Tuesday cyber surfing: March Madness, NFL version

Good morning, and welcome to the start of NFL free agency. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, March 13:

Bucky Brooks at NFL.com gets us in the mood – or more in the mood – as the former NFL wide receiver and scout for the Seahawks offers his all-free agent team. He’s got Red Bryant at one tackle spot: “Bryant has quietly put together a solid career in Seattle as a versatile player along the frontline. He is listed as a defensive tackle on the roster, but he plays like a quasi-five-technique in their hybrid defense. As a result, he is an attractive option for teams looking for a base end to fortify their defensive front.” He’s also got David Hawthorne as one of his linebackers: “Versatility is certainly valued in the NFL, particularly at the linebacker position. Hawthorne possesses the skills to play anywhere on the second level. He has been a productive playmaker controlling the tackle-to-tackle box, but also displays the athleticism and quickness to shoot gaps from a weakside linebacker alignment.”

Peter King at SI.com offers his Top 50 free agents, with Bryant at No. 15 (“Perfect 3-4 end, but can also excel inside in 4-3. Seattle wants to keep him”); and tight end John Carlson at No. 48 (“Missed last year with a torn labrum, but he should be back healthy in 2012”).

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at some possible free agents of interest for the Seahawks: “Armed with at least $30 million in cap space after the league announced the salary cap for the new league year will be $120.6 million, the Seahawks have other, big-name targets in mind, including Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams, Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn and Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says there’s “a pretty strong buzz” that the Seahawks will pursue Williams, adding: “The Seahawks are not rebuilding so much as they are rebuilt. This offseason isn’t about addition, but avoiding attrition. The Seahawks wanted to re-sign running back Marshawn Lynch. They did. They still want to re-sign defensive end Red Bryant. Linebacker David Hawthorne led the team in tackles the past three years, and he’s a free agent. So is Leroy Hill, making K.J. Wright the only one of Seattle’s three starting linebackers signed for 2012. Beyond that, Seattle’s shopping list is shorter, and a lot more expensive. The Seahawks are seeking a quarterback and someone to sack the quarterback, which count as two of the four most expensive positions in an NFL budget.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the growing trend that has team prioritizing their players in free agency: “Ask pretty much any fan of any NFL team about free agency and they want their team to sign any – and seemingly all – available free agents. Cost and salary-cap ramifications be damned. But there is a growing trend in the league that goes in exactly the opposite direction, and starts with targeting your own players. ‘Our first concern is to take care of our team and take care of the guys that are unrestricted (free agents) on our team and fit that back together,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We have some room (under the salary cap) and we’re going to be able to do some stuff. But we really want to focus on the guys on our team, and I want that to be a strong message – that we believe the guys that we have put together here are the foundation of a championship team.’ ”

We also continue our series of looks at potential free agents with the running backs.

Randy Moss is back in the league and with a new team – the division rival 49ers. Chris Burke at SI.com has a look at what Moss could mean to the defending NFC West champs: “It’s not as if teams just forgot to sign the eccentric 35-year-old before he announced his (albeit short-lived) retirement prior to last season. His 2010 campaign was a mess, filled with disappointing stops in New England, Minnesota and Tennessee. All told, he caught just 28 passes and looked like a guy on his last legs.”

Peyton Manning? His situation remains fluid, as the Colts’ former QB visited with the Dolphins on Monday (in Indy) and is expect to meet with the Titans today or tomorrow. Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter at ESPN.com say the Titans are trying to entice Manning by possibly signing Steve Hutchinson, the All-Pro guard for the Seahawks and Vikings: “One goal of signing Hutchinson would be to make Tennessee even more appealing to Manning, who is close to the guard from the time they’ve spent together at multiple Pro Bowls in Hawaii.”

Clark Judge at CBSSports.com looks at the potential losers in the sweepstakes to land Manning: “Barring a last-minute entry, Denver, Miami and Arizona are the finalists in the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes, with no indication when Manning makes a decision. The smart money is on Denver, but let’s be honest: Nobody knows who wins and when. What we do know, however, is who could lose – and I can identify at least five guys whose careers and reputations depend on Manning’s next move. They are the few, the proud, the vulnerable, and Manning’s decision has an immediate impact on all – with some affected if he joins them, and others if he does not.”

The NFLDraftScout.com guys have updated mock drafts at CBSSports.com, and they have the Seahawks taking a pitcher (QB Ryan Tannehill) and a catcher (Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd) at No. 12. Here’s Dane Brugler on Tannehill: “With running back Marshawn Lynch re-signed, the Seahawks need to stabilize the quarterback position and Tannehill would give the Seahawks a long-term answer under center. Despite a limited resume at the position, Tannehill has all the physical tools to develop into a quality NFL starter.”

Chad Reuters at NFL.com also has a new mock and gives the Seahawks LSU D-tackle Michael Brockers: “Coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider have been accumulating big, long athletes all over the defense – and Brockers fits that description. Even though his combine workout wasn’t as impressive as (Dontari) Poe’s, some teams still feel the redshirt sophomore has better game film.”


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