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Auditing Last Season's Offseason Checklist, Pt. 3

I commented today how miserable a workplace becomes when people in power refuse to admit mistakes. In that Royal Tenebaum way, immediately after making this statement, I realized that it was true. I realized how ruefully stupid and anachronistic this

Colt Brennan, John David Booty and/or Erik Ainge may all slip into the third round. Each, to my eyes, have what it takes to make it in the pros.

read, while compiling yesterday's post. Brennan, Booty and Ainge in the third didn't seem too preposterous January 16, 2008, but it proved to be preposterous by April 27, 2008. What's it mean? Well it means a couple of things. I was wrong. Things change. And maybe most importantly, I'm not a scout. Which isn't to say I can't scout, I think I have a pretty good eye for it, but to say I'm not a scout, will not have a private workout with Matthew Stafford, and will not attend the NFL Combine. Instead, I'm an analyst, and my thing is taking all the information, scouting and statistical, include my own scouting and statistical takes and hopefully make the right picks.

This is the stuff that fell under my "considerations" subtitle:

Draft, Sign, Develop or Trade for a Starting Caliber Safety

Whatever you think of Brian Russell, Seattle needs depth at safety. A run stopper who could hold his own in coverage could vault Seattle's already stout run D into exclusive company. For 2 years, Seattle has struggled allowing long runs. Deon Grant is a fine tackler for a free safety, but that statement speaks for itself. A starting caliber strong safety, who might be a little worse in coverage than Russell, but loads better at run stopping, would ameliorate Seattle's worst run weakness (long runs), plus improve the coverage and run stopping play of the free safety (by moving Deon Grant back to his natural position). No other single move could do more to improve Seattle's already very good defense.

Wocka, wocka, wocka.

Begin Negotiations to Re-Sign Leroy Hill

Hill looks primed for a breakout next season. Incidentally, the season before he enters free agency. Seattle can lock this guy up on the sly now, or battle the market and its inflated rates next offseason.

Despite the standard Ruskell brinksmanship, I think Seattle re-signs Hill. Halfway through last season, Hill was on pace for a career high in tackles, flying all over the field, covering for a hobbled Lofa Tatupu, and setting his market value way over Seattle's head. And then he got high injured. Football isn't likely to be influenced by the recession as much as baseball and I don't expect an offseason of depressed contracts, but I think Hill failed to truly distinguish himself and will settle for something mid-range. My not so bold prediction: Seattle will re-sign Hill to a contract that gets expensive just as Julian Peterson gets expendable.

Draft, Sign...a Replacement for Rocky Bernard

Big Rock has been plagued by injuries each of the last two seasons, and nearing 28, steep decline is a real possibility as early as next season. Seattle should look to gifted one-gap tackles, with good size, that may fall to the later rounds of the draft. That's how they got Big Rock, and that's the best way to replace him.

Seattle drafted Field Gulls endorsed Red Bryant, I rejoiced - later I questioned Bryant's long term viability and Seattle, if not back at square one, was back at square      two.

Draft, Sign...a Tight End

Tight end is simply not the priority it was when Mike Holmgren first joined the Seahawks. Having a tight end on roster that could block and provide a Marcus Pollard (not counting this last contest) level of production in the passing game would be sufficient. That might be Joe Newton, a free agent or a draftee. One way or another, it should not cost Seattle a major outlay of resources.

Seattle spent a second and third round pick to draft John Carlson and though that's a major outlay of resources, the talent was sufficient and it proved to be a good move. Obviously, there's a point where talent trumps need. After moving away from the position in 2006 and 2007, Mike Holmgren finally had a tight end he could build an offense around and did, and, as fanboy legends foretold, that offense played like shite.

Attempt to Re-Sign Josh Brown, Ellis Wyms, Niko Koutouvides and Kevin Bentley

In that order of priority, though I might put Wyms ahead of Brown. Don't break the bank for any of them.

Seattle didn't sign any of the four and missed only Wyms. There's a reason this stuff was buried under "considerations".

Explore Trading Patrick Kerney

Kerney's value is very high, and he stands atop that precipice that has claimed better defensive ends than him: his early 30s. This is the classic Billy Beane, move-'em-while-they're-hot strategy. Not very likely, by any means, but worth exploring.

It's still a mootable idea. Seattle was all-in on 2008 and trading Kerney was trading their ~best defender. It certainly would have caused backlash when Seattle tanked. Knowing now how poorly Seattle played with Kerney, this looks like a no-brainer, but it didn't seem so then.

Explore Trading for Julius Peppers

Don't let one season fool you, Peppers is still a freakish talent in the prime of his career. His 16 million dollar cap number and recent poor performance make him potentially available. Let Randy Moss be an exemplar, when a one of a kind talent is available, every team in its right mind should attempt to get their hands on him.

Peppers suffered another awful season and may not be long for this league. Poor, miserable, six-foot-seven athletic marvel.