Updated Feb 1, 2014 - 1:52 pm
Seattle Seahawks Blog
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 @ 1:32pm
Lofa Tatupu is attempting another comeback.
The former Seahawks middle linebacker is reportedly working out for the Broncos Tuesday as he tries to revive an NFL career that has been dormant for the last three seasons.
Tatupu, a second-round pick by Seattle in 2005, made the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2007. But his production and availability waned due to knee injuries and concussions, and he was released before training camp in 2011.
Tatupu, 31, was in training camp with the Falcons in 2012 after sitting out the 2011 season, but a torn pectoral muscle ended that comeback attempt. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Tatupu was ready to return last offseason but didn't generate much interest.
Monday, March 3, 2014 @ 6:36pm
By Brent Stecker
The Texas Rangers were hoping some of Russell Wilson's mojo would help their squad when they invited the Seahawks' Super Bowl-winning quarterback to spring training. They may have also reminded Wilson about his love for baseball.
After participating in drills earlier in the day, Russell Wilson was in the dugout for the Rangers' Cactus League game against Cleveland. (AP) | More photos
Wilson, a former Colorado Rockies second-base prospect who was drafted by the Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft in December, participated in drills during practice Monday and was in the dugout for Texas' Cactus League game against Cleveland. He clearly enjoyed the experience.
"You never say never," Wilson said in reference to returning to his pro baseball career, according to ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett. "I've always had the dream of playing two sports. If somehow it was a miracle that it could work out, I'd consider it. At the same time, my focus is winning the championship with the Seattle Seahawks and hope to be playing for a long time."
While the goal for the Rangers was to have Wilson give their players some motivation, Wilson himself found motivation from being around the club.
"More than anything, just the experience of being around a championship organization and a team that has done a lot of great things – how poised these guys are, how relaxed they are, how much fun they have coming to work every day," Wilson said. "It's the same thing we try to do with the Seattle Seahawks. It really is. It's the same language that they use in terms of competing and playing great ball all the time and having the right mindset. It transfers over.
"For me, playing the quarterback position, you have to have amnesia. You have to be able to stay focused one pitch at a time and all those things. So for me, coming back out here feels right at home."
Of course, fans from his other team were in full force at the Rangers' facility.
"The 12th Man fans were unbelievable today," Wilson said. "They're unbelievable every day. They're everywhere. They find a way to make something happen, so just the Seattle Seahawks fans, the 12th Man fans are out in the outfield, they're on third-base line, first-base line, chanting 'Seahawks' the whole way. Hopefully the Dallas fans didn't get too mad. It really is a special thing we have in Seattle and it was great."
Though Wilson last played minor-league ball in 2011, Rangers manager Ron Washington saw major-league potential Monday.
"If he continued to work and get the repetition, he could probably be as good as he is a football player," Washington said. "He surprised me for not being out on the baseball field for a while. I might have burned his legs up a little bit, but he made it through all the drills and did a fantastic job. He's got tremendous aptitude. That's why he is who he is. You give him something, and he knows how to apply it."
Monday, March 3, 2014 @ 5:51pm
By Brady Henderson
The song remains the same with Michael Bennett. He wants to return to the Seahawks and he says the interest is mutual; it's just a matter of whether the sides can come to an agreement.
The Seahawks defensive lineman shared some encouraging news on that front Monday, telling SiriuxXM NFL Radio that preliminary talks with coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider "have been positive."
Re-signing defensive end Michael Bennett has been called a "top priority" by general manager John Schneider. (AP)
"I had conversations before I left," he told "SiriusXM Blitz"hosts Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon. "Pete expressed that he wanted me to be here and so did John, and they're going to do the best they can do to try to work out a deal. And I look forward to that, get a chance to come back."
Carroll and Schneider have both stated their desire to bring back Bennett, who was arguably the Seahawks' best defensive lineman in 2013 while leading the Super Bowl champions with 8.5 sacks in the regular season and 1.5 more in the playoffs. Schneider even called Bennett "a top priority."
Seattle freed up $12.8 million in salary-cap space last week by releasing defensive end Red Bryant and wide receiver Sidney Rice, which gives the Seahawks more financial flexibility as they try to maintain the remainder of their championship roster.
