Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports Seattle Seahawks President of Football Operations Tim Ruskell wants to improve the team’s receiving core before the 2009 season.
“I know this: We don’t want to get caught with the situation we had at receiver going into this season,” Ruskell said of the Seahawks heading into the 2009 season under new head coach Jim Mora.
The Seahawks dealt with a multitude of injury problems last season for their receivers. Top receivers Deon Branch and Bobby Engram missed a combined 10 games. Branch caught fire late and Engram, 36, is looking at retirement or a contract extension. Nate Burleson, Ben Obamanu, and Logan Payne fell to season-ending injuries, and their replacements, Billy McMullen, Michael Bumpus and Mike Hass filled in and are signed heading into 2009.
But there will be decisions to be made with more receivers than necessary and promising prospects on the board with the fourth overall pick such as Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree, Texas’ Quan Cosby, Maryland’s Darius Hayward-Bey, LSU’s Demetrius Byrd, Missouri’s Jeremy Macklin, Oklahoma’s Juaqin Iglesias, OSU’s Brian Robiskie, Penn State’s Derrick Williams, North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate, Florida’s Percy Harvin and Rice’s Jarrett Dillard.
Overall, the Seahawks are looking to upgrade their receiver positions unsure whether ther receivers will be healthy next season. While it may be hard for the 'Hawks to lure in one of the NFL’s top receivers in the free agency, an offseason with plenty of conditioning and smart management can help a healthy Matt Hasselbeck, Deion Branch and Nate Burleson to a smoother 2009.