Seattle Seahawks news, rumors, links, info, interviews, analysis, and more! I'm not going to lie, it seems like writers are starting to come out of NFL Lockout hibernation. I've got a LOT of links for you today, so settle in with a big ole' cup of joe (and maybe a cigar?.. I don't know what the kids these days are doing).
Seahawks have interest in Vonta Leach " Seahawks Draft Blog: "Seahawks Draft Blog understands that Houston full back Vonta Leach will be on Seattle’s radar when the lockout ends. The 29-year-old made the Pro-Bowl last season blocking for the NFL’s leading rusher Arian Foster and was also selected to the AP’s NFL All-Pro team. With Leach’s assistance, Foster recorded 1616 rushing yards in 2010 and set a new record for total yards from scrimmage by an undrafted free agent."
Revisiting Brandon Mebane And The Seahawks Interior D-Line | The Blue Bird Herd: "While Seattle managed to add some much needed depth at O-line and corner in April’s draft, interior pass remains a huge weakness on this team. For whatever reason, a growing number of people are convinced that the ‘Hawks are set at the two D-tackle positions with Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane, and thus, should retain Mebane. I am not so convinced. In fact, I see the interior D-line as Seattle’s weakest area outside of quarterback."
Rams week 4 recap: In spite of the little things - Turf Show Times: "Looking back at the St. Louis Rams' week four win over the Seattle Seahawks did not produce quite what I expected, or at least what I expected based on my memory of the game at the time. I had not seen more than a fleeting clip of the Rams' second win of the 2010 season since it actually happened. In the foggy places of my memory, the 20-3 victory over the hated Seahags looked easy. A couple touchdowns, a couple field goals and voila, the team was 2-2, and ready for a trip to Detroit, which for many meant a 3-2 record. You know how that turned out."
Mailbag: Pros, cons on Matt Hasselbeck - NFC West Blog - ESPN: "Blog regular SFCmech keeps politely pushing for a pros-and-cons piece on whether the Seattle Seahawks should bring back Matt Hasselbeck in 2011. He thinks too many Seahawks fans fail to acknowledge Hasselbeck's decline while writing off Charlie Whitehurst too quickly.
Mike Sando: Labor-related reports suggest NFL teams will have 72 hours to re-sign their own free agents before the unrestricted market opens on a wider scale. That three-day window should help teams and players avoid making emotional decisions. In theory, that window should help the Seahawks reach an agreement with Hasselbeck."
Seattle Seahawks Blog - Hawk Blogger: Remember...Aaron Curry? A Series Looking Back @ 2010 Seahawks: "Aaron Curry may be the most polarizing member of the Seahawks outside of Matt Hasselbeck. His high draft position and impressive athletic talent have led to extremely high expectations. Curry has come nowhere near meeting those expectations, which has led to some fans labeling him a bust."
NFL.com news: NFL, teams face challenge of setting rosters in short order: "As we get closer to the players and owners reaching a new collective bargaining agreement, the NFL should know that tons of work awaits the folks at its headquarters. Keep in mind that every player contract agreed upon is reviewed by the league office for approval, which could take a lot of time if a contract is rejected. All it would take to make a deal null and void is something as small as a language dispute, sending the player back into the free-agent pool or, in the case of restructuring a deal, the team back to square one."
Lockout -- NFL, NFLPA want 'global' settlement, sources say - ESPN: "The sides in the NFL's labor dispute are amenable to rolling the remaining issues that are most problematic -- the settlement of the Brady vs. NFL antitrust lawsuit and the television "lockout insurance" damages case -- into a global settlement, sources familiar with the talks told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. A global settlement would mean that those two cases, along with the retired players' lawsuit and all other legal issues, would be dropped if the players ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, which is expected to cover the next 10 seasons. That would be the quickest way to get the lockout lifted."
Getting to Yes | National Football Post: "I believe the doors will soon unlock, but let’s still proceed with caution. As I always say, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. With core issues resolved, this is the time for horse-trading of what’s left on the table, meaning an opportunity for concessions to be made and an opportunity for emotions to run high yet again. Some of the issues still in play as we near the finish line are:"
Lockout update: The real story behind $320 million in lost 2010 benefits - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports: "As we detailed yesterday, one of the final outstanding issues between the owners and players in the ongoing work stoppage everyone hopes will end this week is the $320 million in lost benefits that weren't paid out in the uncapped year of 2010. We've had several questions from readers regarding how those benefits were lost — after all, it's tough to lose that much money under a seat cushion on the couch — and Yahoo! Sports has learned that the source of the requested restitution of benefits is less about pure cash and more about actual unfunded benefits."
