Seattle Seahawks news, rumors, links, info, interviews, analysis, and more! The NFL Lockout isn't quite over, so here are some things to read while we wait for real news. There's some good stuff out there today so dig in.
The Seahawks' first five moves on offense - Blog - MyNorthwest.com: "By Brock Huard: I spent some time at Seahawks headquarters Tuesday, and there was a hum and buzz of excitement. Everyone is ready to get to work, and if I were in John Schneider and Pete Carroll's position of power, my first five moves on offense would be the following:
The shopper's guide to free agency in the NFC - John P. Lopez - SI.com: Seattle Seahawks Money is no object: The Charlie Whitehurst era looks set to begin, with Matt Hasselbeck one of the premier QB free agents likely to depart. Whitehurst needs someone to either push him or take the job. Matt Moore of Carolina or Trent Edwards should be the players targeted. Smart shopper: Pete Carroll likes to go off the grid sometimes. If a Moore or Edwards is not signed, why not Vince Young, the player who beat Carroll for the 2005 NCAA national championship? Carroll has a knack with players searching for a new identity or rebirth and VY definitely fits the bill.
Driving up the price for Kevin Kolb? - NFC West Blog - ESPN: Seattle: The Seahawks have a need and they showed interest in Kolb last offseason. Unlike the Cardinals, they haven't been making regular public promises to address the quarterback situation right away when free agency opens. They haven't given up on Charlie Whitehurst and they could still bring back Matt Hasselbeck. They could offer a cornerback as part of a trade package, but if Rodgers-Cromartie weren't enough for the Eagles to move, Seattle would have to offer much more than cornerback Marcus Trufant. I sense more urgency from Arizona than from Seattle to quickly close a deal on a quarterback. Kolb is not the only option.
Labor pains ending, baby coming soon | National Football Post: All is still trending towards the NFL labor pains leading to delivery of a baby soon. And while we still expect a smooth landing, some last-minute turbulence has manifested itself in the recent settlement requests of the named Brady plaintiffs.
Mac's Football Blog: NFL Players Not Tied To July 21 Deadline: With that deadline one day away, and several issues remaining to be resolved before a CBA is complete, NFLPA President Kevin Mawae says the players are not tied to a July 21 deadline, The Associated Press reports. "We want to go back to work, but we will not agree to a deal unless it's the best deal for the players."
Matt Hasselbeck - Seattle Seahawks - 2011 Player Profile - Rotoworld.com: According to the Nashville Tennessean's Jim Wyatt, the Titans have been interested in free agent Matt Hasselbeck since "long before" this year's NFL draft. Wyatt's money is still on Hasselbeck as the Titans' starting quarterback, with Donovan McNabb as perhaps the fallback option. Of all of the teams with early-round rookie QBs, Tennessee is the one seeking a clear-cut starter to keep the job for as long as the entire season.
Kyle Orton - Denver Broncos - 2011 Player Profile - Rotoworld.com: The Broncos are roughly $9 million over the salary cap, according to the Denver Post. The Broncos could massage several veteran contracts, most notably Brian Dawkins ($7.156 million) and Andre Goodman ($4.080 million). But the team also plans to be active in free agency, filling multiple holes. The tight salary cap situation is one reason we've been expecting a Kyle Orton trade all offseason. He won't hold off Tim Tebow for much longer, and there's no sense in keeping a backup QB with an $8.879 million salary.
Daryn Colledge - Green Bay Packers - 2011 Player Profile - Rotoworld.com: Free agent LG Daryn Colledge confirmed that he doesn't expect to be back with the Packers this season. "The Packers have had a lot of years to re-sign me if they wanted to, so it looks like they might just let me go to free agency," he said. "Whether that’s a business decision or a personal decision, I don’t know." Colledge, 29, is best suited for a zone-blocking system where he can put his athleticism to use. The Redskins, Texans, and Seahawks are potential suitors.
