Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for Friday

Seattle Seahawks news, rumors, links, info, interviews, analysis, and more! Happy Friday everyone! Here is what's going on around the NFL - should give you something to read for the next two hours while you sit at your desk and pretend to work.

We have a (proposed) deal | National Football Post: Andrew Brandt: We have a proposed NFL deal and re-opening of football, although labor pains have not ceased. Commissioner Goodell and NFL Owners announced a new ten-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) – with no opt-outs – with the Players. However, in a day of twists and turns that is a microcosm of the problems of trust and communication in this long-running dispute, the Players did not reciprocate. Pending approval by the Players, let’s take a look at some of the key terms, with instant analysis of deal points that may be in place for the next decade:

Report: Players could vote on deal today | National Football Post: While players grumbled Thursday night about the labor agreement owners ratified it appears that a deal could be right around the corner. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that the 32 NFLPA player representatives are expected to have another conference call today at which point they could vote on the tentative agreement the owners approved at a league meeting in Atlanta. The players did not hold a vote during a lengthy teleconference Thursday night.

NFL.com news: Owners OK new labor agreement, but players not ready to voteNFL owners overwhelmingly approved a tentative labor agreement Thursday that would end the lingering lockout, provided that players re-establish their union and sign off on the proposal. But the players didn't vote, leaving the country's most popular sports league in limbo for at least another day. At about 7 p.m. ET in Atlanta, NFL owners voted 31-0 -- the Oakland Raiders abstained -- to OK the labor deal, pending players' approval.

Soon after, the league issued a press release announcing: "NFL clubs approved today the terms of a comprehensive settlement of litigation and a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association." Less than an hour later in Washington, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to the 32 player representatives saying: "Issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open; other issues, such as workers' compensation, economic issues and end-of-deal terms, remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the players at this time."

Lockout -- NFL owners approve proposed labor agreement, await vote of players - ESPNNFL owners approved a proposed 10-year labor agreement with the NFL Players Association on Thursday, leaving the potential end to the league's lockout in the hands of the players' vote. Owners voted 31-0 to accept the proposed collective bargaining agreement, with the Oakland Raiders abstaining, after a full day of meetings at an Atlanta-area hotel. NFLPA leaders told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen a vote among its 32 player representatives appears likely Friday after the group received the "finishing points" of the agreement NFL owners approved Thursday. The NFLPA did not receive those details until after a two-hour conference call with player reps came to a conclusion without a vote Thursday night.

NFL owners put all-out blitz on players - ESPNThe lockout prevented HBO from having a training camp version of "Hard Knocks," so NFL owners decided Thursday to play "Hard Knocks" with the players, passing a proposed collective bargaining agreement in a 31-0-1 vote. This was an obvious power play by owners, who want to pressure players into accepting their latest proposal and see how they respond to public pressure. On Thursday night, the NFL Players Association executive board and 32 player reps opted not to vote on the proposal. Players finally received a copy late Thursday of what the owners had passed, but their initial response wasn't favorable. They think they are being played.

NFL.com news: Why NFLPA recertification is crucial to new labor dealFrom the moment that players dissolved their union March 11 and filed the Brady et al v. National Football League et al antitrust lawsuit, we knew the recertification of that union would be a key step to reaching a new collective bargaining agreement. That process took center stage in the labor talks Thursday. Here are some very quick, basic answers to questions that might help make some sense of the legal issues:

NFL.com news: NFL clubs approve comprehensive agreementNFL clubs approved Thursday the terms of a comprehensive settlement of litigation and a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association. The vote was taken at a league meeting in Atlanta where the clubs were briefed on the terms of the agreement and the rules for the transition into the new League Year. The agreement must be ratified by the NFL Players Association in order for the league year to begin.

NFL.com news: NFLPA shows displeasure with league in email to player repsATLANTA -- In the hours following NFL owners' 31-0 vote to ratify a settlement proposal that would end the four-month-old lockout, NFL Players Association general counsel Richard Berthelsen sent an email to player representatives Thursday night detailing the issues with the potential deal. NFL Network obtained a copy of the email, which took issue with the league setting a rough timetable for the NFLPA to reform as a union.

