Saturday, February 28, 2009

Seahawks Spectators So Far In Free Agency

by: William P. Tomisser

After inspired press conferences from our new head coach and his newly hired assistants, it's been a let down that as we move into the third day of free agency, the Seahawks haven't made any moves yet except to lose two of their free agents. Of course, not many observers gave Mo Mo or Rocky much of a chance of being re-signed and Ruskell cautioned that we wouldn't be big players in free agency this year. So far you can say that Ruskell hasn't told any lies.

Even so, some of us thought that Ruskell might be throwing up a smoke screen to throw others off the trail and in fact we seemed to go after T.J. Houshmandzadeh right away and we've got Chris Canty coming in very soon showing that we're looking at two players who play in two of our most needed positions.

However, T.J. left town without a contract and Mike Sando's NFC West scorecard showed as of late Saturday night, the Seahawks are at the bottom of the NFC West with a minus two in the "net gain and loss" column. We're the only team who hasn't either signed a free agent or at the very least, re-signed one of our own.

To Continue.................

Some of us were hoping the Seahawks would be looking at offensive linemen like Jason Brown who at 6' 3" and 320 lbs and only 25 years old is probably going to make someone a solid center for years to come. Turned out it was the Rams and word was, Jason really didn't want to play for them but was waiting for someone else to make a better offer. Nobody did so Jason's now a Ram and we get to play against him twice a year for a decade or so.

Michael Clayton was reputedly offered more money to play for Seattle than Tampa Bay offered him to re-sign with them. Even with our new practice facility, a 4 - 12 season maybe was a deal killer as Clayton choose his old team for less money. Clayton's another 26 year old player with youth on his side and ready to give some team the prime of his career. Too bad we missed on him too. He appeared to be our prime target as a receiver with Housh as our secondary objective.

Colin Cole was in town Saturday but he's a 2nd or even 3rd tier free agent defensive tackle from Green Bay and probably won't make any more impact than Howard Green did for us last year. Green might be a better signing because he's familiar with Seattle's defense.

All in all, fellow Addicts, it's been a quiet off-season for the Seahawks so far this year. Last year we made a splash by signing Wahle before free agency even started because he was released early. In previous years, it seemed that we were players right from the start so it's a bit disconcerting to be standing on the sidelines watching the rest of the league snap up the best free agent talent available.

We've identified many holes where we as fans would like to see improvement and from the previous discussions we've had here at SA, it seems that we can't possibly fill all those holes in the draft particularly when only the first two or maybe three players can make an impact in their rookie season.

It does appear that Ruskell meant what he said when he announced that we wouldn't be major players in free agency this year although we've apparently made offers to some of the better free agents available. It looks as if we're not ready to try and outbid anyone and end up overpaying though.

With all the hype coming from the new coaches, maybe we were expecting a more aggressive approach to fixing some of the problems on the team so it's a bit unexpected that we're not hot in pursuit of a couple of players who won't be available from the draft. It's always been Ruskell's way to mend holes before getting to the draft so that he can keep his options open in April.

In any event, it's not over yet and there's still some quality players out there to be had. Hopefully at this point, with some of the top free agents off the board or getting their final offers the way should be clear for the 2nd tier free agents to start getting signed and that's where I suspect we'll finally start to see some action from the Seahawks. Ruskell's a bargain shopper for the most part.

Let's hear from you guys out there about how you feel about the way free agency has gone for us so far. We've only lost 2 players we had pretty much written off already and the important free agents from our team still haven't signed anywhere else. Weaver and Willis are two players who I think it's important that we re-sign unless someone goes over the top with an offer that would be more than we should match given what they mean to our team.

Are we doing the right thing by keeping our cap in shape and not signing any free agents to huge contracts? Should we go with what we have in some instances rather than risk overpaying for players who we're not 100% sure can come in and solve our problems anyway? Rate the front office in how they've handled free agency so far.