The Preseason Top Five | National Football Post: Every June, the Scouting Combine grades for the upcoming senior class come out. When I was scouting, I rarely if ever put much stock into these preseason grades. Why? The grade of each player is only the opinion of one scout and they really haven’t put in a lot of work into this grade. If you look at the top players on the list now versus the top players on the list next February they will be totally different. Most teams use the Combine lists as a guide for their fall scouting. As a rule of thumb, there will be a number of players who get invited to the Combine next February who are not on the list now, just as there will be a number of players drafted who aren’t invited to the Combine.
Will chaos rule the day? | National Football Post: Despite the NFL’s mandate to teams to not contact players or agents, I received a call early on in the week from a GM who wanted to get an early pitch in for one of my free agents. To what degree NFL team execs are talking to agents, I am not certain. However, it’s happening and can happen because of long term trusting relationships forged over time between agents and team executives. In my conversation with the GM, I asked him if he had any details of the new CBA and if he was getting any intel from the league office.
His reply was that he, "hasn’t gotten anything" and he and his team are "completely in the dark", to the point where he was trying to pick my brain for any potential details affecting free agency, the cap or any undrafted free agents. The fact of the matter is, from now until the beginning of camp there will most certainly be some chaos. The free agent process that normally takes four months will be crammed into one week. Lumping the undrafted free agents on top of that will certainly make for the most interesting and unorthodox free agent period ever. Besides the five changes I predict the new CBA will bring, there will be some interesting twists and turns unfolding over the next few weeks. Here are some of them I foresee:
NFL.com news: Pieces in place for Rams to take over subpar NFC West: Seattle Seahawks, Where we left off: A division title on stilts, that's where the Seahawks left off. After becoming the first 7-9 team to ever make the playoffs, Seattle justified its belonging in the postseason dance by upsetting the then-defending Super Bowl champion Saints.
The offense came out of a season-long hibernation during the wild card game, particularly the ground attack, which ranked 31st in the league (89 yards per game.) Matt Hasselbeck played like Matt Lauer most of 2010, only to turn it on in the playoffs with some sick vertical throws. The dream died in Chicago, when the suspect defense gave up 437 yards to a very average Bears offense.
Areas of concern: Obviously, the ineffective run game could do a lot for whoever starts at quarterback by simply improving on that 89 yards per game total, starting with Marshawn Lynch's motivation. The team needs something out of second-year receiver Golden Tate, too. The wideouts as a whole need a shot in the arm. Defensively, one of the Seahawks' best pass rushers was surprisingly Raheem Brock, but he's now a free agent. If they can't generate pressure, the back four will be exposed. They gave up 12.5 yards per completions last season (27th in the league), and that was with a decent pass rush. If the Seahawks lose defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, they'll be very shaky on the interior.
Two things to hang your hat on, Seahawks fans: 1. Providing he's back, Hasselbeck is still the best quarterback in the division, so that gives the Seahawks a shot at repeating. Sorry, Sam Bradford. 2. Both Chris Clemons and Earl Thomas really give this team big-play capability. Clemons made the most out of his first opportunity to start, registering 11 sacks.
Making the Grade - 4-3 Outside Linebackers, 2008-2010 | ProFootballFocus.com: David Hawthorne, Seattle Seahawks Should Hawthorne be in this, given his best season came as a middle linebacker in 2009? The former undrafted free agent burst onto the scene with the kind of playmaking Seahawks fans were expecting from first round selection Aaron Curry. Still, Hawthorne lost his MLB spot to Tatupu, and took over for Leroy Hill and his legal troubles, though, for some reason, was kept off the field on third downs.
What should happen Wednesday and Thursday - CBSSports.com: After lawyers for the NFL and the NFLPA spent 13 hours together Tuesday in New York City finishing most of the final draft of the new potential CBA, as recounted by NFL.com’s Albert Breer, the next obvious question is: Will the players accept it? Team representatives from all 32 teams and the NFLPA’s executive committee* are expected to meet Wednesday in Washington to discuss and possibly sign on to the new CBA, but Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter is hearing that ratification isn’t necessarily an easy step and that the players have "no plans to rubber stamp it."
