Seattle Seahawks Free Agency: Five Players Seattle Must Re-Sign
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The Seahawks have 25 unrestricted free agents going into the 2011 season, and obviously a lot of tough choices to make in deciding on whom to re-sign.
Many of the nine players drafted will compete for a roster spot or start in 2011, and Seattle has a few less holes to fill through free agency.
Given Seattle's direction in the 2011 draft, the picture becomes a little clearer as to who may return in 2011.
Here are five unrestricted free agents the Seahawks should re-sign to fill some of the holes that still remain.
Raheem Brock, DE
Brock had a career season in 2010.
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The one-time Super Bowl winner and longtime stalwart on the Colts defensive line registered a career-high nine sacks in 2010.
He began the season relegated to a limited role as a late preseason addition, but after the injuries to Red Bryant and others along the line, Brock's role grew. This piece highlights Brock's experience and attitude, how his contribution as a hard working presence is a plus for the Seattle locker room.
Unfortunately, a midseason legal incident off the field was coupled with a lull in production after his positive influence early in the season.
However, Brock registered six of his nine sacks in the final five games, with two sacks and two forced fumbles in the playoffs.
Brock was quoted after harassing Drew Brees in the playoffs, "I want to hit the quarterback." His toughness helped a defense that was riddled with injuries in 2010, as he was one of the most consistent contributors for the final eight games of the season.
The downside to his 2010 success is he becomes a candidate to disappoint in 2011. Brock will be entering his 10th season in the NFL, and his age is now a legitimate factor.
Brock earned himself a raise and should have a spot on the 2011 roster, but the Seahawks must be careful not to lock themselves into too many years and guaranteed dollars.
A team option and/or incentives towards the end of the deal would be a wise move for Seattle; Brock is a veteran presence I think Seattle can not afford to lose, the type of leadership and winning experience Seattle needs to help usher in the next era of Seahawks defensive lineman.
Brandon Stokley, WR
A touchdown versus New Orleans.
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The Seahawks were lucky enough to sign one of the most underrated slot receivers in NFL history early in the 2010 season.
Stokley's 31 regular season receptions don't signify the impact he had for this team.
He was signed before the Week 4 game in St. Louis and made an immediate impact with four receptions in a game where the Seahawks offense was near stagnant.
Stokley battled injuries, but was extremely productive when he was on the field, often underused when healthy.
During the Week 14 comeback, in which the Seahawks lost both Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu for the second half, Stokely orchestrated the young receivers the entire second half; putting people in the right positions to make plays, he helped engineer 28 unanswered points and a comeback victory.
The team's most consistent slot receiver in 2010 with 23 first downs on 31 catches, he also led the team in receiving both playoff games.
His consistent hands, football IQ, leadership and experience makes him a unique package; a member of the Ravens 2000 Super Bowl team and a four-year teammate of Peyton Manning's, he provides a knowledge and skill set few slot receivers can offer.
The Seahawks current elder statesmen at receiver is 27-year-old Ben Obomanu, leading a group of inexperienced receivers. John Clayton said on Seattle radio Tuesday Seattle should re-sign Stokley, even if for the minimum.
Seattle can't afford to lose the leader of their receiving core, and Seattle's quarterback in 2011 needs a veteran security blanket.
Junior Siavii, DL
Siavii made plays, and remained somewhat unnoticed, for Seattle in a limited role for Seattle.
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Siavii has been a journeyman pro, after quickly emerging as a talent at the University of Oregon and being drafted in the 2004 second round by Kansas City. He landed with Seattle before Week 1 of the 2010 season after being cut by Dallas.
In my opinion, Siavii was one of the few bright spots that emerged through the injury riddled defense last season; until leaving with a stinger in Week 15, the result a trip to IR.
Siavii had been enjoying his best season as a pro. He saw time in a limited role at defensive tackle before both Cole and Mebane got hurt.
Siavii registered 22 tackles in increased playing time in Weeks 9-15, consistently occupying space along the line of scrimmage and penetrating into the backfield as a presence against the run.
At 6'5", 315 pounds, Siavii has great size, and he showed versatility in moving to the 5-tech at times before his injury. Siavii could be brought back for a cheap price and showed he can be a contributor as depth along the defensive line.
If he can remain healthy in 2011 and continue to grow as a football player—he appeared in only 42 games with 26 tackles prior to this season—Seattle may find a role for Siavii to become a consistent contributor in 2011.
Matt Hasselbeck, QB
A marriage not quite ready to be ended?
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The following was revealed; Bevell expressed how much the team wanted Hasselbeck, and a source close to Hasselbeck believes he is "as close as ever" to re-signing with the club.
I find this news a bit more intriguing given this May 2nd tweet by Hasselbeck, in which he jokes about hopefully receiving his new Seahawks playbook in the mail.
The Seahawks established in the first two days of the draft there is room for Hasselbeck, and they intend to protect whoever plays quarterback in 2011 and beyond; Day 3 of the draft was focused on creating opportunities for the offense.
I don't think trading for Kolb or Palmer isn't a better option.
Matt Leinart or Tarvaris Jackson do not bring the competitive, veteran presence that Hasselbeck does—Seattle can still try to sign one of those players to sit for a year or two.
Are signs pointing towards a contract compromise? It's possible Hasselbeck is realizing how difficult relocation could be, but also understanding his best chance to win now may be in Seattle, not starting over. On the other side of the coin, does Seattle now believe Hasselbeck is the best veteran available?
Either way, the negotiation process must take place, with Hasselbeck hoping for financial security and maybe a raise, Seattle possibly aimed towards an avenue of incentives, escalators and/or options.
Right now, I think the signs point towards both sides finding a way to pick up where they collectively left off after the 2010 season.
Olindo Mare, K
Mare is a professional, a hard worker that wants to win.
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Mare has made 73 of 83 field goal attempts in his three seasons in Seattle, a stretch of his career that rivals his two straight seasons of 90-plus field-goal percentage early in his career.
Additionally, he has maintained strong kick off numbers, is in the top half in average yards per kick and top five in touch backs.
The Seahawks chose to not franchise tag Mare into 2011, but Mare has since said he will give Seattle a hometown discount.
He did also elude to signing a three-, four- or five-year deal in the same interview.
Seattle would be best served giving Mare a one- or two-year deal with a team option for an additional year; even if the team decides to bring in competition for Mare during training camp—he beat out Brandon Coutu in 2008—he is an experienced veteran that will be hard-pressed to give up his job.
The main factor in deciding this deal could be the length of contract. Losing Mare would open an unexpected hole at kicker and create another twist to the Seahawks 2011 offseason.