The nattering nabobs of negativity delight in kicking the Seahawks for the first-round draft choices they have wasted on a trio of quarterbacks – Dan McGwire in 1991 (Chuck Knox wanted Brett Favre, Ken Behring wanted McGwire); Rick Mirer in 1993 (an influential member of the scouting department assured everyone there was no need to trade up a spot to take Drew Bledsoe with the first overall pick); and the 1989 first-round pick they traded to the Cardinals for the right to Kelly Stouffer, who was drafted by St. Louis in 1987 but refused to sign with the Arizona-bound club).
In addition to the franchise’s daft in the draft, however, there have been even more deft moves in the first round.
Just check this lineup: Jacob Green in 1980; Kenny Easley in 1981; Curt Warner in 1983; John L. Williams in 1986; Cortez Kennedy in 1990; Joey Galloway in 1995; Shawn Springs and Walter Jones in 1997; Shaun Alexander in 2000; Steve Hutchinson in 2001; Marcus Trufant in 2003; and Earl Thomas in 2010.
All but Galloway ended up playing in the Pro Bowl – with Jones going nine times and Kennedy eight times. One is the only player in franchise history to be voted league MVP – Alexander in 2005. Two were voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year – Easley in 1984, Kennedy in 1992. Four are in the team’s 10-member Ring of Honor – Green, Easley, Warner and Kennedy. Eight were voted to the franchise’s 35th Anniversary team – Green, Easley, Kennedy, Springs, Jones, Alexander, Hutchinson and Trufant.
One is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame – Kennedy. Another will end up there – Jones.
But who is the best of the best – or crème de la crème, if you will?
This eight-day exercise to determine the team’s top pick in each round of the draft started because someone at NFL.com listed the best first-round picks in the 32 spots. The only Seahawk on that list was Walter Jones (at No. 6), so it’s difficult to argue that he isn’t the team’s best first-rounder, as well.
Jones played at a Pro Bowl level – no, an All-Pro level – from the first day he stepped on the field in a Seahawks uniform as a rookie in 1997 to his final game in 2008. In between, there were those nine Pro Bowl berths, six All-Pro selections and in 2006 he was named the top player in the league by The Sporting News. Not the best lineman, the best player. Period.
The Seahawks already have retired his No. 71 jersey and he will be the next player inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.
Connect the dots between all that, and it creates a portrait of the best first-round draft choice in franchise history. Longevity. Productivity. Durability. Dominance. That was Walter Jones.
The fifth round of the NFL Draft has been special for the Seahawks.
Special in that they have used those picks to select a couple of Pro Bowl special teams players – return man Bobby Joe Edmonds, who was drafted in 1986 and voted to the AFC all-star team as a rookie; and coverage man Alex Bannister, who was drafted in 2001 and voted to the NFC all-star team in 2003. The fifth round also delivered kick returner Charlie Rogers in 1999.
There also have been a couple of standout defensive players who came to the Seahawks in the fifth round – tackle Rocky Bernard, who was selected 2002 and started 55 games in seven seasons; and strong safety Kam Chancellor, who was selected in 2010 and went to the Pro Bowl last season.
But the best of the fifth-round bunch played on offense – left guard Edwin Bailey, who was drafted in 1981, stepped into the lineup as a rookie and started 120 games through the 1991 season.
Bailey’s run with the team began under coach Jack Patera and spanned the tenure of coach Chuck Knox (1983-91). He opened holes for Sherman Smith, Curt Warner, John L. Williams and Derrick Fenner, and provided pass protection for Jim Zorn, Dave Krieg, Kelly Stouffer and Jeff Kemp. Bailey was a key component in the Seahawks’ advancing to the AFC title game in 1983, posting a 12-win season in 1984 and winning their first division title in 1988.
Until Steve Hutchinson was selected in the first round of the 2001 draft, Bailey was the best left guard in franchise history – as evidenced by his selection to the Seahawks’ 25th Anniversary team.
We caught up with Bailey recently, and you can find out what the player his teammates called “Pearl” has been up to here.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 21:
1991: Quarterback Dan McGwire is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. But he would start only five games in four seasons with the team.
