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Coffee & Cigarettes: Seahawks links for Wednesday

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Holy free agency.

Signing Michael Bennett was priority No. 1 for Seahawks | Seahawks | The Seattle Times
Michael Bennett’s versatility – he can stop the run and rush the passer, and he can play anywhere on the defensive line – is what makes him so valuable to the Seahawks.

Michael Bennett sack dance: ‘two angels dancing while chocolate is coming from the heavens’ | Seahawks | The Seattle Times
Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has a distinct sack dance when he makes a play, which he has done often as Seattle’s leader in sacks. But how do teammates describe it?

Report: Jets pursuing former Seahawks tackle Breno Giacomini | ProFootballTalk
Breno Giacomini won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in February on the field the New York Jets call home.

Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars reach 3-year deal -
The Jacksonville Jaguars are moving forward with Toby Gerhart. The former Minnesota Vikings running back signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Jags on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport.

Alterraun Verner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers strike deal -
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to terms with former Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner. What does that mean for Darrelle Revis' future in Tampa?

DeMarcus Ware, Denver Broncos look like a match -
The Denver Broncos have emerged as the favorites to sign former Dallas Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. How many other playoff teams are in the Ware hunt?

Jonathan Martin traded to San Francisco 49ers -
Jonathan Martin will resume his football career. The embattled offensive tackle was traded from the Miami Dolphins to the San Francisco 49ers, where he'll reunite with his college coach Jim Harbaugh.

Andrew Hawkins gets offer sheet by Cleveland Browns -
The Cleveland Browns have signed Cincinnati Bengals restricted free agent Andrew Hawkins to a multiyear offer sheet, Albert Breer reports. Do the Bengals plan to match the offer?

Jairus Byrd, Saints agree on six-year, $56M contract -
Jairus Byrd and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to terms on a six-year, $56 million contract. The three-time All-Pro safety spent the first five seasons of his pro career on the Buffalo Bills.

Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars reach 3-year deal -
The Jacksonville Jaguars are moving forward with Toby Gerhart. The former Minnesota Vikings running back signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Jags on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport.

The 49ers need to address looming contract concerns. | : Russ Lande Article
Sports on Earth's NFL writers Mike Tanier, Dan Pompei, Russ Lande and Robert Weintraub will be providing an offseason assessment of all 32 NFL teams -- identifying the most pressing problems facing each one and proposing the best solutions. Click here for links to every entry in the series.

Jaguars release running back Justin Forsett | ProFootballTalk
The Jaguars are parting ways with an experienced backup tailback. According to Adam Schefter, the Jaguars have cut running back Justin Forsett. The 28-year-old Forsett played nine games for the Jaguars in 2014, rushing for 31 yards on six carries and catching 15 passes for 82 yards.

Rashard Mendenhall's early retirement is part of a larger NFL trend. | : Dan Pompei Article
Time has always been the fiercest opponent for NFL players, and they continue to age even more quickly. But Rashard Mendenhall is the latest to see his career as a sprint, moving up the finish line to take better control of his life after football.

(1) How will Michael Johnson fare in Tampa Bay? | Q
Michael Johnson earned his big free-agent payday in Mike Zimmer’s system in Cincinnati.

2014 NFL Free Agency - Santonio Holmes, Sidney Rice worth a look for several teams - ESPN
To no one's surprise, Santonio Holmes has been let go by the New York Jets. He simply was not worth the cap space he was taking up. But Holmes still has plenty left in the tank, and could be an asset elsewhere, at the right price.

Walt Aikens Interview | Inside The War Room
"My whole mindset was to dominate, I had a chip on my shoulder in that I wanted to prove that I deserved to be playing big time football and I feel like I did that."

Five NFL Stats That Should Really Be Official | The Tailgater
NFL free agency has arrived! Soon, players will be changing teams like crazy, and while working furiously to keep pace, I will find myself reaching for that one killer, easy-to-understand statistic that best expresses a player’s value/limitations so I can wrap a quick blog entry and move on to the next guy.