While Bennett said the two sides haven't reached the stage of contract talks where numbers are exchanged, he indicated that could begin within the next day or so now that the franchise-tag period has ended.
The deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag came and went Monday without the Seahawks using the designation on Bennett or any of their other pending free agents. Bennett wasn't expecting to be tagged and he didn't want to be, instead preferring the long-term deal he's been seeking since last offseason.
After posting a career-high nine sacks with Tampa Bay in 2012, Bennett hit the market as one of the top free-agent pass rushers only to find that the interest wasn't what he had hoped. He settled for a one-year, $4.8 million with Seattle, figuring that playing in front of the NFL's best secondary and inside the league's loudest stadium would help him turn in another productive season and thereby raise his value. He did his part, and he hopes it has put him in position for the payday that wasn't there a year ago.
"Last year it was a little upsetting. I played at the same level (in 2012) I played last year and then not to get a long-term deal was a little upsetting," he said. "But God has his way he works and getting a chance to play with the Seahawks and go out there and dominate was one of the best things that ever happened to me. This year it's just a whole different feeling, coming in with a lot more notoriety. It just feels really good."
There's likely to be more interest in Bennett this time around, and one team that is believed to be a potential suitor is the Bears. They undoubtedly would be if Bennett's younger brother, Martellus, was the team's general manager instead of its starting tight end. Michael said Martellus has been contacting him "about every other day" trying to convince him to come to Chicago. Martellus took the recruitment to Twitter Monday, writing that Michael can give him a late birthday present by signing with the Bears when free agency begins March 11.
"That would be a great feeling," Michael Bennett said about possibly reuniting with his brother, "but I'm looking forward to being a Seahawk, and hopefully that happens."
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Monday, March 3, 2014 @ 1:28pm
By Brady Henderson
The franchise-tag deadline came and went Monday without the Seahawks using the designation on any of their players who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.
This was not a surprise. General manager John Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" last month that the Seahawks weren't planning on using the franchise tag, which amounts to a one-year deal worth the average of the top five salaries at a given position.
Seattle had two realistic possibilities, defensive end Michael Bennett and kicker Steven Hauschka, but the tagging Bennett would have come with a price tag of more than $12 million while designating Hauschka would have cost more than $3 million.
The Seahawks have not used the franchise tag since kicker Olindo Mare received the designation in 2010.
Monday, March 3, 2014 @ 12:11pm
By 710Sports.com staff
A transcript of the latest edition of "Hawk Talk" with Danny O'Neil.
Saturday, March 1, 2014 @ 1:24pm
By Brady Henderson
The new deal that wide receiver Riley Cooper signed earlier this week with the Eagles helps set expectations for what Seattle's Golden Tate might command as an unrestricted free agent.
Let's take a closer look.
Cooper's deal, according to ESPN's John Clayton and the website Spotrac.com, is for $22.5 million over five years, contrary to reports that count an additional $2.5 million in incentives that may not end up being reached.
The $4.5 million average should provide a baseline for Tate, who will undoubtedly ask for – and can realistically expect – a deal paying him more than that annually for a few reasons, chief among them the fact that he's been a more productive player.
Tate has finished with more receptions and receiving yards than Cooper each season since the two entered the league in 2010, and as the graphic at right shows, for the first three years he did so by a wide margin. While their 2013 seasons are comparable, Cooper's combined receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns over his first three seasons are about equal to what Tate did in 2012 alone.
There's also the fact that Tate is a more versatile receiver, having played mostly outside but also occasionally in the slot during his career. He carries added value as a punt returner, finishing last season second in return yards and ninth in average. At 25, Tate is a year younger than Cooper as well.
Something else to consider is that Cooper re-signed with Philadelphia before the start of free agency, and this is where his personal baggage might have come into play. Cooper, you may recall, was seen in a video that surfaced last summer using a racial slur in anger. And while he ultimately worked his way back into the good graces of his teammates, there's no telling how he would be received in a new locker room full of players who only know of him for that transgression. It probably made the most sense for Cooper to stay put.
