By Brent Stecker

Highlights from the latest edition of "Hawk Talk" with Danny O'Neil:

Jdoster06 asked if 50 catches is the best case for newly re-signed wide receiver Sidney Rice in 2014.

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Danny O'Neil said the role of the recently re-signed Sidney Rice Seahawks receiving corps in 2014 will depend on where Jermaine Kearse is placed on the depth chart. (AP)

O'Neil: Best case? Fifty is a lot. That would presume two things: He's healthy; He's ahead of Jermaine Kearse on the depth chart.

tom page asked if the Pete Carroll would be interested in bringing in trouble 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith if he were released.

O'Neil: Aldon Smith is an incredibly intriguing player though someone who is very likely going to be facing league discipline before the start of the year. The short answer: Yes, I think the Seahawks would be interested. He's an elite pass rusher, and Pete has shown a willingness to give guys a second chance. The one thing we haven't seen him do is take second chances on guys with documented substance-abuse issues.

good idea at the time asked what can be expected, if anything, from offensive guard James Carpenter this year?

O'Neil: I've started hearing the annual "he's in better shape" rumblings. Which I've taken with three grains of salt I will then use to season a hamburger.

BlatantChipmunk asked how many touches running back Christine Michael should be expected to get next season.

O'Neil: Too soon to tell. If he doesn't average 3-5 carries over the course of this season, I think we can conclude that he hasn't progressed the way the team hoped when it chose him in the second round last season.

Buckminster Fuller asked if Danny can recall past Seahawks offseason workouts that had the same level of participation as quarterback Russell Wilson's in California.

O'Neil: Well, during the lockout, everybody was all gaga over how Drew Breese orchestrated his team's workouts. I think that Russell Wilson does indeed help set a tone and provide some continuity. But that's like Reason No. 12 or Reason No. 13 on why he's the right quarterback. I generally think offseason workouts like that are vastly overblown.

Hawker asked who will replace Golden Tate as the Seahawks' main punt returner.

O'Neil: (I) am very interested to see who they try there. I've always thought Doug Baldwin would make a great candidate with his hands and fearlessness. Jeremy Lane worked some at kickoff.

Conner asked who the Seahawks value more at the linebacker position moving into the future: Bobby Wagner or K.J. Wright.

O'Neil: Bobby Wagner because of the position he plays in the middle of the defense.

Line guy asked if offensive tackle Russell Okung will be get re-signed after next season, considering his injury history, or if Carroll and general manager John Schneider will let him walk.

O'Neil: I truly don't know. I think that Russell Okung might be the biggest question in terms of long-term value, even more so than linebacker. I am reasonably certain that Seattle values (highly) Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Russell Wilson. Now, whether the team's value is high enough to sign them remains to be seen.

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Christine Michael carried the ball just 18 times as a rookie, but that number should go up significantly in 2014. (AP)

By Danny O'Neil

Seattle's offseason conditioning program begins next week, and we're counting down the five Seahawks who have the most to gain this season in everything from playing time to future contract negotiations.

We started with Bruce Irvin at No. 5 and Byron Maxwell at No. 4. Next:

RB Christine Michael

Age: 23

Experience: Entering second season

Pedigree: The first of Seattle's draft choices last season was the fifth running back chosen, which made him one of the draft's biggest surprises. The Seahawks didn't exactly have a need, having not only signed Marshawn Lynch to a four-year contract in 2012 but then drafting Robert Turbin in the fourth round.

The selection of Michael wasn't about 2013, though. That should be obvious given the fact he dressed for only four games during a rookie season that was the NFL equivalent of a redshirt. He carried 18 times, which ranked 20th out of the NFL rookie class.

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Christine Michael is one of the most explosive Seahawks, general manager John Schneider has said. (AP)

But in many ways, that makes Michael symbolic of the draft class in general, as only fifth-round choice Luke Willson and seventh-round choice Michael Bowie saw significant playing time. Seattle's draft class was more about the future than the present.

Predicament: It's not like there's more room in Seattle's backfield. Lynch is coming off his third successive season with more than 1,200 yards rushing. Turbin was the team's third-down back a year ago ahead of Michael, and he's not going to get worse. Not only that, but Seattle's hoping to add wide receiver Percy Harvin, who missed all but one regular season game, for a full 16-game diet, which isn't going to increase opportunities elsewhere.

The possibilities: First, consider the possibility Lynch might not be available for the full season. Remember when Lynch pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of reckless driving earlier this year? Well, he faces the possibility of further league discipline given his previous suspension under the personal-conduct policy.

