Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 28:
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the story on how the Seahawks’ search for a big-play receiver finally led them to Sidney Rice, the former Minnesota Vikings’ Pro Bowl wide-out who reportedly agreed to sign with Seattle on Wednesday. Says O’Neil: “Seattle began looking at big-name receivers as soon as coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider began reshaping the roster last year. The Seahawks courted Brandon Marshall of Denver, bringing him to Seattle for a visit, before the Broncos traded him to Miami. Seattle was also interested in Vincent Jackson of San Diego, but the Chargers didn’t end up trading him. Rice is an unrestricted free agent, which meant Seattle didn’t have to offer compensation to sign him. The Seahawks just had to pony up the loot, which they apparently did, offering Rice a five-year contract totaling $41 million, according to the NFL Network. Rice is assured of receiving $18.5 million, according to the report.”
Dave Boling of the News Tribune checks in with Max Unger, who is coming off a toe injury in the opener that forced him to sit out the 2010 season. Unger is expected to man the center position on the team’s new-look line. Says Boling: “For the past 11 months, whenever someone asked him why he missed 15 games last season, he had to offer a response somewhat humbling to a powerful 305-pound lineman: “I hurt my toe.” This was not like stumbling into an end table in the dark; the injury required surgery and extensive rehabbing. But Unger is not only back on both feet, he will be in the middle of a reconstruction project most crucial to the development of the Seahawks this season.”
Also from the News Tribune, Eric Williams has this look at Rice and guard Robert Gallery, who also reportedly agreed to sign with the Seahawks on Wednesday. Williams on Gallery: “Considered an excellent run blocker, Gallery is expected to play left guard next to talented second-year tackle Russell Okung, with Max Unger taking over at center. Rookie draft picks John Moffitt and James Carpenter fill out the rest of the line at right guard and right tackle.” Williams on Rice: “Rice, 24, was considered one of Seattle’s main targets when free agency started Tuesday. And Seattle had familiarity working in its favor, with former Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell now serving as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator and former Minnesota quarterback Jackson agreeing Tuesday to sign with Seattle as a free agent.”
Christian Caple at PI.com provides this wrap-up of a busy day for the Seahawks. Says Caple: “Wednesday may very well end up being the most important day the Seahawks will have until the season starts. Not only did they waste no time filling their vacancy at left guard by agreeing to terms with free-agent offensive lineman Robert Gallery, but they reeled in their star later in the day: Pro-Bowl receiver Sidney Rice.”
Why are NFL teams so adamant about stressing that a player “agrees” rather than “signs”? Because agreeing is not signing. Take wide receiver Brandon Stokley, one of the 22 Seahawks who became unrestricted free agents this week. He had agreed to sign with the Redskins, but won’t. As this report from ESPN.com explains: “Wide receiver Brandon Stokley came to terms on a contract Wednesday with the Washington Redskins, but the player’s agent said Stokley has backed out of the deal. ‘Spoke to soon. Brandon Stokley won’t sign with Redskins. Too many WR’s signed,’ agent Rick Smith tweeted on Thursday.” The same thing happened to the Seahawks on Tuesday, when QB Matt Leinart agreed in principle only to then re-sign with the Texans.
At NFL.com, former Seahawks scout and NFL player Bucky Brooks takes a look at the Seahawks’ quarterback situation. Says Brooks: “(Coach Pete) Carroll has been taken to task for bypassing the opportunity to make another run at the division crown behind a wily veteran, but he might be crazy like a fox when his gamble on two unproven signal callers results in improved play from the Seahawks’ offense.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we sat in on the team meeting that “officially” opened training camp last night, and also talked with Max Unger and Russell Okung about the team’s new-look offensive line. We also have an item on Charlie Whitehurst’s odd situation now that he’s lost a friend, but gained an opportunity to become the starting QB. Oh, and then there’s the latest – and one of the last – in our series of articles on the team’s first 35 seasons. This one looks at 2003.