2001: Wide receiver Koren Robinson and guard Steve Hutchinson are selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Hutchinson would be voted to three Pro Bowls in five seasons with the Seahawks, and team with Walter Jones on the left side of a line that paved the way for the club’s Super Bowl run in 2005. Robinson’s four-year stay with the team was highlighted by a 78-catch, 1,240-yard season in 2002.
2005: Linebacker Jamie Sharper, coming off back-to-back 100-tackle season with the Texans, is signed in free agency. He would start the first eight games during the team’s Super Bowl run before an injury ended his only season with the Seahawks.
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.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, March 15:
Day Two of free agency for the Seahawks was all about guards, as the team released Robert Gallery, reached agreement on terms with Paul McQuistan and hosted Steve Hutchinson.
Eric Williams at the News Tribune wraps up the situation: “The metamorphosis of the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line – one of the youngest starting units in the league – continued during the second day of NFL free agency. The Seahawks announced the release of 31-year-old guard Robert Gallery, who limped though his only season in Seattle. Seattle also re-signed versatile offensive lineman Paul McQuistan to undisclosed terms. And the Seahawks hosted a familiar face – and Gallery’s possible replacement – on Wednesday in former left guard Steve Hutchinson.”
The Seahawks also lost tight end John Carlson, who agreed to terms with the Vikings. Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times has the details: “Tight end John Carlson is leaving the Seahawks, having agreed to a five-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings. Carlson was Seattle’s second-round pick in 2008, and in his first two seasons with the Seahawks he twice had more receptions than any tight end in franchise history.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald also has a recap of the Seahawks’ activities: “It probably doesn’t hurt that Hutchinson, a seven-time Pro Bowler, has almost no remaining ties to the organization he left six years ago. The entire front office and coaching staff have been turned over, meaning there shouldn’t be any remaining hostility, and it should also help Seattle’s chances that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell spent five seasons in Minnesota with Hutchinson.”
And Curtis Crabtree at KJR also wraps things up: “So how likely is a Hutchinson return to Seattle? According to columnist Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, very much so. Farmer said on his twitter account Monday that he expected Hutchinson to return to Seattle. He added to that statement after news of Hutchinson’s visit to Seattle came out on Wednesday. ‘As I wrote Monday, unless somebody blows away the Seahawks’ offer, Steve Hutchinson is going back to Seattle.’ “
Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers thoughts on the NFC West from Day Two of free agency: “Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne plans to visit New Orleans. The Saints should know him well. Hawthorne had a combined 21 tackles and one interception against New Orleans in two games during the 2010 season (one in postseason). He faced the Rams six times when new Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was head coach in St. Louis. Hawthorne is an NFL success story as an undrafted free-agent-turned-starter. Seattle needs help at linebacker whether or not Hawthorne returns. K.J. Wright can move from the strong side to the middle if needed.”
Jason La Canfora at NFL.com continues to monitor the activity around the league, and you can follow along here. He’s got the word on former Dolphins QB Chad Henne agreeing with the Jaguars. Henne had been scheduled to visit the Seahawks.
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.”
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks — over the weekend, as well as today, March 12:
Peyton Manning visited the Cardinals on Sunday, after spending Friday with the Broncos. In this report from Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter at ESPN.com, they have sources saying the Seahawks are not an option for the iconic QB who spent the past 14 seasons with the Colts: “Peyton Manning on Sunday completed an exhaustive three-day road trip in which he is known to have visited with the Broncos and Cardinals, the two teams that sources believe have emerged as the favorites for the free-agent quarterback. Despite those sources’ contention about the Broncos and Cardinals as favorites, Manning has not engaged either in contract negotiations or selected his next team and is highly unlikely to make that decision by Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, when the new league year begins for other free agents. … The Seahawks and Chiefs have failed in their attempts to get Manning to visit their facilities and are no longer considered contenders for the quarterback, sources said.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune says Manning has not declined an invitation to visit the Seahawks: “Contrary to an earlier report by the Denver Post, a team source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that Peyton Manning has not declined an invitation to visit with the Seattle Seahawks, which means the door remains open that the future Hall of Famer could expand his trips to include a possible visit to Seattle.”
