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Tuesday cyber surfing: Agreements a sign of the times

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 8:

The cyber surf is up after the Seahawks got contact agreements with eight of their 10 draft choices on Monday, including first-round pick Bruce Irvin.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says the agreements leave the Seahawks way ahead of the game, and even offers a chart showing the length of no-shows by the team’s previous first-round picks: “Before Irvin, only two of Seattle’s past eight first-round choices signed a contract without missing a single training-camp practice: Earl Thomas in 2010 and Lawrence Jackson in 2008. None of Seattle’s first-round selections in the previous 10 years were signed by the end of June.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune has Irvin tweeting the news: “I’m just ready to work,” Irvin said via Twitter. “The money is cool. If you took the money away, I still would play this game for free!”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald includes the others who also agreed: “In addition to Irvin, the Seahawks also agree to terms with second-round pick Bobby Wagner, who projects to be the team’s starting middle linebacker; quarterback Russell Wilson (third round); linebacker Korey Toomer (fifth round); cornerback Jeremy Lane and safety Winston Guy (sixth round); and guard J.R. Sweezy and defensive end Greg Scruggs (seventh round).”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com points to Irvin’s early agreement as just the latest indication of how serious coach Pete Carroll is about improving the team’s pass rush: “The Seahawks also made improving their pass rush a top priority this offseason, signing tackle Jason Jones in free agency and drafting Irvin to assist Chris Clemons, who had 11 of their 33 sacks last season. No other Seattle player had more than four sacks in 2011. The team envisions using Irvin with Clemons on passing downs. Irvin is a candidate to succeed Clemons in the “Leo” role eventually.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we check in with vice president of football administration and lead contract negotiator John Idzik for his thoughts on the quickened process: “What’s the deal? The new rookie salary scale that was included in the CBA that ended last year’s 136-day lockout? The eagerness of this year’s draft class to reach agreements before the start of this weekend’s rookie minicamp? Superior work by vice president of football administration John Idzik, the team’s lead negotiator? The smile that washed across Idzik’s face said it was a combination of elements that led to Monday’s rush of agreements. ‘I’d like to go with the latter,’ he cracked, before adding, ‘But there are a lot of factors at work, the primary one being the new CBA.’ It’s actually the second year of the CBA that ended the lockout, but last year everything seemed like it was done on the run – not to mention in late July and early August. ‘So this isn’t the burn in, 2011 was,’ Idzik said. ‘And a lot of the rookie deals are now structured a certain way. So there was a little bit of precedent for everyone to go off of – both from a league standpoint as well as a club standpoint.’ ”

We also take a look at Robert Turbin, the running back who was drafted in the fourth round, through the eyes of Sherman Smith, the team’s original running back who now coaches the position: “So, what is that Smith likes – no, loves – so much about Turbin? ‘Let me tell you, in the 18 years of doing interviews (at the NFL Scouting Combine), this kid is the best interview I’ve ever had,’ Smith said the other day after one of the workouts in the team’s offseason program. ‘Very impressive.’ While players can be coached-up by their agents prior to the process, you can’t force sincerity – especially the kind Turbin displayed in that Combine session with Smith, and his Q&A sessions with reporters in Indianapolis and after he was selected by the Seahawks. ‘You can’t fake that stuff,’ Smith said. ‘It’s genuine, what he’s all about.’ ”

We’ve also got the word on Deuce Lutui, the Seahawks’ recently-acquired 340-pound guard, becoming a vegan: “ ‘It’s true,’ said Lutui, a veteran offensive lineman who signed with the Seahawks in free agency last month. “And coming into the offseason, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in. I credit that vegan diet.’ As proof, Lutui not only pointed to his weight, he pulled up his shirt and offered, “I can finally see a six-pack there.” Lutui said he’s already at his game weight (340 pounds), a process that usually takes him much longer.”

Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN passes along highlights from an interview with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley at mynorthwest.com: “ ‘Some guys have said, ‘Well, they went to the Pro Bowl, and how is that going to affect them?’ Bradley said. ‘I know I got a text from Earl Thomas the other night, on Tuesday about 9:45 at night. He was trying to get the code for the DB room, to (watch) film. So right there that shows you their mentality. They’ll sneak in here to try to get on the JUGS machine in the indoor practice facility at night. They’re just driven that way. I think that’s why we’re so excited about this group.’ ”


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