Tate, on the other hand, will almost certainly test the market when free agency begins March 11. This is his best shot at a big payday, and whatever offer he gets from the Seahawks will likely be tempered by the realities that they have other unsigned free agents and key players eligible for extensions and are already paying another receiver, Percy Harvin, an average of $11 million a season.
So while the deal that Cooper signed represents the value one team placed on him, Tate will be in a much different situation when he hits the free-agent market to what should be a good number of suitors whose interest will only increase his value.
So where does that leave him? While his deal should surpass the one Cooper just signed, it seems unlikely Tate gets $8 million annually, which is on the low end of what No. 1 receivers typically make. Somewhere between $5.5 million and $7.5 million might be more realistic based on what the market has been like for top-end No. 2 receivers. The contract Brian Hartline signed last offseason with Miami – worth $30.775 million over five years for an average of $6.155 million – could be in the right neighborhood for Tate.
We'll find out sometime around March 11.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 5:36pm
By Brent Stecker
The NFL reportedly notified teams in a memo Friday that the 2014 salary cap will be $133 million.
ProFootballTalk first reported the news Friday.
The number is an even $10 million hike from last season's cap, which is a significant increase compared to years past. In 2013, the cap was raised by just $2.7 million from 2012's $120.3 million, while 2011's cap was set at $120 million.
The bump is good news for both the Super Bowl champion Seahawks and their free agents, as it provides more space for the team in its attempt to re-sign players like defensive end Michael Bennett and wide receiver Golden Tate, and those players will likely see bigger offers across the board from interested teams.
Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 12:12pm
By Brady Henderson
Earlier this month, Red Bryant was celebrating the Super Bowl victory that he helped deliver as the captain of the defense that led Seattle to its first championship.
He's now an ex-Seahawk, released Friday along with wide receiver Sidney Rice as the team announced moves that were reportedly coming.
Defensive end Red Bryant, who was released by the Seahawks Friday, has played only for Seattle since he was drafted by the team in 2008. (AP)
"We want to thank both Red and Sidney for their effort, commitment and contribution to the Seattle Seahawks over the last few years," general manager John Schneider said in a press release. "These are extremely tough decisions, but we wanted to give them a head start on free agency. We wish them well in the future."
Consider this the latest reminder of how harsh the business side of the NFL can be. While Rice's release was a predictable end to his Seahawks career given his high salary and durability issues, parting ways with Bryant – their vocal leader and a key member of their top-ranked defense – is the type of gut-wrenching move that is often necessary in a league with a salary cap.
"It's a replacement business," Bryant said before the Super Bowl when asked about teammate Clinton McDonald's financially-motivated release at the end of training camp, "and what he experienced is something that we're all going to experience."
Releasing Bryant and Rice clears up at least $12.8 million in salary cap space for 2014, possibly more depending on how they are designated. Because they were released, Bryant and Rice are free to negotiate and sign with other teams before free agency begins next month.
According to the NFL's transaction report, Rice was released with a failed-physical designation as he is coming off a season that was cut short by a torn ACL, the latest injury in a career that has been marred by them. At times during his three seasons with the Seahawks he showed the talent that enticed Seattle to give him a five-year, $41 million deal, but he had a hard time staying on the field as the injuries continued to pile up.
Rice, 27, was scheduled to count $9.7 million against Seattle's salary cap in 2014, a prohibitive amount for a player who had missed 15 of 48 regular-season games since 2011.
"Thanks for a wonderful experience!" read part of a post on Rice's Instagram account Friday.
Bryant, 29, was a Seahawk through and through. A fourth-round pick in 2008, he was one of four players who predated the 2010 arrivals of Schneider and coach Pete Carroll. He's the son-in-law of Jacob Green, a member of the Seahawks' Ring of Honor. And as a 325-defensive end, he embodied the unusual way in which Seattle had assembled the defense that led the league in scoring the past two seasons.
Bryant began his career as a defensive tackle, and his his transition to a run-stopping end was so successful that he became a defensive captain and earned a five-year, $35 million contract in 2012. But he was scheduled to count $8.5 million against the 2014 cap, which Seattle apparently deemed too high a figure for a player who was limited to early downs.
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