Scout's Notebook: Evaluating The Offensive Line
This week in our 'Scout's Notebook' series, our panel of draft experts gives you an insider's perspective on how to evaluate each of the offensive line positions. Think you have what it takes to be a scout? See how the pro's break down the tape ..

Video of the Week : News : Senior Bowl
Phil Savage's 'Best in Show' from the NFL Combine: DB's

Anthony McCoy re-signs with Seahawks
On the first day of the NFL free-agency period, the Seahawks retained another of their own players by signing tight end Anthony McCoy to a one-year contract.

DeMarcus Ware released by Dallas Cowboys | Audibles -
From 2005 through ’12, DeMarcus Ware was one of the best and most consistent pass-rushers in the NFL. The first-round pick out of Troy more than lived up to his small-school hype, amassing 111 sacks in his first eight seasons at the left and right outside linebacker positions in the Dallas Cowboys’ defenses. But when Jerry Jones fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after the 2012 campaign and replaced him with Monte Kiffin, Ware and bookend Anthony Spencer suddenly became the lightest pair of defensive ends in the league. It most certainly didn’t work out for Spencer, who lost all but one game of the 2013 season to microfracture surgery

Jaguars trade QB Blaine Gabbert to 49ers for sixth-round draft pick -
The Jaguars and 49ers have agreed to a trade that will send Blaine Gabbert to San Francisco for a sixth-round draft pick.

Gabbert traded from Jaguars, becomes option behind Kaepernick (fellow 2011 draft class) | 49ers Hot Read
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s next back-up potentially will be Blaine Gabbert, who the 49ers acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Donte Whitner "coming home" to Cleveland for $7 million a year | ProFootballTalk
Donte Whitner is leaving San Francisco to play in his hometown of Cleveland, and he’ll be well paid by the Browns.

Golden Tate to visit with Lions | ProFootballTalk
The Lions have a need for a receiver to put across from Calvin Johnson and it looks like they have their sights set on Golden Tate. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Tate will visit with the Lions on Tuesday night.

Clinton McDonald a big loss for Seattle - Seattle Seahawks Blog - ESPN
The Seattle Seahawks suffered their first big loss Tuesday when defensive tackle Clinton McDonald agreed to a four-year deal with Tampa Bay for $12 million.

Jermichael Finley to visit Seahawks for physical | ProFootballTalk
The free agent is headed to Seattle tonight, and will take a physical for the Seahawks tomorrow, according to Rob Demovsky of

McCoy officially signs one-year deal to stay with Seahawks | Seahawks Blog | Seattle Times
As was rumored and reported on Monday, tight end Anthony McCoy today signed a one-year deal to remain with the Seahawks.

Free agency 2014: Seahawks Live Blog | Seahawks Draft Blog
Updates and instant reaction as it happens

NFL Draft 2014: The offensive linemen
Many of the early mock drafts are projecting that the Seahawks will select an offensive linemen with the 32nd pick in May’s NFL Draft, and this year’s class offers quality at the top and depth through several rounds.

Bar is set low for Jared Veldheer - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Next up at left tackle for the Arizona Cardinals, Jared Veldheer.

2014 NFL Free Agency - Which teams should pursue DeMarcus Ware? - ESPN
One of the biggest NFL stories on Monday was the Cowboys' release of DeMarcus Ware. One of the best Cowboys ever, their all-time sack leader and a sure-fire Hall of Famer, Ware is obviously at a crossroads in his fantastic career. At this stage of his career, Ware isn't the explosive player he once was and he played through a lot of injuries last season, so he is a tough player to evaluate based off his 2013 tape. However, it's clear that he is on the decline. He has had offseason surgery in each of the past two years and had just six sacks in 2013.

Jake Ballard could make play as a starter - NFC West Blog - ESPN
One staple to any Bruce Arians-coached offense is having two tight ends who can produce -- and preferably at high levels.

