SEAHAWK ADDICTS OFFSEASON PREVIEW
First off, if you are new reader and haven't had time to read past posts, here is a link that should put all the Offseason Preview pieces on one page. Previous pieces have included a salary cap breakdown, the Hawks 4 big UFA's and the secondary UFA's. So whats next? It time to talk about who the Hawks may target in free agency. To do this, first it is important to mention the team needs. These are listed in my estimation of importance of free agency only!!!!! Not overall. This is based on my belief that the team benefits by getting younger on offense, but is already fairly young on defense.
For the breakdown......
1) D Tackle--- This is really the one and only need on the defensive side of the ball. They don't even need a total stud, although that would be nice. Really, they need a rotational DT would would provide protection for a Tubbs injury and replace Chuck Darby.
2) Tight End-- Filling this in FA allows the team to take a dynamic rookie RB in the first. While having a rookie TE will be nice, it is hard for a rookie TE to contribute in this offense right away.
3) Long Snapper---- For Christ Sake, Fill this hole. If the kicking game is an adventure again because of the snapper, this blemish on Ruskell's record will seem more like herpes, the gift that keeps on giving!
4) OL-- Cheap Versatile guy. Gray may retire, which would leave a hole for a back up center. My preference is 'Chop' as G/T, but he might be looking for greener pastures
5) WR--Veteran, big target, red zone guy, especially if the let Hackett walk. Mostly just for insurance and competition.
Kicker and CB would be another one, but I don't even want to get into that until we find out the fate of Marcus Trufant. It is also possible that they fill this through the draft.
So who will the Hawks look at??
Corey Williams, GB, probably too expensive now that Haynesworth will get the tag, probably only an option if the team goes all in for coaches last year.
Tommy Kelly, Oak, Solid option, especially as a run stuffer. Only 27 too. Lacks in rushing the passer though.
Randy Starks, TN, Ton of potential, very young. The knock is that he wears down. Sounds like the scouting report of every other Seahawk DT
Issac Sopopaga, SF, Better fit for a team that runs the 3-4, but definitely a rotational guy who won't command a ton of money. Hawks have been known to steal from divisional foes.
Dallas Clark, Ind, All indications from Bill Polian are that Clark gets the tag. However, Colts fans think he drops a lot of balls and they think Utecht deserves more of a shot. If he doesn't get the tag, he would be a seem stretcher for sure.
Alge Crumpler, FA, I think it is a good fit, but only for the right money. If the team wants to win it all next year, he helps, but 3 years from now he is probably dead money.
Ben Troupe, TN, Good potential as a receiver, but has very little interest in blocking. When Scaife went out last year, Tennessee's run game suffered.
Jeb Putizer, FA, Only mention him because the Hawks have looked at him before. Probably would be brought in with a top draft pick at the position to round out the depth chart.
A lot of team have recently re-upped their long snappers, including Dallas and WA, with pro bowler Evan Albright. Honestly, I don't care who comes in as along as they do the freaking job! Did you really expect me to breakdown longsnappers? I can't even find who is available. Darche isn't. Maybe Robinson will play another year, why not?
Offensive Line---- This clearly got bumped down on the list after the signing of Mike Wahle
1) John Welbourn, KC, In fact he was just released. He can play center and guard and has worked with Solari before. If Gray retires, look for the team to sign him up, unless they think Vallos is a player
2) Maurice Williams, Jac, Serious road grader who plays both G and T. May command too much, may be expecting a starting job, but if he overshoots his value, he would make a great second or third free agency week pick up.
3)Justin Smiley, SF, People may have soured on him after attitude problems and diminished production, but would provide a solid back-up if either of the guards falter. Probably depends on what other are willing to give him. SF doesn't want him back.
4) LJ Shelton, FA, Pork Chop clone. Veteran and versatile. If Chop leaves, he fits.
WR----- Anyone we sign, is mostly insurance for Deion Branch. Hawks would be looking for someone they could release in the second half, after Branch is back and young guys have more experience.
1) Malcom Floyd, SD, RFA--- SD may not tender him, with Jackson, Chambers, and Parker. Either way, he was undrafted. 6-5, 225, was having a promising 06' before he hurt his ankle and got zero playing time last year
2) Keary Colbert, Car, Never lived up to promise in Carolina, however, he is a west coast guy from California, who went to school @ USC. He is 6-1, had hands in college, and still young. If he doesn't work out, he won't kill you when he is released as Branch comes off the Pup list.
Two others to think about.... Brian Kelly, TB, CB-- Ruskell drafted him when he was in TB. If Tru leaves, my guess is that he is the number one target. Isiah Kacyvenski--Special Teams Ace! Right the wrongs of the past this year, bring Kaz back if Niko leaves!
Obviously, this is my opinion on who might interest the Hawks. It is very possible that their biggest signing has already happened. Free agency won't be as much fun as last year, but Hawk fans will be paying attention none the same. When April begins and the Draft is in sight, then, and only then, will the Seahawk Addicts Offseason Preview continue...