Second, while it would be unfair to assume Lynch's productivity is going to decline, Seattle has to be prepared for that possibility. Lynch is turning 27 this year, and he's got some pretty heavy mileage. At some point the wear and tear will start to show.

The final thing to consider is that Michael is going to come into his own with a full year to improve his pass protection. Unlike his rookie season, Michael is going to get an opportunity this season. General manager John Schneider made that pretty clear earlier this month during an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle.

"We feel like two of our most explosive offensive players barely even played last year in Christine Michael and Percy," Schneider said.

By Brent Stecker

Sidney Rice won't be leaving Seattle after all.

The free-agent wide receiver, who the Seahawks released earlier this offseason, has agreed to terms with the team on a one-year deal. Rice himself tweeted the news Wednesday afternoon.

Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed.

The 28-year-old Rice spent the past three seasons with the Seahawks, but his 2013 was cut short by an ACL tear in the eighth game of the season. He finished the year with 15 receptions for 231 yards. He was cleared by doctors to work out for teams on Monday, and was reportedly taking a physical for the New York Jets shortly before signing with the Seahawks.

Seattle released the 6-foot-4, 202-pound Rice in February from a five-year, $41 million contract he signed in 2011, saving the team $7.3 million in salary cap space.

The Seahawks ended up with a need at wide receiver after Golden Tate signed with the Detroit Lions.

Rice was a Pro Bowler in 2009 for the Minnesota Vikings, a year when he totaled 83 receptions for 1,312 yards.

His best year in Seattle was 2012, when he caught 50 passes for 748 yards and seven touchdowns.

Wide receiver Sidney Rice will return to the Seahawks after agreeing to a reported one-year deal with the Super Bowl champions.

Rice was the first to announce the agreement, posting word on his Twitter account.

Rice played in eight games in 2013 before suffering a season ending knee injury. He caught 15 passes for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The Seahawks released Rice after the season to clear salary space. There's no word on the terms of the deal but his return likely comes at a highly discounted price.

What do you get when you send a clearly ignorant cameraman to try and get comments from the Seahawks about the supposed "suspicious incident" involving wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and a young woman? A healthy dose of glares from the likes of Doug Baldwin and others.

The TMZ cameraman tried to intercept Russell Wilson and other members of the team working out together this week at a gym in Southern California. First he catches tight end Anthony McCoy taking a water break and asks him about new rules that would make racial slurs a penalty. McCoy clearly doesn't want to talk but does give the guy a short answer. But when the cameraman tries to ask about Lockette, McCoy makes a hasty return to the gym.

It's apparent the guy doesn't know what he's talking about when he calls Kaepernick "Cumpernick." It gets even more absurd when he tries to talk to more players as they leave the gym and get into a van. The look of disdain on Baldwin's face is priceless as the guy stumbles and bumbles through a question about the Seahawks supporting Lockette, and the cameraman again refers to "Cumpernick."

"I don't know nothing about that, bro. I'm just here training," Baldwin tells the guy.

It's pretty clear TMZ has a thing for the Seahawks, following the team around like paparazzi.

"TMZ again?" Baldwin asks the guy incredulously when he identifies his affiliation.

By Danny O'Neil

Seattle's offseason conditioning program begins next week, and we're counting down the five Seahawks who have the most to gain this season in everything from playing time to future contract negotiations.

We started with Bruce Irvin at No. 5. Next:

CB Byron Maxwell

Age: 26

maxwell
Byron Maxwell went from being the Seahawks' fourth cornerback to starting in the Super Bowl last season, and he has a big opportunity in 2014 after Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond went elsewhere. (AP)

Experience: Entering fourth season

Pedigree: He began last season as the fourth cornerback on the roster who had a history of leg injuries and an uncertain future. He ended the year starting in the Super Bowl, a player with enough future that the free-agent departures of Walter Thurmond and then Brandon Browner were met with a collective shrug.

A sixth-round pick out of Clemson in 2011, Maxwell has strong hands, a physical style and a nose for the ball. Remember the Super Bowl when he punched the ball away from Demaryius Thomas? Well, he has had a penchant for that in previous games and even in practice.

The Seahawks were excited about Maxwell as far back as his rookie season when he was impressive in training camp. Maybe even more impressive than his fellow rookie that year, a guy named Richard Sherman. Maxwell was susceptible to muscle strains, though, and last season was the first time he played more than nine games in a season.

Predicament: Maxwell was the presumed starter even before Thurmond signed with the Giants, Browner with the Patriots. Now, Maxwell must prove both his durability and the ability to stand up to opponents who are more likely to throw his way given the fact Sherman is on the other side.