Mike Williams Not A Fan Of USC Running Back Marc Tyler - The Daily Drip - SB Nation SeattleUSC running back Marc Tyler clearly made a fool of himself over the weekend, appearing on TMZ outside of a club and, apparently, drunk. It's not a good look for a running back with two pending conduct board cases involving alcohol, and was compounded by his statements about USC. In his scatter-brained "interview" he said, "USC ... they breaking bread," implying the Trojans were paying players. Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams had a few thoughts on the situation, and tweeted them out on Thursday. He clearly didn't pull any punches, and admonished Tyler repeatedly on the social media network.

Maiocco: NFC West co-op -- Scouting the SeahawksFirst, my thoughts . . . "What's your deal?" "What's your deal?" Those were the words spoken between Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll at midfield following a Stanford-USC game a couple years ago. But that dialogue might also take place between Carroll and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck when the lockout lifts. Hasselbeck has been the Seahawks's starting quarterback since 2001, during which time he was the trigger man while leading Seattle to six playoff appearances. But he turns 36 in September, and his past three seasons have not been good. He's a pending free agent, and the Seahawks must make a decision on what to do at the all-important position.

NFL.com news: Top 20 undrafted free agents not loaded with sudden impactThe lockout has made this a difficult and trying offseason for college players who went undrafted. Rookie free agents are some of the players who benefit the most from the offseason team activities that take place in May and June. Because those didn't happen, it's unlikely an undrafted free agent this season will have the impact LeGarrette Blount had with the Buccaneers last season. As you look over my list of the top 20 available UFAs, keep this in mind: The two positions that are the easiest to come in and play right away are running back and cornerback; the two most difficult are quarterback and wide receiver. With running backs, the hardest thing they have to learn is blitz pick-up, but otherwise the learning curve is by far the easiest.

With corners, the learning process is not as great as it is at other defensive positions. A guy who is athletic and knows how to break on the ball has the chance to play early. It's difficult for receivers because of the multitude of coverages they see and the split-second decisions they have to make each down. And obviously, the learning curve for quarterbacks is extremely high. One thing going in their favor, however, is how much passing is dominating the game in college, so the transition is easier now than it was 10 years ago, as Sam Bradford showed last season. Here are the top 20 undrafted free agents who will be snatched up in short order: 

Inside the mind of an NFL GM - AFC North Blog - ESPNThe NFL is about to embark on its wild free-agency period ever. Because of this year's lengthy lockout, hundreds of players will be signed in a matter of days, in addition to rookie draft picks and rookie free agents. A supplemental draft also will be held. The AFC North blog contacted former Washington Redskins general manager Vinny Cerrato for insight on what 32 front offices will be facing in the next several weeks. Here is Cerrato's guide to navigating through this unprecedented stretch:

Bill Barnwell on NFL free agents whom you meet in hell - GrantlandSpeculating on NFL free agents is a risky business. With 18 years of the modern free-agency system in the books, you would think teams and their front offices would know whom to avoid. But year after year, contracts whose net worth rivals the GDP of several developing countries are given out to players who have little to no chance of earning out that money. For general managers, free agency is a minefield. One misstep can cost you your job, your livelihood, and sometimes your soul. (How else would you describe the existential pain of sitting next to Matt Millen in the commentator's booth?) But never fear! We come bearing information that can help save wayward general managers from themselves. When evaluating NFL free agents, there are certain archetypes that stand out as particularly bad bets. Avoid the following types at all costs. Without further ado, we present the free agents you meet in hell.

Sports Radio Interviews " Blog Archive " Dhani Jones on Carson Palmer: "He’s Not Coming Back … He sold his house, flew his family, his dogs are gone."On the players believing there’s no way Carson Palmer is coming back to the Bengals: "He’s not coming back. … He sold his house, flew his family, his dogs are gone, the ketchup inside the refrigerator. … [His brother] Jordan refers to him as his former teammate. I think his brother would know best, right?" Does Mike Brown trade Carson Palmer?: "I think they’re at a standoff. I think Carson’s probably going to have to retire. I don’t think Mike Brown and Carson would ever see eye-to-eye in that situation. I think it’s one or the other. Mike, if you have a contract, you fulfill the obligations of your contract. He talks about it every time we go into training camp."

Free Agency 2011 - Two Views on the NFC West | ProFootballFocus.comSeattle Seahawks . Which player do they need to resign? Sam: Given what he showed for them in his first year away from Indy, I think they’d be nuts not to try and retain Raheem Brock, who was visibly more effective and dangerous carrying less weight.

