Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 2:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com passes out free-agency grades for the teams in the NFC West and gives the Seahawks a B-plus. Says Sando: “The Seahawks knew for months that (Peyton) Manning would probably hit the market and still could not secure a meeting with him. Their pursuit included a flight by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider to Denver in a desperation move that failed to impress Manning. That was a rare disappointment for Seattle in free agency. Re-signing Marshawn Lynch before the signing period took off much of the pressure. Re-signing Red Bryant without using the franchise tag rewarded the Seahawks for a disciplined approach to the market. That approach paid off again when the Seahawks landed (Matt) Flynn without rushing into an imprudent contract. Flynn spent five days on the market before signing with Seattle. The Seahawks got him for about half as much per season as Kolb cost a year ago, without even promising him the starting job. That was impressive.”
Also at ESPN.com, Trent Dilfer, Mel Kiper Jr. and Chris Mortensen discuss the Seahawks’ acquisition of Flynn in this video report. Says Mortensen: “The Seahawks stole him.”
Alex Marvez at FoxSports.com examines the NFL’s new offseason, which was a result of the CBA that ended last year’s lockout: “The NFL Players Association successfully pushed for rules that would prohibit some of the heavy demands — spoken or inferred — being placed upon its members during “voluntary” workouts. The charge was led by legitimate concerns that the offseason was becoming anything but off. Coaches annually pushed players in classrooms, conditioning and on-field sessions for nearly four months before training camps opened in late July. That grind is over. For teams with returning head coaches or 2011 interim replacements who were later named to the position such as Kansas City’s Romeo Crennel, the workouts and Xs-and-Os sessions that would have normally begun by now can’t start until April 16. First-year head coaches can begin working with their players on Monday. Both sets of coaches face greater restrictions than in the past and stern NFL fines if they don’t comply. Programs can no longer be run more than four days a week or on weekends. Players also must be eased into on-field work. For the first two weeks, only strength and conditioning coaches are allowed to work with players on the field. Quarterbacks can throw to their wide receivers, but defensive backs aren’t allowed to cover them. These restrictions continue for the next three weeks until after the NFL draft when coaches are allowed to conduct limited football workouts. Any type of offense vs. defense drill is banned. The final four weeks that fall under the CBA’s phase three heading are more customary but still curtailed compared to previous offseason work. Teams can hold one minicamp and 10 organized team practice activity sessions. One-on-one drills between offensive and defensive players are not permitted, although special teams can be practiced provided there is no contact. Helmets are allowed but shoulder pads remain outlawed.”
NFL.com has completed its quest to determine the greatest NFL team of all-time, and the winner is … the 1976 Raiders: “While the 1976 Raiders rampaged to a 13-1 regular-season finish and ransacked the Vikings in Super Bowl XI, glory for the Silver and Black through a 64-team tournament of the greatest teams in NFL history came at the slightest of margins. A total of 5.2 million votes were cast by fans on NFL.com throughout the tournament, and in the final the 1976 Raiders edged the 2000 Ravens by the slimmest of margins – winning 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent.” The ’76 season also was the first for the expansion Seahawks, but then didn’t play the Raiders because they spent their inaugural season in the NFC West before switching to the NFC West until realignment put the Seahawks back in the NFC West in 2002.