Many of these needs will be addressed in the 2009 draft, and possibly even with some trades. However, what the Seahawks do in free agency is perhaps the most important to creating another playoff-caliber team.
Before Seattle can go out and sign some big-name free agents from other teams, they need to evaluate the free agents on their own team.
So here is a list of the players the Seahawks should and should not re-sign.
Leroy Hill, LB
Hill is, without a doubt, the Seahawks' highest priority to re-sign. He finished third on the team in tackles with 84, despite missing the last four games of the year.
He is an integral part of the linebacker corps that is perhaps the best in the NFL, though Tatupu and Peterson underperformed this year.
There are worries that the Seahawks will be spending too much money on an overrated linebacker unit if they re-sign Hill, who could draw a hefty contract considering his play since he started halfway through his rookie year.
Starting alongside two Pro-Bowlers, it easy for critics to undervalue Hill. The Seahawks, however, should not make the same mistake. Hill must be re-signed.
Maurice Morris, RB
Morris played well for the Seahawks this past year, with 574 yards on 132 carries and 4.3 yards per carry. He also found a role in the passing game, with two touchdowns and 136 yards on 19 receptions.
His numbers were likely hurt by the lack of Matt Hasselbeck and the injuries to the offensive line.
If the O-line stays healthy and we make some additions to it this offseason, both Morris and Julius Jones’ play should improveand if Mora is able to work out a consistent split between the two backs, the time-share will work out better.
Bobby Engram, WR
Engram is 36, and will not merit a big contract after his numbers dropped drastically from last year’s. Nevertheless, he was the Seahawk’s second-leading receiver, with 47 catches for 489 yards.
As Hasselbeck’s trusted third-down receiver, Engram’s stats should improve when Hasseslbeck gets healthy. Most of all, I want to see Engram finish his career with the 'Hawks.
Rocky Bernard, DT
Bernard tied for first in tackles among the defensive lineman with 55.
He also had four sacks and forced a fumble in another solid season with Seattle. A seven-year starter for the Seahawks, Bernard should be pursued.
Leonard Weaver, FB
Weaver showed some improvement in his lead and pass blocking, which were major concerns when he became the starter with Mack Strong’s retirement.
However, he is still below average in both these areas.
Weaver does have some strengths. He has tremendous upside as a rusher (130 yards and 4.3 ypc) and pass catcher (20 catches, 222 yards and 2 TDs).
Ray Willis, OL
Willis, who played both RT and RG, was a part of the makeshift offensive line that stepped up for the Seahawks at the end of the season. He started nine games for the Hawks, filling in nicely.
Others to pursue
Koren Robinson, WR
Robinson was Seattle’s third leading receiver, with 30 receptions for 400 yards in 11 games.
However, most important to Robinson’s season was what he didn’t do: get into trouble with the law. He merits a short-term contract.
Howard Green, DT
The Seahawks like Green, who is a fourth-year player with upside. He deserves consideration.
Will Heller, TE
Heller is a solid backup for John Carlson. Despite limited upside, Heller has experience and is cheap.
C.J. Wallace, ST
Wallace was one of the Hawk’s top special teams contributors with 14 tackles.
Floyd Womack, OL
Filled in well in the depleted O-line. Womack is old but should get a short contract.
Who NOT to go After
Ben Obomanu, WR:
He’s had his chances to play in the NFL, and has never succeeded. Its time for the Hawks to let him go.
Charlie Frye, QB:
Other Free Agents: LS Jeff Robinson, LB Lance Laury, LB D.D. Lewis, OL Steve McKinney, CB Kevin Hobbs