Friday, May 1, 2009

How the Mighty Have Fallen?

by: Michael Steffes

In a way, I kind of feel bad for DJ Hackett. I really liked Hack. My lovely girlfriend wanted a Hackett jersey as her first Seahawks Jersey. Hack was fun to watch, at least when he was on the field. Many of us were surprised that he didn't get a big money deal last offseason. Well, now he has to attend a mini camp on a tryout basis just so he can continue playing.

Zorn and the Redskins have invited Hackett to try out this weekend at their post-draft mini camp. Jason LaCanfora of the Washington Post has the story. Kelley Washington, formerly of the Bengals and Patriots, is also getting a tryout.

Since the Hawks are having such a blockbuster A+ week, I think it is fair that we can review some of the transactions of which the fanbase was so critical recently. Releasing DJ Hackett was one of these. It is hard to argue that he couldn't have helped us last year -- anybody with two hands and a pulse could have conceivably helped the WR position last year. But to see that Hackett is now heading to a camp without a contract, we can see that Tim Ruskell does his homework when he determines a player's value.

Darrell Jackson was another example. Clearly, the fourth round pick was probably more valuable to the organization than Jackson, who has disappeared since being traded. Now that we know what the team received in exchange for letting guys like Niko, Bentley, and Wyms walk, we can evaluate those decisions as well. How many of the 7th rounders taken with those compensatory picks will make the team? Last year both did.

Next year, there will be a whole new set of decisions to examine like Morris, Weaver, and Engram. But while we bask in the excitement of how the Leroy Hill situation worked out, let's remember that all of the decisions that Ruskell makes are based on a value he places on the player. And so far, for the most part, he has judged that value effectively. There is lots of turnover in the NFL, and since that's something that happens no matter what, it is invaluable that the team knows when to keep someone and when to let that player go.