Fantasy Football Breaking News - Rotoworld.com: SI.com's Peter King insists Carson Palmer will not be traded to the Seahawks this summer. In a follow-up tweet, King suggested Bengals owner Mike Brown is stubborn enough to sit on Palmer all season. It's worth noting because King reported early this offseason that the Bengals would listen to trade offers once the CBA was finalized. He's now singing a different tune, likely after hearing from Bengals sources.
My money remains on Hasselbeck | Titans Insider: When the NFL lockout is lifted, the Titans will finally be able to answer the big question at quarterback. Which veteran will the team sign to compete with rookie Jake Locker and second-year QB Rusty Smith? My money is still on Matt Hasselbeck.
Reggie Bush among potential cap casualties - ESPN: Getting under the salary cap wasn't much of a problem for NFL teams before the uncapped year of 2010. The cap was going up $7 million a year. Many teams stayed to their budgets and had excess cap room. At the end of the 2009 season, 32 teams had $163 million of unused cap space. Once the collective bargaining agreement is signed and the league is up and operating, teams have to return to the days of getting under the cap. The 2011 cap is going to be at $120 million, and there figure to be several cap casualties, particularly because the 2009 cap was at $128 million. Let's review 10 players of interest.
NFL.com news: Best, worst fits for Asomugha, Holmes, other free agents: MATT HASSELBECK, QB Ideal Fit: Tennessee Titans Hasselbeck wants to remain a starter, and the situation in Tennessee provides him with the perfect opportunity to remain a first-stringer for another year or so. He would step into a lineup with a strong runner in place (Chris Johnson) and an intriguing No. 1 receiver in Kenny Britt. With the support of a front office that is keenly aware of his strengths, weaknesses and character (Titans’ VP Mike Reinfeldt was a part of the Seattle Seahawks’ front office prior to coming to Tennessee), Hasselbeck would have the opportunity to extend his career as a mentor to Jake Locker.
Bad Fit: Seattle Seahawks Hasselbeck has repeatedly stated his desire to return to Seattle, but the team is poised to transition at the position. They paid a hefty sum to acquire Charlie Whitehurst a season ago, and they need to see if he has the goods to become a franchise quarterback. Also, the team’s reluctance to get a deal done prior to the lockout suggests the front office isn’t completely sold on Hasselbeck as their starter in 2011. Without a strong commitment from the team to remain on board, Hasselbeck would be better served to look for greener pastures in another market.
NFL.com news: Report: Brady, Manning, Brees didn't request special favors: The three quarterbacks are among the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. National Football League et al antitrust lawsuit, and it has been widely reported that some of the plaintiffs' personal agendas might interfere with settling the case and thus interfere with ending the lockout. However, the trio released a statement on July 13 backing the players' negotiating team's position and imploring that a deal be reached soon, and Tom Condon, the agent who represents both Manning and Brees told the Indianapolis Star on Tuesday that his clients are not seeking special treatment in the new deal. "Asserting anything else is nonsense," Condon said. "Drew and Peyton have been two of the staunchest supporters of the players throughout this process. What they are doing is endorsing the players’ (bargaining position), not pursing anything individually."
Crime and no punishment: Tampering is NFL's open secret - NFL - CBSSports.com Football: You see it going on over expensive steaks as thick as a phone book at the NFL scouting combine. There are also stories of it going on at the Pro Bowl as fruity drinks are sucked down poolside. So how come nobody ever gets caught tampering in the NFL? "It's the un-punishable crime," one agent said. Call the lawmen, then. The crime rate is about to go up.
NFL.com news: Players meet but won't vote Wednesday on new labor deal: NFL players will not vote Wednesday on any labor deal to end the lingering lockout, a source with knowledge of the situation told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.
Which quarterbacks command most respect - NFC West Blog - ESPN: The San Francisco 49ers' Alex Smith ranked higher than expected on the list of quarterbacks facing blitzes less frequently. Was he really "commanding respect" the way Tom Brady commanded respect? Of course not.