Leon Hall - Cincinnati Bengals - 2011 Player Profile - Rotoworld.com: "Len Pasquarelli of the Sports XChange confirms that the Bengals' preference is to keep Leon Hall long term over free agent Johnathan Joseph. Hall is the better cover corner and much more durable, so this always seemed like a no-brainer. According to Pasquarelli, the Bengals "aren't going to spend the $8-$10 million per year" Joseph will receive elsewhere. Hall is signed through 2011 at a $3.038 million salary. The Bengals could make extending him a priority during the 72-hour window for teams to re-sign their own."
Wink, wink: Handshake deals in free agency - NFC West Blog - ESPN: "it's no secret teams have lined up handshake deals before the official start to free agency, usually beginning at the scouting combine in February. "We all do it,'' one team executive told ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas for a 2008 story. "Up until a few years ago, there were still a few teams that wouldn't do it. But they were the last bastion and they finally gave in because they realized they were losing out on players at the start of free agency because they weren't doing it.'' Teams and agents have little incentive to report one another because all parties want to continue benefiting from business as usual. An agent I spoke with Monday said he expects business as usual from teams unwilling or unable to restrain themselves. He said teams have been operating that way for years, and in his experience, the teams were the ones initiating the contact."
A closer look at Mark LeGree | Seahawks Insider: "One of the rookies I’m looking forward to watching once training camp begins is Seattle Seahawks fifth round selection Mark LeGree. The Appalachian State product was drafted 156th overall by Seattle, and could compete for a starting safety spot with Kam Chancellor, if the Seahawks do not bring back veteran Lawyer Milloy. Take a quick glance at LeGree’s college stats, and you understand that he has some serious playmaking ability. He finished with a school-record 22 interceptions and also forced two fumbles during his time at Appalachian State. But watching his highlight tape, LeGree also looks like a sure tackler in the open field who plays sound fundamental football."
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Formation Analysis: Number of WRs Part II: "Last Monday, we looked at how well offenses performed in 2010 with various numbers of wide receivers in the formation. Now it’s time to evaluate the defenses. Last season, defense DVOA got worse, on average, as the number of wide receivers in the formation increased, going from -3.8% against 0/1WR-formations to 6.2% against 4/5WR-formations. On a team-by-team basis, 22 of the 32 NFL defenses followed this general pattern."
HBO still hopeful of carrying on with 'Hard Knocks' in 2011 - NFL - Sporting News: "There is optimism that a deal for a new NFL collective bargaining agreement will be finalized later this week, keeping training camps on course to open throughout the league sometime next week. That also leaves the possibility that one of the league's 32 teams might still be featured in the seventh season of "Hard Knocks." Although several teams have reportedly declined the opportunity to have their training camp life featured on the HBO Sports' documentary series, the network is optimistic about carrying on with the show while following the progress in the league's ongoing labor negotiations."
The Year-Round Scouting Process: "Scouting football players for the NFL Draft has been described to me as being as complex of a process as there is in sports. No matter what time of year it is, there is always scouting to be done. Beginning right around Memorial Day when teams convene to receive lists on top prospects for the upcoming year, the NFL Draft, which is always scheduled for the last weekend in April, has turned into a year-round phenomenon in which scouts are constantly scouring the country trying to find film on the next hidden gem for that year's upcoming class. To give readers a better idea of what it takes to put together a final draft board, write a Draft Preview, and to consistently produce among the best in the business in projecting mock drafts, here is a detailed look at my year-round process of evaluating college football players for the NFL:"
Clayton: DE Osi Umenyiora could be on Seahawks' shopping list - Blog - MyNorthwest.com: "Umenyiora is seeking either a new contract or a trade from the Giants, and Clayton thinks Seattle could be a possible trade partner. Clayton: "Seattle is one of the teams he's interested in. That could be the type of player at defensive end, as long as it doesn't cost a first-round pick, that maybe there'd be some interest." Umenyiora had 11.5 sacks last season despite playing with a hip injury that required offseason surgery. He has 60 sacks in eight NFL seasons, one of which he missed entirely due to a knee injury."
NFL.com news: Kolb-Young debate comes down to potential vs. experience: "If you're a team in need of a quarterback, would you rather trade for Kevin Kolb or sign Vince Young as a free agent?"