Khaled: I do like Brock, but they have a stud defensive tackle in Brandon Mebane that they’re going to let get away. He should have been franchised given his abilities, and it surprises me the Seahawks are prepared to part with him. They won’t re-sign him, but they should. . What area is the team’s biggest need to upgrade?

Sam: I’m growing bored of talking about the O-line, so how about an upgrade at safety for the Seahawks, as Earl Thomas could do with a partner in the secondary.

Missed Tackles - Three Year Bests and Worsts | ProFootballFocus.comJust take him down! Football, under all its sophisticated cat and mouse scheming, is still a game of blocking and tackling, and you expect defenders to make tackles. We’ve now got three seasons worth of data in the books and it shows that all too often they don’t. . Obviously, modern defensive players differ dramatically depending on the position they play, and the tackles being made by defensive linemen rarely resemble those being made by cornerbacks or safeties in the open field with space to marshall. As we’ll see a little later, the numbers reflect that. Nevertheless, it’s interesting seeing the distribution of players and the variance of performance within the same position over just three short seasons.

Danieal Manning - Chicago Bears - 2011 Player Profile - Rotoworld.comCiting team sources, ESPN Chicago reports that the Bears are unlikely to offer free agent SS Danieal Manning a contract higher than the three-year, $6 million proposal they made late last season. Beat writer Michael C. Wright is a bit perplexed by the stance because of how well Manning played last season. The Bears are extremely high on 2010 third-round pick Major Wright, however, and he's far cheaper than Manning will prove. An underrated safety capable of playing both free and strong, Manning missed just three tackles last year and realized his potential in coverage.

Kyle Orton - Denver Broncos - 2011 Player Profile - Rotoworld.com: Woody Paige of the Denver Post predicts that the Broncos will receive an offer of a "conditional draft pick and a veteran player" in exchange for Kyle Orton after the lockout. Paige isn't certain Orton will be traded, believing it will come down to whether Tim Tebow shows he's capable of dropping back quickly from center when training camp starts. Paige suggests the Cardinals, Seahawks, Dolphins, "and/or" Titans as teams that may be willing to swing a deal for Orton. Keep in mind that Paige is a columnist -- not a reporter -- and is likely just guessing.

NFL.com Blogs " Blog Archive Three and out: Rice could return to stardom "Will Sidney Rice be a bust?: Clearly, Rice will be one of the most coveted wide receivers on the free-agent market once player movement is allowed. But is he a lock to make a major impact, both on the field and in fantasy land? Remember, Rice has had knee issues in the past and also missed most of the 2010 campaign while recovering from hip surgery. While he will be back at 100 percent this season and possesses a ton of upside, Rice has only had one truly productive season at the NFL level — that came in 2009 with Brett Favre under center. In 20 career games in which Favre wasn’t with the Vikings or didn’t play the majority of the team’s snaps, Rice has averaged 2.9 receptions for 37 yards. Those are ugly numbers. So if Rice stays with the Vikings and has Christian Ponder throwing him the football, he becomes an instant bust candidate. But if he winds up with the Bears and is catching passes from Jay Cutler, for example, Rice will be a much more attractive choice.

Update on Sidney RiceWhether it's the Seattle Seahawks or some other team that lands free agent wide receiver Sidney Rice in free agency, there is some sense that his next deal will be heavily incentive-laden, with not as much guaranteed money as other pacts recently signed by WRs. "I see somebody loading him up [with incentives]," an AFC personnel director told Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Radio, "giving him enough money to make it interesting enough for him to come, but then also not tying their hands to a contract that says that they've got to give him a bunch of guaranteed money and then he ends up having another injury-plagued season."

Seattle Seahawks Blog - Hawk Blogger: Say No To Sidney RiceSomewhere along the way to a resolution of this CBA, people have become enamored with the idea of the Seahawks adding a "#1 receiver" to play flanker opposite Mike Williams. Brock Huard and Mike Salk have been discussing this the last few days on their radio show, and many callers seem to agree that the top needs for the Seahawks are QB, OG, and big-play WR. Sidney Rice is the guy who gets the most play. No Mo Lo Co! Stop the madness!

A closer look at Richard Sherman | Seahawks InsiderCarroll, who recruited Sherman as a cornerback while at USC, likes his potential. "We know he has great length, he has terrific ball skills, and the fact that he tackles so well," Carroll said after the draft. "All that adds up, and he ran 4.4’s. We had no problem with any aspect of his build up. "Not everyone appreciates press corners like we do, and the length that he has to help him with the jam stuff. It’s a big deal in our style of play, if we can suit our players to it, and Richard is really one of those guys that we’re going to go right at it with him. He’s a big kid; there are very few kids who play corner like that."

