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Friday cyber surfing: It’s all about free agency

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, March 16:

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. looks at five under-the-radar signings in free agency. It’s an “insiders” item at ESPN.com, so requires registration and a fee. But he includes the Seahawks retaining Red Bryant, and has this to say: “Bryant is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL whom you’ve never heard of, and he had an outstanding 2011 season for the Seahawks. A massive defensive end, Bryant fits Seattle’s unique defensive front extremely well as a power strongside defensive end, where he is almost as much a 3-4 end as he is 4-3 end. Bryant is just entering the prime of his career, and while he is a decent pass-rusher, he is excellent at disrupting passing lanes. Bryant’s forte, though, is demolishing an offense’s strongside running game. With Alan Branch also locked up, the Seahawks’ young talented defense is just one more edge pass-rusher from knocking on the door of elite.”

Also at ESPN.com, Mike Sando looks at where at the NFC West stands after the first wave of free agency and makes two points that definitely are worth repeating. He includes Bryant among the best re-signings: “Defensive end Red Bryant in Seattle and cornerback Carlos Rogers in San Francisco. Both players earned new contracts. The Seahawks in particular made a strong positive statement. They have the youngest defense in the league. It’s important for them to set an example by paying the right players. Bryant is the type of self-made team player they want to build around. So is Chris Clemons, who is entering the final year of his deal and could warrant an extension, in my view. Teams are better off taking care of their own core players rather than overpaying for castoffs from other organizations. The 49ers have taken this route. Looks like the Seahawks are taking it as well.”

The other involves the misperception that the Seahawks would be big players for Mario Williams, and falls under “most overhyped storyline”: “Mario Williams to Seattle. The Seahawks showed no interest in the former Houston defensive end/outside linebacker. Looks like Buffalo was the only team interested in paying huge money for him. Why else would Williams spend three days visiting the Bills, make no other trips and then sign with Buffalo, a team that had to pay a premium to land a high-profile free agent?”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times weighs in on why the Seahawks have yet to make a big free agent splash: “The Seahawks spent millions upgrading their offense in free agency last year. In 2012, they’re playing defense. Seattle has spent more time, not to mention money, keeping its team intact, as opposed to raiding other NFL rosters. The Seahawks have re-signed five players from last year’s team, and have yet to add an unrestricted free agent from another team. That may not do much in terms of earning national attention, but it is an important landmark in the rebuilding of a franchise.” Note: The Seahawks’ top priorities in free agency were retaining Marshawn Lynch, without using their franchise tag; and re-signing Red Bryant. They have done both, and then some.

Add Michael Robinson to that “taking care of their own” list, as the Pro Bowl fullback tweeted Thursday night that he’ll also remain with the team. Eric Williams at the News Tribune has the details: “Terms of Robinson’s deal were not disclosed, and a spokesman for the team indicated a deal has not been completed, but is expected. ‘12th Man, please(d) to announce I will be coming back next season! Time to win,’ Robinson posted on his Twitter account.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the continuing quest to find a left guard – a position where 12 players have started since Steve Hutchinson left after the 2005 season: “Twelve. Yes, the Seahawks are fueled by the Power of 12, that din generated at CenturyLink Field by the team’s loyal and loud 12th Man fans. But that number also lives – and looms – hauntingly in franchise history, because that’s how many players the Seahawks have used to try and replace left guard Steve Hutchinson since he signed with the Minnesota Vikings in free agency following the team’s run to the Super Bowl in 2005. Wednesday, the club released No. 12 and retained No. 11, as Robert Gallery was waived and Paul McQuistan agreed to terms. And it happened on the same day that Hutchinson was making a free agent visit to Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Talk about what goes around comes around. Except that Hutchinson agreed to terms with the Tennessee Titans on Thursday.”

We’ve also got an item on the first thing Bryant plans to buy with the money from his new contract, courtesy of an interview he did with KJR’s Dave Mahler. You can listen to the entire interview here.

Pat Kirwan at CBSSports.com offers 10 things we’ve learned from free agency so far, including this one involving the Seahawks: “Day 3 critical for Seattle: The Seahawks had Matt Flynn and Jason Jones in for visits Thursday, and those are two very big recruits if the Seahawks want to get into the playoffs in 2012.”

John McGrath at the News Tribune agrees, saying the Seahawks need to sign Flynn: “Matt Flynn visited Seattle on Thursday. If Carroll and Schneider say goodbye to Flynn without offering him a big-time contract, they will regret it. A gamble? Of course he is. But this gamble has a payoff that could put the Seahawks in the playoffs.”

Peyton Manning’s first fling with free agency could be coming to a close, as NFL.com is reporting that the Dolphins are out and he is meeting again with the Broncos: “Quarterback Peyton Manning phoned the Dolphins personally on Thursday to tell them they have been removed from the running as potential suitors for his services, multiple sources told NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington Friday. While it has been widely believed over the last 24 hours that Manning would not sign with the Dolphins, neither side had formally removed themselves from the mix. That has now occurred.”

Having trouble envisioning Manning in anything but a Colts uniform – like Joe Montana playing for the Chiefs, or Johnny Unitas for the Chargers? Well, the folks at Panini American trading cards have the iconic QB as a Bronco, Cardinal, Titan and Dolphin, and it’s worth at look at NFL.com.

Also at NFL.com, Jason La Canfora offers one-stop shopping for the latest free agent developments.


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