Fourteen members of the Seahawks roster will be free agents in 2010.
Every single one has something to prove.
Offense:Justin Griffith, Ben Obomanu, Rob Sims, Chris Spencer, Kyle Williams
Defense:Darryl Tapp, D.D. Lewis, Kevin Hobbs, Lance Laury, Ken Lucas, C.J. Wallace, Cory Redding
Special Teams:Olindo Mare, Jon Ryan
It's not a list that will concern too many Seahawks fans as things stand today.
There's not the nerve tingling big name set to hit the market.
Credit should be given to GM Tim Ruskell for securing the team's best young players, such as Lofa Tatupu, Leroy Hill and Marcus Trufant, to long term deals.
Let's review each individual to see what the future may hold for these prospective free agents:
The most to gain...
Cory Redding, DE/T
Acquired via trade with Detroit, a move which saw Julian Peterson head in the other direction. The Seahawks restructured Redding's contract to make it a one-year deal, creating a heavy incentive to produce in 2009.
Playing predominantly at defensive end will help his production, if he can mimic his eight-sack 2006 season he could be amongst the best available free agents in 2010.
The most to lose...
Chris Spencer, C
A 2005 first-round pick, Spencer took over as the Seahawks starting center when Robbie Tobeck retired. His time in Seattle has been hampered by inconsistent play and numerous injuries. Seattle drafted Max Unger this year as a potential replacement and if Spencer cannot prove himself in 2009, he will struggle to get a starting job elsewhere.
The wild card...
Darryl Tapp, DE
Despite an eight-sack, one-interception 2007 season, Tapp was benched in favor of rookie Lawrence Jackson last year and didn't start until Patrick Kerney landed on I.R. The former Virginia Tech DE will remain part of Seattle's rotation on the defensive line and could have an impact.
If he can play to his potential and register 8-10 sacks, teams may be willing to pay a decent price to acquire him in free agency.
For the second successive season Olindo Mare and Brandon Coutu will battle for the starting kicker role. Last year Mare won out and enjoyed a successful season, kicking 89 percent of his field goals and averaging 66.5 yards on kick offs.
The Seahawks kept Coutu on the roster, a vote of confidence in the 2008 seventh-round pick as the future starter. To have any chance of a contract passed 2010, Mare needs to win the camp battle again this year and have another productive season.
The former Packer was signed in 2008 after Ryan Plackemeier's disappointing display in week one. Started slowly, but performances picked up and he ended the season averaging 45.6 yards per punt in 15 starts. Seattle will likely review the situation next off season, but a solid year should secure Ryan's future.
The new arrivals...
Joined shortly after the draft to replace the now departed Leonard Weaver. Griffith will likely feature as the starting full back and has worked with offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in Atlanta and Oakland.
Griffith will aim to impress enough to earn another contract in the future, but the full back will have a limited role in the new Seahawks offense.
Signed to offer some experience to the Seahawks secondary, Lucas has a chance to earn an extended contract as he's expected to start 2009 across from Marcus Trufant. The Seahawks will be hoping Josh Wilson can develop into a starter, a fact which may limit Lucas' longer term credentials.
Best of the rest...
Missed the entire 2008 season due to a broken collarbone picked up in pre-season. Only 12 career receptions since entering the league in 2006. Will spend then summer challenging for a roster spot, but even if he makes the team will struggle for playing time.
Suffered a torn pectoral muscle on opening weekend and missed the rest of 2008. Has his admirers amongst the Seahawks front office and is favored to start the season at right guard.
An athletic lineman who should suit the zone blocking scheme, a solid year could secure a new contract.
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