The hangup: players still asking for cash - CBSSports.com: Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson are still asking for cash compensation and that is one of the holdups over the finalizing of the CBA agreement, a source with knowledge of the situation told me. Mankins and Jackson are still asking for $10 million each and this is slowing the process, the source explained. Jackson has denied he is seeking compensation.
Maiocco: NFC West co-op -- Scouting the Rams; Editor's Note: The NFL lockout appears to be drawing to a close, and teams will have limited time to enact their offseason plans. This week, reporters from around the NFC West will provide updates on the teams they cover. This is Part 2 in a four-day cooperative series looking at the NFC West. Beat reporters Kent Somers (The Arizona Republic), Danny O'Neil (The Seattle Times) and Jim Thomas (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) share their NFC West thoughts on their respective blogs. Today, a look at the St. Louis Rams.
Is Brandon Mebane a good fit for Carolina? - Cat Scratch Reader: An interview with Danny Kelly from Field Gulls on whether or not Brandon Mebane would make a good free agent for Carolina to pursue.
The Daily Shoutout - CBSSports.com: "GREED? Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe was one of the few people -- media, players -- with the guts to tell the truth. He went to Twitter to do it: "Sigh, and once again greed is the operative byword. Congrats [Drew] Brees, [Peyton] Manning, [Logan] Mankins, and [Vincent] Jackson for being ‘that guy'. #douchebags."
Kluwe didn't back down when asked later about his tweet. He was angry over Brees, Manning, Mankins and Jackson slowing progress on a new collective bargaining agreement with personal demands. "The thing is we're so close to having a deal done and to kind of pull that at the last minute it feels kind of like blackmail," he told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper. "We all out the owners when they do crap like that and it's only fair to call out our own people when they do the same thing. I'm against hypocrisy wherever it's at. Just finish the deal up so we can get the season going.""
Report: Some Executive Committee members were "infuriated" by reports of benefits for plaintiffs | ProFootballTalk: "As the dust settles on Tuesday's unexpected brouhaha regarding the efforts of four named plaintiffs in the Brady antitrust lawsuit - or agents and/or lawyers working on their behalf - to get something for themselves as a settlement of the case approaches, one of the guys who reported that an effort was made to block the franchise tag from ever being used on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Saints quarterback Drew Brees reports that the issue ultimately was dropped based in part on the reaction from other players.
Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports, citing an unnamed player, that some members of the NFLPA* Executive Committee were "infuriated" by the news. "They want blood," the unnamed player told Freeman."
BostonHerald.com - Blogs: Rap Sheet" Blog Archive " Source: NFLPA will not recommond any special considerations for the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady case: "After a far less wrangling and horse trading behind the scenes than some misplaced internet reports would have you believe, the NFLPA will not recommend any special considerations go to the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady case, a source familiar with the dicussions said.
After some debate over possible special relief for at least some of the 10 player-plaintiffs, it was determined it would be too cumbersome to try and work out individual deals. Since the bulk of plaintiffs were well-placed NFL veterans, the best way to go, it was decided, was to stick simply with the larger deal negotiated between the NFLPA and the league's owners."
NFL Sued for Allegedly Concealing Brain Injury Risks | TMZ.com: "Seventy-five former professional football players are suing the NFL , claiming it intentionally concealed the harmful effects of game-related concussions…"
Jeff Pash: 'I think it's probably aggressive to think it can be done tomorrow' | National Football Post: Downplaying the impact of the NFL Players Association not voting today on a proposed new collective bargaining agreement, NFL chief negotiator Jeff Pash says it will be tough to hammer out a ratified labor deal by Thursday. "I think it’s probably aggressive to think that it can be done tomorrow, but it could be done in a relatively short period of time, we think," the NFL executive vice president told reporters today at the league meetings in Atlanta. That said, Pash said the plan is to have both sides vote as soon as Thursday. "Absolutely," he said. "At some point."