Nick Foles (QB, Arizona) & tempered expectations " Seahawks Draft BlogOver the last couple of weeks we’ve had a closer look at a number of the proposed quarterback options for the 2012 draft. The conclusion I’ve come to is that the group is deep with names, but not necessarily deep with first round picks. Potentially there are two players who I rate extremely highly as potential franchise quarterbacks – Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley. Even then, it’s not a shoe-in that either will glide into the NFL as the sure things that many seem to believe they are. After all, they’re going to be drafted early by bad football teams. 

NFL free agents: Assessing the defensive tackle crop - The Huddle - USATODAY.comThe top defensive tackles likely to be available in the 2011 free-agent market:

Players Fail To Vote, Could Be Two More Weeks " Phin Phanatic | A Miami Dolphins blogAccording to Chester Pitts the player rep for the Seattle Seahawks, a new labor deal may not come for another two weeks.  If that is the case then both sides can forget about the 200 million dollars they would make off the Hall of Fame game as it will be cancelled…and quite possibly a few more as not all pre-season games are played on Sundays.  Still at the heart of the labor mess is the players desire to receive 320 million in lost benefits from the uncapped 2010 season.

Seahawks Blog | NFC West Co-op: The Seahawks a work-in-progress | Seattle Times NewspaperSeahawks' lockout report: The housecleaning Seattle began in Pete Carroll's first season as head coach was going to be completed this offseason. That was why Seattle restructured the contracts of veteran starters like offensive tackle Sean Locklear, linebacker Leroy Hill and safety Jordan Babineaux, making them free agents after 2010. The Seahawks were going to keep turning over their roster. Then the lockout happened, and after the resolution, Seattle is going to have only a few shopping days to try and upgrade a roster that has more than 20 players scheduled to be free agents. That uncertainty was reflected in Seattle's players-only workouts - or more accurately the lack thereof. There was one weekend players got together en masse, but in Seattle, but mostly it was smaller groups.

Seattle Seahawks Blog - Hawk Blogger: Remember...Special Teams? A Series Looking Back @ 2010 Seahawks: Rusty Tillman would have been proud. The 2010 Seattle Seahawks special teams lived up to the name. There were special returns, special hits, special kicks, special coverage and special results. Leon Washington rightly got a lot of the attention with his insatiable appetite for the end zone, but so much of what made that unit great had nothing to do with Washington. Even the best kick/punt returners only score a few touchdowns each season. Elite special teams units effect field position in each and every game. Players like Olindo Mare, Jon Ryan, Roy Lewis, Matt McCoy, Kennard Cox and others helped lift Seattle special teams to a lofty #3 spot in Football Outsiders statistical rankings across the NFL.

NFL.com news: Cardinals coach Whisenhunt engulfed by Kolb trade rumorsTeams are forbidden from discussing potential trades during the NFL lockout, but Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt didn't exactly dismiss growing speculation that Arizona will pursue a swap of cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb once a new labor deal is struck. "I don't even know where that speculation started about trading or what we're going to give up," Whisenhunt told The Arizona Republic on Wednesday. "We don't even know if they (the Eagles) are willing to do that. That's something that everybody speculates on."

Making the Grade - Middle / Inside Linebackers, 2008-2010 | ProFootballFocus.com: 2.  Stephen Tulloch, Tennessee Titans It will surprise many to see Tulloch this high, and it’s fair to say but for injuries both the man at number four on this list and E.J. Henderson would have been ahead of him. But Tulloch is an underrated player, even if he doesn’t  make the kind of highlight reel plays that live long in the memory. What he is though is a sideline to sideline, free flowing tackling machine. Teams need like guys like that. Grade:  +28.5 .

3.  Paul Posluszny, Buffalo Bills It may seem weird to have Posluszny here, given last year he either played at OLB in a 4-3 or inside in a 3-4. But this is where he’s played the majority of snaps over the past three years, and so this is where he belongs in this exercise. The sad thing is Posluszny may be one of the most complete middle linebackers in the league, who struggled with the Bills scheme not knowing what it wanted to do. Still, put him back in the middle and he’s a talent. Grade:  +25.7

Both Free Agents. That I like. 

