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Clayton expects Hawthorne to stay with Seahawks

By Brady Henderson

ESPN's John Clayton tells 710 ESPN Seattle that negotiations between the Seahawks and linebacker David Hawthorne are "intensifying" and that a deal could be reached soon.

"I would have to think he's going to probably to come back on a two- or three-year deal," Clayton told "Bob and Groz" on Friday. "[I] wouldn't be surprised if they could get something done today. But I know that the communication has still been there from the Seahawks."

Heater-statsClayton said he has been in contact with Hawthorne's agent.

Hawthorne, 26, was an undrafted rookie in 2008 and became a starter in 2009. He has led the team in tackles in each of the past three seasons while playing both middle and outside linebacker and earning a reputation as a big hitter and a strong run defender.

Hawthorne, Curtis Lofton and Stephen Tulloch were the top middle linebackers to hit free agency. Each found a market for their services that was softer than they had anticipated. Tulloch signed a five-year, $25.5 million contract to remain with the Lions. The Saints gave Lofton a five-year deal reportedly worth $33.5 million.

Hawthorne visited the Saints and was scheduled to meet with the Lions before they re-signed Tulloch.

"I think that Hawthorne is starting to realize that the market may not be there," Clayton told "The Kevin Calabro Show."

With Leroy Hill also unsigned, K.J. Wright is the Seahawks' only starting linebacker under contract for 2012. But as Clayton noted, they might not be as desperate to re-sign Hawthorne with Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly potentially available when Seattle picks 12th in next month's draft.

"I'd have to think that in the end [Hawthorne] comes back," Clayton said.

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