St. Louis Rams make right call letting Rodger Saffold leave - ESPN
Even before the end of the 2013 NFL season, I was not shy in expressing my belief in the importance of the St. Louis Rams retaining offensive lineman Rodger Saffold.

Cardinals Sign Jared Veldheer, Grading the Move and What It Means for Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals search for their franchise left tackle is over. According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the organization reached an agreement with former Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Jared Veldheer. Veldheer’s deal spans five years, pays him $35 million total and $17 million guaranteed.

Michael Bennett, Seahawks Strike Perfect Contract to Start Their Title Defense
General manager John Schneider and the Seattle Seahawks got an early start to free agency. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the organization locked up its most prized possession on Monday when it re-signed defensive end Michael Bennett to a four-year, $28.5 million deal.

Mike Mitchell, Pittsburgh Steelers reach agreement -
The Pittsburgh Steelers are adding former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell to play alongside Troy Polamalu -- who won't be lining up with Ryan Clark for the first time in nearly a decade.

Jared Allen set to meet with Denver Broncos -
Jared Allen is testing free agency for the first time, with his first visit being with the Denver Broncos, Ian Rapoport reported. Allen is just one of many prominent free agents making visits this week.

Even if Raiders overpay, trading for Darrelle Revis makes some sense -
If Darrelle Revis hits the open market, the Raiders' chance of landing him are reduced. So why not make a play for a trade now?

Day 1 free-agent Musings: Some early grades for lots of big deals -
It will take time to tell if any of the first-day free-agent moves pay off, but it's time to offer up some quick grades on some of the moves that have happened so far.

The offseason blueprint | National Football Post
How NFL teams approach that integral period of time that takes place from free agency until the draft.

49ers sign Antoine Bethea to four-year deal | ProFootballTalk
"Indy it’s been real," Bethea wrote on Twitter. "Fans and city showed me nothing but love my eight years there and greeted me w/ open arms Appreciate all the support! Glad to be a Niner!! Going to the Bay!"

Gonzalez forced Falcons’ hand by not filing retirement papers | ProFootballTalk
Per a league source, Gonzalez was due to receive a substantial bonus if on the roster as of Thursday. The Falcons had assumed that Gonzalez would file retirement papers, which would eliminate the bonus.

Predictions in Review: AFC North —
During the 2013 offseason, I wrote 32 articles under the RPO 2013 tag. In my Predictions in Review series, I review those preview articles with the benefit of hindsight. Previously, I reviewed the AFC West, the NFC West, the the AFC South, and the NFC South. Today, the AFC North.

No shortage of free agency suitors for late-blooming quarterback Josh McCown - NFL - Don Banks -
Throughout his eventful 11-year NFL career, Michael Vick and his out-sized reputation have often commanded far more attention than his on-field production deserved. But I don't foresee history repeating itself with Vick in the case of this year's modest free-agent class of quarterbacks. In the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately NFL, Josh McCown has done far more of late than Vick, and I think his market in free agency will deservedly reflect that.

An Inside View on NFL Draft Pro Days
Another day, another interview.

2014 NFL Draft: 6 Prospects to Avoid Early
It happens every year. Several teams will pull the trigger on prospects in the early rounds whom they somehow thought were going to be the next big NFL star...

Use of the Roster Bonus in Free Agency - Over the Cap
The use of the roster bonus is something to keep an eye on as we enter the free agency period. It’s a good tool for teams who have available cap space to use.

On the Clock: Q&A with former Texas A&M WR Mike Evans -
He believes he's the best receiver in the draft, and can't wait to go one-on-one against Richard Sherman (and win). We caught up with former Texas A&M WR Mike Evans and put him on the clock.

Michael Johnson signing alters Buccaneers' draft plans a bit -
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' signing of DE Michael Johnson changes up the team's draft plans just a little bit, but offensive tackle, wide receiver, quarterback, and even cornerback remain big needs.