions then answers entering 2009. Is Duckett a viable every down back. Is Jones?

Offer DJ Hackett a 1-Year, Incentive Laden Contract

No team in its right mind would offer Hackett a long term contract after a career wracked with injuries. At the same time, any and every team could use Hackett's talent. For Hackett, his goal is clearly long term security, and that's all about getting paid. He must know that his most recent season is not going to give him the leverage to demand much in free agency. The obvious solution is to offer Hackett an incentive laden one-year offer that will net him some scratch this season, and free him up to get paid next season - Should he earn it.

Tim Ruskell gave some lip service to Hackett exploring free agency, but Seattle still having interest in re-signing, but if Seattle had interest in re-signing Hackett, letting him explore free agency is fundamentally stupid. It's like me telling my wife that I still love her, but want her to date. I could always match their offer, honey. Seattle should have signed Hackett to a one-year, incentive laden contract, and after seeing Hacks suck wind in Carolina, I think they could have. Hackett cost less against Carolina's cap in 2008 than he did against Seattle's cap in 2007. Ruskell rightfully didn't overvalue Hackett the way some did, but Jesus Christ could Seattle have used him in 2008. Hackett is likely on his way out in Carolina, and though he proved he can be very valuable used correctly, I don't foresee Ruskell wasting the long distance minutes. Which seems to be another trademark of the Ruskell administration: stubbornness.

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