Peter King at SI.com was in Phoenix, and leads his “Monday Morning Quarterback” with the obvious: “(Manning) doesn’t have long to play. A year, two, three, maybe four at the outside. You get the feeling he knows if he only has a season or two, he wants to be somewhere that gives him the best chance right away to get to the Super Bowl. That said, I wouldn’t expect a decision by Manning before Wednesday.”
Despite Manning reportedly narrowing the field of teams he’ll sign with to two, Michael Lombardi at NFL.com looks at all 31 teams as far as their interest in the former Colts QB. He lumps the Seahawks into the “we were all-in for Manning category”: “These teams are easy to determine and have openly expressed their love for Manning. These teams know Manning would help them win and is better than anyone they could put on the field. Not all these teams have an equal chance, so some might pull out quickly once they realize they cannot acquire Manning. No team wants to be embarrassed in its pursuit, so some might only go all-in if they sense they can actually win.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald says the Seahawks should make a run at Manning: “Preposterous you say? Probably. But so is the idea that a four-time MVP, one of the greatest quarterbacks of his or any other era, is available as an unrestricted free agent. Yet there Manning is, a risky but potentially franchise-changing player, ready to be snapped up by a team willing to shell out some big money and trust in a surgically fused neck.” Bottom line, however: It sounds like they might not even get the opportunity to make their pitch.
Two former Seahawks were in the news Saturday, when the Vikings released All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson and the Falcons signed former Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu. Mike Sando at ESPN.com revisits their time in Seattle: “Both players earned Pro Bowl honors with Seattle when the team made its lone Super Bowl appearance following the 2005 season. Tatupu’s health was a primary factor in his absence from the NFL last season. Knee and concussion problems slowed the linebacker during his time with Seattle, affecting his play and leading the Seahawks to release him before the 2011 season. Hutchinson was in his prime when the Seahawks lost him to the Vikings six years ago in one of the more dubious episodes in team history. The team hoped using the transition tag on Hutchinson following the 2005 season would spur the sides to a long-term agreement. Instead, Hutchinson’s agent, Tom Condon, worked with the Vikings to craft a contract the Seahawks could not match without guaranteeing all $49 million of the deal. The so-called poison pills inserted into that contract stirred controversy and hard feelings while exposing the Seahawks to harsh criticism, even though few foresaw the poison-pill route as a threat.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of looks at free agents expected to hit the market on Tuesday with the receivers, offensive linemen and defensive backs. The team added players at these positions last year by signing tight end Zach Miller and guard Robert Gallery from the Raiders, wide receiver Sidney Rice from the Vikings and cornerback Brandon Browner from the CFL.
Steve Wyche at NFL.com breaks down the big trade between the Redskins and Rams for the No. 2 spot in April’s NFL Draft: “The Redskins quickly realized they wouldn’t be in the running for Manning. So they ponied up the picks to get up to No. 2 in order to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Rams, by sliding back to No. 6, will still get a big-time prospect, plus, have two high second-round picks to add to a roster lean on impact players – and let’s not forget the two first-rounders the next two years.”
2005: Tim Ruskell is named president of football operations. In their first draft under Ruskell, the Seahawks would select linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill.
2006: Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson is given the transition tag, a move that leads to him signing an offer sheet with the Vikings that the Seahawks decline to match.
A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 13:
2005: Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson, the left side of the Seahawks’ offensive line, help the NFC rush for 155 yards in the Pro Bowl but the AFC wins 38-27. Shaun Alexander also is on NFC squad, but does not play in the game.
A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 12:
2000: Joey Galloway is traded to the Cowboys for first-round draft choices in 2000 and 2001, picks the Seahawks use to select Shaun Alexander and Koren Robinson.
2003: John Marshall is hired as linebackers coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff.
2006: Matt Hasselbeck completes 10 of 17 passes for 85 yards as the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 23-17 in a defense-dominated game that features 10 turnovers and seven sacks. Lofa Tatupu has a team-high six tackles, as well as two more on special teams, while Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson, Mack Strong and Robbie Tobeck help the NFC convert eight of 18 third-down situations.