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Kickoff Return Specialist Willie Ponder Signed, Maurice Mann Released

Bulletin from Sando: The Seahawks have signed WR Willie Ponder, a former Giant, and have released Maurice Mann to make room on the roster.

According to Sando the move was made to bolster the Seahawks' special teams unit which, it could be argued, suffered a very minor setback when Peter Warrick was cut from the team.

Ponder was released by the Giants over the weekend.


Ponder was a 6th-round pick in 2003. ESPN's scout reports say he's an excellent ball handler, very good with difficult, away-from-the-body receptions. There are questions concerning his intellectual grasp of certain pass routes and coverage recognition.

Ponder does indeed have a stunning track record in special teams over the last couple of years. He led the league in kickoff return yardage in 2004, the same year he became only one of four Giants to return two kickoffs for touchdowns.

As for Mann, the news comes less than 12 hours after The Monterey (CA) Herald posted a feel-good piece about his finally making the team. Darn the luck.

In case you're wondering, no word on the Branch-Patriots standoff. Although the Boston Globe publishes expert opinions that say the Pats hold all the cards.