The possibilities: Maxwell is in a terrific spot to showcase himself, entering the final year of his rookie contract and playing for a team whose secondary is the biggest strength.

On the flip side, Seattle is now going to be counting on him to be healthy, and after Maxwell played his way up the depth chart a year ago, we'll see how he handles being a starter now. It's a great opportunity for Maxwell. It's also more pressure than he has had before.

By Jim Moore

The Seahawks wisely released Sidney Rice in February to save $7.3 million in salary-cap space.

Now they should re-sign him if he's willing to accept a much smaller salary with incentives.

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Sidney Rice never reached the production of his 2009 Pro Bowl season for the Vikings in his three seasons with the Seahawks, and he was released earlier this offseason. (AP)

On Monday, Rice received medical clearance to work out for NFL teams. As you'll recall, he tore his ACL last October in the eighth game of the season at St. Louis.

Rice was having a down year – 15 catches for 231 yards, and he was generally considered a disappointment in his three years here.

He had a hard time staying healthy and a harder time justifying the five-year, $41 million contract the Seahawks gave him in 2011 with $18 million guaranteed.

Rice never looked like the guy who went to the Pro Bowl in 2009 after having 83 receptions for 1,312 yards with the Vikings.

We saw glimpses of his greatness in 2012 – against the Patriots, he caught the deciding touchdown on a 46-yard pass from Russell Wilson in a 24-23 win at Century Link Field.

Two months later in a 23-17 victory over the Bears at Soldier Field, he had six catches for 99 yards, including the game-winning TD.

If Rice were to return to the Seahawks at a drastically reduced price, I'm looking for negatives and can't think of any.

At 6-foot-4, he'd be the tall, rangy receiver they're currently lacking. They lost Golden Tate to the Lions, but how good would this receiving corps be with Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Rice? I don't think anyone would be calling them pedestrian anymore.

What if Rice comes back and gets hurt again? What if he makes another trip to Switzerland for some kind of magical medical procedure that doesn't work out?

So what. If they're paying him peanuts, it's worth the risk when you consider the best-case scenario.

Rice turns 28 on Sept. 1. He could not only help you this year but for years to come. If he and Harvin are healthy for 16 games – a big "if," I know – imagine the possibilities for the Seahawks' offense.

If I were John Schneider, I'd be making a big push to re-sign Rice, which means he probably isn't because anything I'm in favor of is likely a bad idea.

But let's say he is pursuing Rice. I'd say it's 50-50 at best that the Seahawks re-sign him.

According to an ESPN.com post I saw this morning, the Seahawks are the favorites to sign him among the other teams who are reportedly interested in Rice – Carolina, New Orleans and the New York Giants.

They're the favorites because they have the most room under the salary cap at $15.8 million. Carolina, which needs receiving help the most, is $2.7 million under the cap; the Saints are at $3.7 million and the Giants are at $4.1 million.

But the Seahawks also have an Earl Thomas extension in the works, which reduces their wiggle room.

Carolina could really use Rice, and it's thought he might want to play for the Panthers since he grew up in Gaffney, S.C., just an hour from Charlotte.

But I'm hoping he'll want to return to the Seahawks. He's familiar with the system and was said to have enjoyed his time here.

If the Seahawks get Rice, they could still draft a tall, gifted receiver and groom him for the future – maybe even redshirt him like they did Christine Michael last year.

The chance for another Lombardi Trophy in which Rice has a more active role could lure him back and trump higher offers elsewhere.

The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website jimmoorethego2guy.com and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at jimmoorethego2guy@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.

You could forgive Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson if he took it easy during the offseason. But it's pretty clear from some Instagram videos he just posted that Wilson and some of his teammates aren't resting on their Super Bowl champion laurels.

"Training with my offense down in California this week! #Repeat #AllInAgain!" Wilson wrote in a post on one of the videos. The video, shot in a gym in Huntington Beach, shows Wilson along with fellow quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and B.J. Daniels, tight ends Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Anthony McCoy, Travis Beckum, and Cooper Helfet, wide receivers Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, Arceto Clark, and Chris Matthews, as well as running backs Robert Turbin and Spencer Ware, according to Seahawks.com

The other video, posted Tuesday afternoon, shows Wilson tossing a perfect play-action pass to Jermaine Kearse on what appears to be a high school field.

"3 to 15 for the score. #notime2sleep #NoOffSeason," Wilson wrote.

It's comforting to know that while 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is in the news again for all the wrong reasons after a "suspicious incident" at an apartment in Miami (albeit with the Seahawks' Lockette,) Wilson is focused on business.

Next »


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