QB Charlie Whitehurst, RB Leon Washington, RB Quinton Ganther, WR Mike Williams, WR Ruvell martin, TE Chris Baker, G Chester Pitts, G Ben Hamilton, DE Chris Clemons, DT Kentwan Balmer, OLB Matt McCoy, SS Kevin Ellison.
Early Draft Picks:
OT Russell Okung, FS Earl Thomas, WR Golden Tate, CB Walter Thurmond, DE E.J. Wilson, SS Kam Chancellor, TE Anthony McCoy.
QB Seneca Wallace, RB LenDale White, WR Nate Burleson, OT Walter Jones, OT Brandon Frye, G Rob Sims, DE Patrick Kerney, DE Darryl Tapp, DE/DT Cory Redding, OLB Lance Laury, CB Ken Lucas, S Deon Grant.
2010 Seattle Seahawks Offense:
The biggest homer of all Seahawk fans would admit that this is a transitional year for the team. First and foremost, Matt Hasselbeck will be the starting quarterback on kickoff weekend, but newly acquired Charlie Whitehurst will replace him at some point.
Hasselbeck is done; he has been a very good quarterback for a number of years, but all of the injuries he's incurred recently have taken their toll. Hasselbeck, 35 in September, tossed nine interceptions to just three touchdowns in the final three games of the 2009 campaign. He just looked like an old, beaten-down quarterback who just didn't want to take anymore hits. It'll be a miracle if he can revert to 2007 form.
It won't take much for Whitehurst to leapfrog Hasselbeck on the depth chart, and it could happen as early as late September. Whitehurst was once a second-round prospect who was selected in the third round by San Diego. Unfortunately, Whitehurst has never attempted a pass in the NFL, so Seattle fans don't really know what they are getting.
Neither Hasselbeck nor Whitehurst will have much to work with at the wideout position. T.J. Houshmandzadeh's disappointing 2009 campaign (79 catches, 911 yards, 3 TDs) was no fluke; Houshmandzadeh is just a possession receiver; he was miscast and overpaid as a No. 1. Making matters worse, the soon-to-be 33-year-old is coming off sports hernia surgery. Sports hernias have a dubious history of resurfacing later in the season, so 2010 could be one of Houshmadzadeh's worst years as a pro.
The other current starting receiver, Deion Branch, has no business getting playing time over someone like Deon Butler. At this point of his injury-plagued career, Branch is fortunate to be on an NFL roster.
Seattle's top wideout is rookie Golden Tate. Tate will likely work out of the slot, where he'll do what he does best - churn out yards after the catch. If Houshmandzadeh's sports hernia acts up, Tate's a safe bet to lead Seattle in receptions and receiving yardage (excluding talented tight end John Carlson).
The quarterback and receiver positions are far from the Seahawks' only offensive concerns. Seattle's front surrendered 41 sacks in 2009 and lost its top lineman (Rob Sims) to Detroit this offseason. Sims will be replaced by the newly acquired Ben Hamilton, who's a perfect fit for Alex Gibbs' zone-blocking scheme. However, Hamilton is 33, so his best days are behind him.
Walter Jones finally announced his retirement this offseason, which prompted the Seahawks to spend the No. 6 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft on Russell Okung, the top offensive lineman in the class. He should be able to thrive instantly. Across from Okung is Sean Locklear, who would be a good player if he could actually stay in the lineup. Locklear has missed 15 games the past four seasons. Rounding out the offensive front are center Chris Spencer and right guard Max Unger, two pretty mediocre players.
The running back position is the most stable offensive unit on Seattle's roster, but that's not saying much. LenDale White was acquired via a draft-day trade but was subsequently cut because of attitude concerns. With Leon Washington coming off a compound leg fracture, Justin Forsett figures to be the starting running back. Forsett is a quick, elusive runner who excels as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. However, Forsett goes down on first contact, and at 5-8, 194, is incapable of shouldering a ton of carries each week.
Forsett averaged 5.4 yards per rush in 2009, which is a bit misleading because he gained a ton of his yardage on third-and-long draws. Forsett started two games; he rushed for 130 yards on 22 attempts against the pathetic Rams, but managed just nine yards on eight carries the week before at Minnesota.
