The Seahawks, very unsurprisingly, have been pretty active in NFL Free Agency thus far, and the moves have come fast and furious in the Lockout-shortened period of time. If you've been under a rock for the past week or two, I am here to save the day and get you in the know on what has gone down.
Now, first off, in case you've been really, really incompetent in your fanhood and didn't know that Matt Hasselbeck left and signed with the Tennessee Titans, now you know. The Seahawks decided to go another way, and signed free agent QB Tarvaris Jackson, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings. He'll be the Seahawks presumptive starter and have competition from Charlie Whitehurst.
The Seahawks have made a few marquee signings, convincing WR Sidney Rice and TE Zach Miller that Seattle is the place to be. Both are Pro-Bowl caliber players and both are still very young (24 and 25, respectively). They'll form part of the core nucleus of talent on the Seahawks for the next five years. The Hawks also brought in solid veteran left guard Robert Gallery. Gallery, in theory, represents the final component in the Hawks offensive line rebuild along with Russell Okung, Max Unger, John Moffitt, and James Carpenter.
The Hawks didn't stop there. They've signed a trio of defensive linemen: DT/DE Alan Branch from the Cardinals, DT Ryan Sims from the Bucs, and DE Jimmy Wilkerson from the Saints. Branch will start at 3-tech for the Seahawks, and Wilkerson and Sims will be depth, should they make the final roster.
Olindo Mare, Seattle's incumbent kicker, signed a big-ass juicy contract with Carolina worth $16 million, so the Seahawks were forced to look elsewhere. They have signed a former draft pick of theirs, Brandon Coutu, off the street, and a former Steeler and 49er and overall weird dude Jeff Reed to provide competiton. Coutu and Reed will duke it out during camp to win the starting role and a place on the roster. My money is on the veteran Reed, but I'm kind of hoping to see Coutu have some success.
The Seahawks did better with some of their own free agents, signing the highly coveted Brandon Mebane to a new 5-year, $25 million contract. Mebane is arguably the best player on the Seahawks defensive line, so it was a great success to keep him in town.
Past that, they brought back veteran, reliable depth in DT/DE Junior Siavii, LB Matt McCoy, RB/FB Michael Robinson, CB Kelly Jennings, and DE Raheem Brock. OT/OG Tyler Polumbus, the Seahawks' only restricted free agent, signed his offer sheet and will stay with the Seahawks in 2011.
Camp bodies have come and gone. The Seahawks originally signed 21 undrafted free agents and we've seen a few of them cut already and a few UDFA rookies come in to take their spots. Practice squad (from last year) RB Chris Henry was recently released, and RB Thomas Clayton was signed to take his spot.
Finally, the Hawks re-signed troubled but ultimately talented linebacker Leroy Hill. His veteran savvy and experience will be helpful after the Seahawks released LB Lofa Tatupu following failed contract renegotiations.
The Seahawks didn't manage to keep all their free agents though -- LB Will Herring, S Jordan Babineaux, OT Sean Lockler, and C Chris Spencer have all signed elsewhere. These players were all fairly key cogs in the wheel last season so there will be players looking to step into their shoes.
Keep up to date on more Seahawks free agency news and rumors at Field Gulls!