Seahawks Free Agency 2011 Recap: Assessing the Moves

The Hawks have been movers and shakers in this shortened period of free agency and for the most part I've been very excited about what they're doing. Because it's been a bit of a whirlwind, and because I'm obsessively organized, let's take a minute to sum up what's happened, and I'll give some brief thoughts on what Pete and John have done to the Seahawks' roster.

First, the Hawks brought in a large crop of undrafted free agents. By my count, I'd say we're sitting at 22 training camp invitees. There are some intriguing players in that group and judging on the depth at certain spots on the team, a few of them could even catch on to the 53-man roster.

For your viewing pleasure, here's the list of UDFAs the Hawks have brought in:

  • DT Ladi Ajiboye South Carolina
  • DE Pierre Allen Nebraska
  • WR Doug Baldwin Stanford
  • FB Dorson Boyce Washington
  • DE Jarrett Crittenton Middle Tennessee State
  • P John Gold Texas
  • CB Jesse Hoffman Eastern Washington
  • G Michael Huey Texas
  • T Zach Hurd Connecticut
  • S Jeron Johnson Boise State
  • QB Zac Lee Nebraska
  • WR Ricardo Lockette Fort Valley State
  • LB Deron Minor McNeese State
  • LB Mike Morgan USC
  • G/C Brent Osborne Harvard
  • CB Ron Parker Newberry
  • QB Josh Portis California (Pa.)
  • S Rickey Thenarse Nebraska
  • TE Ryan Travis West Liberty
  • LB Blake Sorensen, Wisconsi
  • LB Neal Howey, Eastern Michigan
  • K Wes Bynum, Auburn
It's tough to choose the guys you like in that list - but I'd say the offensive linemen Zach Hurd and Michael Huey have a shot at making the team. I'd say defensive linemen Ladi Ajiboye and Pierre Allen could find places because of the lack of depth in their positions. I'd say that Ricardo Lockette and Doug Baldwin could stick because they were so heavily recruited by Schneider and Carroll. Really, it's anyone's guess though.

Now, on the the meat and potatoes. The Hawks decided to let Matt Hasselbeck walk and signed QB Tarvaris Jackson from the Vikings. I'm withholding judgement on this decision until I've been able to watch more game replays but this is probably the only signing that I'm not super-excited about. It's not that I think he'll be terrible necessarily, it's just that his track record is underwhelming and it's an important position. I'm going into this season with the "wait and see" attitude and I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Next, the Seahawks bolstered their offensive line with the addition of LG Robert Gallery. Think this is a solid move. He'll be a veteran presence on a young line and he's got awesome hair.

The Hawks went out and signed WR Sidney Rice. He's 24, has a ton of upside, and could be a big weapon for the Seahawks in 2011 and down the line. Love the pickup.

Will Herring signed with New Orleans so the Seahawks brought back LB Leroy Hill. I actually like this signing as well. I think Hill has the potential to be a very solid weakside linebacker if he stays healthy (and makes the team), and he is a bit of an insurance policy for Lofa Tatupu. If Tats gets hurt, David Hawthorne can move to the middle linebacker spot and Hill can slide in at the will. This is assuming the young bucks, rookies and UDFAs don't make a really good impression and leapfrog Hill on the depth chart.

The Hawks re-signed Matt McCoy. I don't really know much about McCoy because he's basically limited to special teams, but apparently he does that very well so I'm open to the signing. I think he'll have a large group of young guys nipping at his heels for his roster spot though.

The Hawks re-signed Michael Robinson. I like the move - he's a versatile guy that's well-liked on the team and by the fans. He's capable as a fullback, is a special teams ace, and is cheap. I'd like to see the Hawks bring in a true, big, bruising fullback as well and that could be on the menu today. We'll see.

All nine of our rookies have signed. OT James Carpenter, OG John Moffitt, LB K.J. Wright, WR Kris Durham, S Mark LeGree, CB Richard Sherman, DB Byron Maxwell, LB Malcolm Smith, and DE Lazarius Levingston: welcome to the Seahawks. That was drama-free.

The Seahawks re-signed DT Junior Siavii and DE Alan Branch. I love both of these moves. I explained why I like the Branch signing here, but neglected to note that as long as Siavii can stay healthy, he'll be a very good rotational defensive tackle and even a guy that you might end up seeing at the starting nose tackle position (provided we don't go out and sign another one and/or Colin Cole remains gimpy footed). 

The Seahawks have released OG Chris White and OT Stacy Andrews, and waived LB Joe Pawalek, DT Barrett Moen and DB James Brindley. Andrews' release freed up about $5 million in cap space, so that made me happy. The other releases evoked exactly zero emotion in me.

Finally, the Seahawks re-signed Brandon Mebane. As of now, this has to be the feather in their cap -- he was chased after and wooed by several other teams but ultimately decided to stay home. He has been and will continue to be a starter on the defensive line and is a valuable and young core player on this team. 

I'm sure I'm missing something. But overall - pretty solid. Let's keep this train rollin -- we'll see if any more moves are made today.


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