NFL.com news: Complex issues remain as league, players zero in on labor deal: "Several issues still must be resolved before the NFL and its players can ratify a full collective bargaining agreement, and, according to sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations, some of those remaining items are sufficiently complicated and could require more than a few days to settle. Among the items still to be figured out:"
NFP Scouting Series: Stanford | National Football Post: "For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will be breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision to identify which players could warrant the most interest from NFL teams in the 2012 NFL draft. Therefore, today we take a look at the senior class of the Stanford Cardinal."
Because rookie free agency is just around the corner, here is a series of articles on UDFAs:
UDFA Quarterbacks - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "2011’s quarterback class certainly wasn’t anything to write home about but there’s more than a few names to remember and track as the free agency process begins to unravel."
UDFA Runningbacks - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "While there may not have been that many elite runningbacks in the 2011 draft class, there was certainly a great amount of depth to consider at the position. Even though the Draft has come and gone, there’s still a number of different runners left available that will be making an impact at the next level."
UDFA Offensive Tackles - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "The Offensive Tackle class of 2011 didn’t have a lot of elite players but it featured great depth in the upper half and some decent mid round selections. There’s still some NFL caliber starting offensive lineman out there to be had and plenty of them."
UDFA Wide Receivers - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "The 2011 Wide Receiver class had some elite talent on the top and a bevy of pass catchers to be had in the mid-rounds but while some may think the position didn’t have a lot of depth, a number of diamonds in the rough still remain. Even though the Draft has come and gone, there’s still a number of different receivers left available that will be making an impact at the next level."
UDFA Offensive Guards - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "While Danny Watkins may have climbed all the way to the 23rd pick in the first round, the 2010 guard class left a lot to be desired. There simply wasn’t a lot of quality depth after the first two rounds but even with those short comings, a lot of intriguing names remain available for the right NFL team."
UDFA Centers - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "While centers don’t traditionally garner a high draft selection, this year featured yet another Pouncey in the first round and some very talented mid round picks. Even though Pouncey can’t play center at the next level, perhaps a post for another time, the 2011 class has some serious talent and depth to it that will surely be uncovered soon in the coming months. With the lockout nearing an end, each NFL Team’s first order of business will be to sign the undrafted free agents they have targeted and begin filling out the rest of their roster before a frenzied period of veteran free agency."
UDFA Tight Ends - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "The 2011 tight end class left an awful lot to be desired, especially compared to the previous year’s class, but even though there was a lack of blue chip talent, there’s still more than a few players to keep your eye on this off-season. With the lockout nearing an end, each NFL Team’s first order of business will be to sign the undrafted free agents they have targeted and begin filling out the rest of their roster before a frenzied period of veteran free agency."
UDFA Defensive Tackles - NFL Talent on Tap | RookieDraft.com: "It goes without saying that the top of the first round had some quality talent but not quite as elite as the 2010 Draft that featured Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy. This year’s class had some decent depth and still features some prospects of note that will make an impact at the next level. With the lockout nearing an end, each NFL Team’s first order of business will be to sign the undrafted free agents they have targeted and begin filling out the rest of their roster before a frenzied period of veteran free agency. We’ll cover each position and tell you who the players to know are during the undrafted rookie signing period so you’ll be ready to break them down in the pre-season."
Finally, to wrap up, Rob Staton has been an invaluable resource in the scouting department for Seahawks fans, and has done some good pieces lately on potential QB targets for next year. He mentioned Ryan Lindley (here and here again) and Ryan Tennehill (and here again) as two QBs (after Luck/Barkley) to keep your eye on in NCAA football this fall (not necessarily high on them both, but it's a segue for some links below, so just keep reading).
To avoid a homogenized look at prospects, here are scouting reports from Tom Melton of NFL Draft Monsters on the two - feel free to compare and contrast his notes with Rob's.
Scouting Report: Ryan Lindley | NFL Draft Monsters: "Lindley has a lot of upside because of his arm strength, his quick release and his intangibles; but I’d like to see improved decision making and better footwork during his senior year."
Scouting Report: Ryan Tannehill | NFL Draft Monsters: "Ryan Tannehill really burst on to the scene last season when he replaced Jerrod Johnson as Texas A&M’s quarterback. Tannehill had been playing wide receiver, and doing it quite well, before being moved in for the ineffective Johnson. I’ve included a video cut up of Tannehill’s Cotton Bowl performance against LSU (part of our new Youtube channel, check it out!) so you can get a feel for what I’m talking about."