Seattle Seahawks Blog - Hawk Blogger: Seahawks Who Could Flash In 2011: Free agents are great and all, but there is a long and painful history that shows free agency is not where a team really improves. The best free agent signings are when a team that is one or two players from competing for a championship plugs those holes. A 2009 Minnesota Vikings team that was a competent quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender would be a classic example. A team like the Seahawks is dozens of players from being a team that can contend. Sure, the NFC West could fall apart again and a mediocre Seahawks team could sneak in the playoffs and make a run, but that's not the way to build a champion. Instead, Seattle will need players already on the roster to grow into more than they were last year, or draft picks to make an instant impact. Below is a run through of just a few of the players that could emerge as important parts of the 2011 Seahawks.

Commish for a day: What would you do? - NFC West Blog - ESPN: Create a minor league: Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. envisions a minor-league system much like the one in place for baseball. Williamson: "It would be a fantastic place to cultivate young talent -- especially at quarterback. Players would get valuable game experience. It would be a breeding ground for young coaches and scouts as well. Practice squads and game-day inactives would be a thing of the past, and the major league team could send players up and down as it wished." I like the idea, but this league would have to play its games during the NFL regular season, making it potentially tougher to draw crowds. Perhaps the minor-league teams could operate outside their parent team's immediate markets. The comments section of Williamson's item included solid feedback, including jimmycyo's suggestion to have the minor-league season run 8-10 games and end about two-thirds of the way through the NFL regular season. The minor-league teams would run the same schemes. NFL rosters would expand late in the season, allowing select minor-league prospects to assimilate.

I absolutely LOVE this idea. Make it happen.

Clayton unsure if Seahawks still want Matt Hasselbeck - Blog - MyNorthwest.com"I don't know if they'll pay $5 million (per year), I don't know if they'll pay $6 million," Clayton said of Hasselbeck, "but if there's no offer from Seattle, you take the best offer and it very well could be in Nashville." Clayton said he's "getting the feeling" that the Seahawks could have serious interest in quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, a free agent who spent the first five years of his career with the Vikings and has ties with Seattle's new offensive coordinator, Darrel Bevell.

Schein sizzle and fizzle San Bradford and Plaxico Burress and Peyton Manning - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSNAntonio Cromartie Cromartie wants to get paid, and I think he will during free agency. In a wide ranging, explosive, exclusive interview on the SiriusXM Blitz, Cromartie told us, "At the end of the day, I would love to be a Jet. But I also want to go out and see what the market is and see what my value is. At the end of the day, to me, there is no such thing as a hometown discount. I ain't giving a hometown discount to nobody." Cromartie tells us he'll follow the Nmamdi Asomugha sweepstakes and can cash in with the teams who don't land Nmandi. He listed the Jets, Texans, Bucs, Seahawks, Cardinals, Cowboys and Raiders as teams who could use his services — and he's right.

Kelly Jennings: Seahawks could bring back CB Jennings?The Tacoma News Tribune predicts the Seahawks will bring back free agent CB Kelly Jennings "for continued depth at a need position." We're not so sure on this one. Coach Pete Carroll wants bigger, more physical corners that can make quarterbacks throw into tighter windows. Neither Jennings nor last year's discard, Josh Wilson, fit that profile. Jennings is likely to get a better offer from another team.

Tarvaris Jackson: Clayton: T-Jax to Seahawks, Hass to TitansESPN's John Clayton is hearing "increased rumblings" of Tarvaris Jackson landing in Seattle and Matt Hasselbeck signing with the Titans. Clayton is most reliable on Seahawks news, but it seems as if he's simply passing along league buzz here. Jackson and Hasselbeck have been connected to the Seahawks and Titans respectively for months now. Jackson knows new Seattle coordinator Darrell Bevel's offense, which leaves fewer complications after a lost offseason.

Seattle set to hit ground running when - if - players OK new CBA - Seahawks - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington news, weather and sportsSeattle Seahawks fans agonizing over the four-month-old lockout take note – your team could take the field for training camp in a little more than a week. Maybe. NFL owners overwhelmingly voted to approve a settlement with players in Atlanta on Thursday, considered a precursor to the two sides ultimately agreeing on a new collective bargaining agreement. That group included a Seattle contingent led by owner Paul Allen and CEO Peter McLoughlin. Sea-hawks general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll stayed in Seattle, ready to begin operations if given the green light.

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