2010 Seattle Seahawks Defense:
Will Seattle's offense or defense be worse in 2010? That's a tough question to answer. What is apparent, however, is that the Seahawks are the favorite to finish last in the league in sacks.
Where is Seattle's pass rush going to come from? The team managed 28 sacks in 2009, and the leader in that statistical department, Patrick Kerney (5 sacks last season) announced his retirement. The Seahawks' current defensive ends are Lawrence Jackson (4.5 sacks) and Chris Clemons (3 sacks with the Eagles), who was acquired via trade. The starting defensive tackles are Brandon Mebane and Colin Cole, who tallied a combined 1.5 sacks in 2009. Mebane and Cole are both stout against the run, so at least Seattle's defensive line can do something positive.
If the Seahawks can generate only 15 sacks or so, the secondary, which isn't very good to begin with, is going to burnt often. No. 1 corner Marcus Trufant struggled last year, but that was because of a back injury. He'll be fine, as will rookie free safety Earl Thomas. However, Seattle has nothing else at corner or safety. Josh Wilson, starting across from Trufant, is a pretty marginal player. Strong safety Jordan Babineaux is good in run support, but gets torched in coverage. And don't look for any depth here - Pete Carroll recently spoke about bringing in Ty Law as a nickel corner.
Seattle's strength is its linebacking corps, where the team has four terrific players/prospects at its disposal. The most renowned, of course, is Lofa Tatupu, who barely played last year because of a chest injury. Rookie Second-year David Hawthorne stepped in and was prolific; he'll be used as the new weakside linebacker over Leroy Hill, who could easily start for a number of teams in the NFL. Strongside linebacker Aaron Curry will need to improve. He's very talented, but struggled in coverage and was heavily penalized during his rookie campaign last season.
2010 Seattle Seahawks Schedule and Intangibles:
The Seahawks aren't kidding about this whole 12th man thing. The deafening noise at Qwest Field is why they were 25-4 as hosts from 2005 to 2007. They were 4-4 at home last year despite having a pretty awful team.
While Seattle is great at home thanks to its great fans, the team is pitiful on the road. Since 2007, the Seahawks are 6-19 as visitors.
Ask any professional football gambler or handicapper when you should bet against Seattle, and they'll tell you to do so in 1 p.m. East Coast games. Mike Holmgren simply couldn't get his team up for those contests. They had three of those in 2008, and lost by a combined score of 99-35 to the Bills, Giants and Dolphins. Fortunately, the Seahawks have just one 1 p.m. East Coast battle in 2010 - against lowly Tampa Bay.
Though Jim Mora Jr. unprofessionally blamed Olindo Mare for blowing a game against the Bears because of two missed field goals, Mare finished the season 24-of-26, including 5-of-6 from 40-plus. Mora once again showed everyone why he's a colossal jerk who doesn't belong anywhere near the NFL.
Punter Jon Ryan was great last season, maintaining a 46.2 average and hitting 28-of-88 kicks inside the 20.
Nate Burleson did a solid job on punt returns, but he's gone. Seattle's return game figures to struggle again; in the past two seasons, the team has allowed two special-teams touchdowns despite scoring none of its own.
The Seahawks have a few winnable games outside their pathetic division: Broncos (road), Bears (road), Raiders (road), Chiefs (home) and Buccaneers (road).
2010 Seattle Seahawks Analysis: Unless Charlie Whitehurst can step in and shock everyone by becoming the next great quarterback, the Seahawks are going to really struggle to accumulate wins this season. Come next spring, they'll really have to focus on bolstering their offensive line, pass rush, secondary and receiving corps. Finding a franchise quarterback will be the No. 1 priority if Whitehurst disappoints.
Seattle had more holes on its roster than any other team in the NFL. In fact, the only area the team didn't need to address was the linebacking corps. Fortunately, Pete Carroll was able to accumulate a plethora of talent in his first draft.
Carroll really lucked out when the Redskins and Chiefs passed on Russell Okung, the No. 1 offensive tackle in this class. With Okung on the roster, the Seahawks finally have the blind-side protector they've needed for the past few years. Seattle's second opening-round pick, Earl Thomas, is a talented safety who fills a huge position of need.
