SEATTLE WA - JANUARY 08: Jordan Babineaux #27 of the Seattle Seahawks reacts after the Seahawks stop the New Orleans Saints on fourth down in the third quarter during the 2011 NFC wild-card playoff game at Qwest Field on January 8 2011 in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
As reported here and here, Jordan Babineaux' suitors came down to the Hawks and the Titans. He's had an expressed desire to go somewhere else since the start, while his agent advised him to stay with the Seahawks. In the end, Jerry Gray - our former DB coach and now the Titans DC - tipped the scales towards the Titans, though I'd guess Hasselbeck did a little recruiting as well.
Big Play Babs is a fringe starting guy talent-wise, with no real shot at starting for us, though he could've been the nominal starter in a heavy SS rotation. He's known more for turning heads with spectacular plays than anything else, but as I wrote here, that is ignoring the value he has had for two years with the Seahawks. First as a starter, then as a rotational guy that played 40% of all defensive snaps as his skillset and versatility allowed us to use him in short-yardage defense, the bandit defense, and the Nickel Babs defense, our 3-safety nickel set named for Jordan Babineaux.
Like Will Herring, this is a miss by the Seahawks that will be met with a lot of shrugs (and fond memories of big plays), but like Herring, the general perception might underestimate the value he brings to the team. I've been banging the drums pretty hard on both these players, and while Herring was swooped up fast I was hopeful we could retain Babs, and we certainly gave it a shot (or not, according to Danny O'Neil). Now we're faced with a very suspect young secondary. Hopefully PC can scheme out a lot of the damage, but I don't think any opposing offense will be particularly impressed by our passing defense. Re-signing Babs would not have immediately rectified that, but it would've been a bigger factor than one might think.
With Babs gone, we have several candidates to play the CB/S tweener role on our 3-safety package. 2010 UDFA Josh Pinkard appears to be leading the charge, though Byron Maxwell, Brandon Browner and perhaps Richard Sherman could also well fit in situationally.
You know what you can find after the break.