Offseason Overview: Can the Hawks Stay the Class of the NFC West?

Hasslebeck

Franchise Player: CB Marcus Trufant (tendered at $9.465M); signed a long-term contract.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• TE Ben Joppru is used almost exclusively on special teams and often is hindered by injuries. The team could take him or leave him.

• LS Jeff Robinson solidified a position that was a circus all season. However, Robinson is going to be 38 years old. It remains to be seen if he will return.

• RB Josh Scobey signed with only a few games left in the season, broke his leg in the team’s playoff game against the Packers and is unlikely to be re-signed.

• OL Floyd Womack stays with the team because while he is short on talent he is versatile, able to play every position except center. He is likely to return.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• RB Alvin Pearman (not tendered as RFA) was one of the team’s kick returners until a knee injury in Week 4 ended his season. His return is questionable.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• DT Chris Cooper: FA Seahawks; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• RB T.J. Duckett: UFA Lions; $17M/5 yrs, $5M guaranteed.

• RB Julius Jones: UFA Cowboys; $12M/4 yrs, SB unknown.

• LB D.D. Lewis: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

• S Omare Lowe: UFA Falcons; $605,000/1 yr.

• PK Olindo Mare: FA Saints; $3.5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• TE Jeb Putzier: FA Texans; $605,000/1 yr, SB unknown.

• DT Larry Tripplett: FA Bills; terms unknown.

• OG Mike Wahle: FA Panthers; 5 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• RB David Kirtman: ERFA; terms unknown.

• LB Lance Laury: ERFA; terms unknown.

• OT Sean Locklear: Potential UFA; $32M/5 yrs, SB unknown.

• CB Marcus Trufant: Franchise FA; $50.2M/6 yrs, $10M SB/$7M RB ‘09, $3M RB ‘10; 2008 cap: $2.77M.

• FB Leonard Weaver: RFA; tendered at $1.47M; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• RB Shaun Alexander (released).

• OT Tom Ashworth (released).

• LB Kevin Bentley: UFA Texans; $4M/3 yrs, $1M SB.

• K Josh Brown: UFA Rams; $14.2M/5 yrs, $4M SB.

• DT Chuck Darby: UFA Lions; 3 yrs, terms unknown.

• WR D.J. Hackett: UFA Panthers; $3.5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• LB Niko Koutouvides: UFA Broncos; $7.5M/3 yrs, SB unknown.

• TE Marcus Pollard: UFA Patriots; terms unknown.

• DL Ellis Wyms: UFA Vikings; $1.5M/1 yr, $500,000 SB.

The Seahawks have owned the NFC West the past few seasons, and with this being Mike Holmgren’s last season as coach, it will be interesting to see if they have what it takes to stay on top. The team made some bold offseason moves, changing around their running attack with the release of all-time leading rusher Shaun Alexander and signing free agents T.J. Duckett and Juilus Jones. The Hawks downfall has been with the running game, which since the Super Bowl two seasons ago has been anemic. Matt Hasslebeck also lost one of his wide outs in D.J. Hackett, but they did bring in TE Jeb Putzier, who is a good pass catching TE.

As for the defense, the biggest move was re-signing CB Marcus Trufant, who is back with a six-year deal. The team needs to do a better job stopping the run as well, which gave up 102.8 yards per game last season. The Hawks are going be pressed by a better NFC West this year, and with a schedule that includes a stretch in mid-November into December with games vs Arizona (11/16), Washington (11/23), at Dallas (11/27) and vs New England (12/7). The window for the Hakws is closing, but they still have the talent to be the class of the division.

Offseason Grade to Date: C+


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