The Seahawks made numerous other great selections, including Golden Tate, who figures to be a dynamic weapon for Charlie Whitehurst. Some of their picks were also used to acquire solid veterans: Leon Washington, LenDale White and Kevin Vickerson.
Seattle still has a long way to go in its rebuilding process, but this new regime certainly looks like it's off to a great start.
Overall 2010 NFL Draft Grade given on 4/26/10: A
2010 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
6. Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Incredible pick. The Seahawks get the top offensive tackle prospect in the 2010 NFL Draft at No. 6. (Pick Grade: A)
14. Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
Good pick. I have to question taking a safety when someone like Derrick Morgan is available, but other than that, I can't argue this selection. (Pick Grade: B)
60. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
No USC players thus far for Pete Carroll, and Everson Griffen was available. That's interesting. Golden Tate, a possible first-round prospect, is great after the catch. The Seahawks needed a receiver with Nate Burleson headed to Detroit. (Pick Grade: A)
111. Walter Thurmond, CB, Oregon
Pete Carroll went against Walter Thurmond at USC, so he knows how good of a prospect he is. Thurmond definitely fits this range and fills a huge hole. (Pick Grade: A)
127. E.J. Wilson, DE, North Carolina
The first Seattle pick I'm not a fan of. E.J. Wilson fills a need at defensive end, but he's a late-round prospect. (Pick Grade: C)
133. Kam Chancellor, SS, Virginia Tech
The Seahawks needed two safeties going into the 2010 NFL Draft. Kam Chancellor will struggle in coverage, but it's not like fifth-round prospects don't have their warts. (Pick Grade: C)
185. Anthony McCoy, TE, USC
Pete Carroll gets his first Trojan in the 2010 NFL Draft. Anthony McCoy was a Round 3-4 prospect, but fell because he tested positive for marijuana at the Combine. He's an incredible value here in Round 6, though he doesn't fill a position of need. (Pick Grade: B)
236. Dexter Davis, DE, Arizona State
An undersized defensive end (6-1, 244), Dexter Davis will challenge Chris Clemons to be Seattle's situational pass-rusher. Decent pick here. (Pick Grade: B)
245. Jameson Konz, TE, Kent State
Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't really see how he fits into the roster outside of special teams. (Pick Grade: C)
Key Undrafted Free Agents:
Jeff Byers, C/G
Joe Pawelek, ILB
What happened? The Seahawks were kings of the NFC West until a very injury-plagued 2008 season. They were expected to rebound this year, but were able to win only five games. If anything, the 2009 campaign was a testament to how horrific of a football coach Jim Mora Jr. is. Fortunately for all Seattle fans, Mora is gone.
Seahawks cut RB Adrian Peterson
Seahawks acquire DT Kentwan Balmer from 49ers for 6th-round pick
Seahawks sign RB Adrian Peterson
Seahawks sign OLB Tyjuan Hagler
Chargers sign S Quinton Teal
Broncos sign RB LenDale White
Seahawks waive DE Robert Henderson
Seahawks sign G Chester Pitts
Seahawks re-sign SS Kevin Ellison
Seahawks cut SS Kevin Ellison
Seahawks sign SS Kevin Ellison
Seahawks cut WR Reggie Williams
Seahawks cut S Quinton Teal
Seahawks claim QB Isaiah Stanback
Seahawks cut RB LenDale White
Seahawks waive DT DeMarcus Granger
Seahawks waive QB Mike Teel
Seahawks sign QB J.P. Losman
Seahawks re-sign SS Lawyer Milloy
Seahawks announce retirement of OT Walter Jones
Seahawks sign S Quinton Teal
Seahawks acquire RB Leon Washington from Jets for exchange of 5th- and 7th-round picks
Seahawks acquire RB LenDale White and DT Kevin Vickerson from Titans for exchange of 4th- and 6th-round picks
Seahawks sign G Ben Hamilton
Seahawks sign WR Reggie Williams
Seahawks sign S Kennard Cox
Seahawks sign G Mitch Erickson
Seahawks waive G Trevor Canfield
Seahawks sign WR Mike Williams
Seahawks re-sign ILB David Hawthorne
Seahawks re-sign C Chris Spencer
Seahawks re-sign WR Ben Obomanu
Seahawks announce retirement of DE Patrick Kerney
Seahawks acquire DE Robert Henderson from Lions for 2010 7th-rounder
Lions acquire G Rob Sims from Seahawks for a 2010 5th-rounder
Giants sign SS Deon Grant
Seahawks re-sign G Rob Sims
Jets sign OLB Lance Laury
Ravens sign DE/DT Cory Redding
Seahawks sign RB Quinton Ganther
Seahawks acquire QB Charlie Whitehurst from Chargers for 2011 3rd-rounder and the swap of 2010 2nd-rounders
Seahawks sign OLB Matt McCoy
Eagles acquire DE Darryl Tapp from Seahawks for DE Chris Clemons and a 2010 4th-round pick
Seahawks re-sign DE Darryl Tapp
Seahawks cut S Deon Grant
Seahawks sign WR Ruvell Martin
Seahawks sign TE Chris Baker
Seahawks re-sign K Olindo Mare
Browns acquire QB Seneca Wallace from Seahawks for conditional 2011 pick
Lions sign WR Nate Burleson
Left Tackle: Walter Jones announced his retirement on Twitter. The Seahawks can't have Sean Locklear protecting the quarterback's blind side another season. Russell Okung and Bruce Campbell will be considered at No. 6 overall, as will Bryan Bulaga at No. 14. Drafted Russell Okung
Defensive End: The Seahawks had only 28 sacks on the year, led by Patrick Kerney's five. Kerney, who just turned 33, failed to register a single sack in the month of December, and has hinted toward retirement. Traded for Chris Clemons
Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck, 35 in September, has been knocked around too much and has reached the Marc Bulger "I've been sacked so many times that I'm just going to heave the ball into triple coverage to avoid getting hit again" threshold. Pete Carroll will be looking for a franchise quarterback to call his own. He won't let Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen pass him by at No. 6. Traded for Charlie Whitehurst; signed J.P. Zohan
Defensive Tackle: The Seahawks need to get more pressure on the quarterback, so they'll be looking for upgrades at defensive end and defensive tackle this offseason. Traded for Kevin Vickerson
Running Back: Jim Mora Jr. is gone, so hopefully Seahawk fans won't have to endure Julius Jones getting most of the carries again next year. Seattle could draft Jahvid Best, Anthony Dixon or Joe McKnight in Round 2. Traded for Leon Washington; signed Quinton Ganther
No. 1 Wide Receiver: T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a great No. 2 wideout who is being paid like a No. 1 by the Seahawks. Seattle needs a dynamic receiver who can stretch the field. Drafted Golden Tate; signed Mike Williams and Reggie Williams
Strong Safety: Deon Grant might be cut this offseason. Eric Berry is a strong option for Seattle at No. 6 overall. Signed Kevin Ellison
Cornerback: Let's blame Marcus Trufant's poor season on a non-existent pass rush. And Ken Lucas? Well, he's just not that good. Help at corner will be addressed in the middle rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft. Drafted Walter Thurmond
Two Guards: An upgrade is needed over the disappointing Chris Spencer. A mid-round pick will be used to fill this need. Rob Sims' trade also adds the need for another guard. Signed Ben Hamilton and Chester Pitts
Free Safety: Free safety needs to be upgraded as well. Drafted Earl Thomas
Special Teams: Seattle struggled in this department all year, particularly in punt coverage.
2010 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Tyjuan Hagler, OLB, Colts. Age: 28. Signed with Seahawks
Tyjaun Hagler was having a good season before he landed on IR with a torn bicep.
Kevin Ellison, SS, Chargers. Age: 23. Re-signed with Seahawks
Kevin Ellison is a young, serviceable strong safety who excels in run support. He was released because of a recent arrest involving Vicodin pills.
Chester Pitts, G, Texans. Age: 31. Signed with Seahawks (1 year)
Chester Pitts is a quality guard, but he's coming off a very nasty knee injury. He may not be 100 percent in 2010.
Chris Baker, TE, Patriots. Age: 30. Signed with Seahawks (2 years, $4.7 million)
A good blocker, but a complete non-factor in the passing game.
Ben Hamilton, G, Broncos. Age: 33. -- Signed with Seahawks (1 year)
Matt McCoy (RFA), OLB, Buccaneers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Seahawks (1 year)
Quinton Ganther (RFA), RB, Redskins. Age: 26. -- Signed with Seahawks
Ruvell Martin (RFA), WR, Rams. Age: 28. -- Signed with Seahawks (1 year)
Seattle Seahawks Free Agents:
Salary Cap (As of Feb. 13): No cap.
Olindo Mare, K, Seahawks. Age: 37. Re-signed with Seahawks (1 year, $2.8 million)
Remember when Olindo Mare missed two field goals against the Bears, and Jim Mora Jr. spazzed out after the game and blamed Mare for everything, including world hunger? Those were the only two kicks Mare missed all year; he was 22-of-24 on the season. Ah, Mora, I'll miss your complete ineptness. Hopefully some other NFL organization will hire you soon so you can ruin yet another franchise.
David Hawthorne (ERFA), ILB, Seahawks. Age: 25. Re-signed with Seahawks
Amid a dreadful season, one bright spot for the Seahawks was the emergence of David Hawthorne, who played brilliantly when Lofa Tatupu was injured. Seattle may switch to the 3-4 to keep both players on the field.
Rob Sims (RFA), G, Seahawks. Age: 26. Traded to Lions
One of the few bright spots on Seattle's offensive line.
Darryl Tapp (RFA), DE, Seahawks. Age: 25. Traded to Eagles
Darryl Tapp had seven sacks back in 2007, but hasn't been able to match that total since. Tapp had 5.5 sacks in 2008 and only 2.5 in 2009. What saves him, however, is his ability against the run.
LenDale White, RB, Seahawks. Age: 25. Signed with Broncos
It's unclear what sparked the LenDale White release in Seattle. He wasn't out of shape and the talent is there, so it must have been some serious character issues. Still, he's a good running back who really excels at the goal line.
Cory Redding, DE/DT, Seahawks. Age: 29. Signed with Ravens (2 years)
Cory Redding didn't have a very good year - and this was his contract season. Not good.
Nate Burleson, WR, Seahawks. Age: 29. Signed with Lions (5 years, $25 million; $11 million guaranteed)
Nate Burleson is coming off a very solid year, catching 63 balls for 812 yards in 13 games. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that once Burleson signs an overpriced contract, he'll revert to Sloth Mode.
Chris Spencer (RFA), C, Seahawks. Age: 28. Re-signed with Seahawks (1 year, $2.4 million)
Benched in December when Jim Mora Jr. was in Desperation Mode. His head coach's ineptness didn't help, but Chris Spencer had a pretty pedestrian season.
Ken Lucas, CB, Seahawks. Age: 31.
It didn't help that the Seahawks couldn't pressure the quarterback, but Ken Lucas couldn't cover anyone.
Deon Grant, S, Seahawks. Age: 31. Signed with Giants (1 year)
Really struggled last year. At 31, should only be signed as a backup.
Brandon Frye (RFA), OT, Seahawks. Age: 27.
Lance Laury (RFA), OLB, Seahawks. Age: 28. -- Signed with Jets
Ben Obomanu (RFA), WR, Seahawks. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Seahawks (1 year, $1.1 million)
Reggie Williams, WR, Seahawks. Age: 27.
Quinton Teal, S, Seahawks. Age: 26. -- Signed with Chargers
Divisional Rival History: Arizona Cardinals: Arizona dominates the Seahawks, having won six of the past seven meetings. This will probably change now that Kurt Warner has retired. San Francisco 49ers: The Seahawks and 49ers split the season series the last two years. Before that, San Francisco had won four of six. St. Louis Rams: The Seahawks have won all 10 matchups after the Rams knocked them out of the playoffs in 2004.
Features to be Posted This Offseason:
2010 NFL Draft Grades (Pick-by-Pick NFL Draft Grades as well - Live on Draft Day!)