Here is my source.
I’m just going to talk about the 18 unrestricted free agents. In this space, I’m going to rank them thusly: MUST HAVE; Ehh, Either Way; and Throw The Bum Out. Up first:
- Red Bryant – This was a close one, but I gotta say that what Red Bryant brings is more important to his position than what Lynch brings to his. Let’s face it, with Bryant in at defensive end, we are a completely different defense! We’re able to shut down running games, make other teams one-dimensional, and free up space for guys like Clemons to get in there and sack the quarterback. It’s hard to double-team someone like Clemons when you’ve got a beast on the other end requiring two guys to stop him. And, let’s not forget his absolute dominance along the line defending kicks. Anytime you can retain a guy who – by himself – can take points away from another team, that’s a guy you pay premium dollars to.
- Marshawn Lynch – If the Seahawks aren’t going to go out in the draft and do whatever it takes to end up with Chris Polk, then I say we HAVE to get Beastmode back in the fold. He’s easily the most marketable guy on the team right now, and he’s producing like no one since Shaun Alexander in 2005. I would fully anticipate – based on how our offensive line improved over the course of this past season – that Lynch will compete for NFL rushing titles in the coming seasons.
- David Hawthorne – Now, I wouldn’t go throwing this guy insane gobs of money, but I think it’s super-important to retain The Heater. First and foremost, he is a leader and a veteran on that defense. It’s imperative with K.J. Wright on one side, and with whoever may or may not replace Leroy Hill on the other side (if it’s not Hill, then it’s likely another rookie or first-year starter), to have a veteran presence in the middle who is not only a smart defensive player, but still a DYNAMIC power hitter able to induce fear in opposing offenses.
- Michael Robinson – I talked about him before, and I still believe he is one of our four MUST HAVE guys. A good fullback makes for a great running game. And just look at how bad we’ve been whenever Robinson has been injured! Fullbacks tend to get better with age (again, see: Mack Strong). So, I would make it a priority to not only re-sign Robinson, but to give him a good 3-year contract to keep him in the fold for a while.
Ehh, Either Way
- Atari Bigby – He brings depth, veteran leadership, and another hard-hitter to our secondary. Plus, I like as many guys with dreads as possible on my defense.
- Leroy Hill – He played every game this year, he’s still got the hard-hitting ability, he likely won’t cost a whole lot to retain, and he was 4th on the team in tackles in 2011. Also, not for nothin’, but he was 2nd on the team in sacks with 4.0. The guy still has it! Might as well bring him back, I say.
- Anthony Hargrove – I don’t remember a whole lot about this reserve defensive end, but I’m pretty sure I witnessed every one of his 3.0 sacks. Hard to say if this guy made as much of an impact as I remember – seeing as he’s a journeyman who hasn’t stayed in the same city for more than 2 years at a time – but he could be good depth insurance at a position we will eventually need to address in the draft.
- Breno Giacomini, Paul McQuistan, Mike Gibson (tie) – Offensive line depth. I don’t remember Gibson playing all that much (if at all), but I do vaguely remember someone saying that he’s our backup center. Or something. I dunno. That’s why these guys are in this catagory; it wouldn’t kill me either way if they stayed or left. But, considering the job the first two guys did in the absence of our injured draft picks, it would probably be ideal to keep them aboard for future insurance at a position that ALWAYS seems to be injury-prone for the Seahawks.
- John Carlson – Hard to believe, before this season, seeing him ranked so low on my level of favoritism, but I’ve come to the realization that the Seahawks are NEVER going to have a good tight end, so what’s the point in getting all worked up about it? Besides, it would seem to be impractical to put a ton of money into this position (considering Zach Miller’s salary) when we’re destined to never get much of a return. If he’s cheap and wants to stay? Fantastic! If he gets a better deal or opportunity elsewhere (and turns out to be an All Pro), then so be it. It’s probably never meant to be here anyway.
- David Vobora, Heath Farwell, Matt McCoy (tie) – All depth. All special teams guys. All likely WON’T be re-signed. If I had to put one ahead of the others, I seem to remember Farwell making a bunch of impact tackles on special teams, so let’s make him a priority over the other two.
- Raheem Brock – He took a significant step back this year (9 sacks in 2010, 3 sacks in 2011) and I’m pretty sure he was THIS close to not being re-signed anyway. Throw in his legal troubles, and I would say he’s toast. But, if he did come back, I guess I wouldn’t throw a tantrum.
- Justin Forsett – If he comes cheap, and he’s good for the clubhouse atmosphere, and he will keep Marshawn Lynch happy, then okay. But, if any of those three things are untrue, then so long! We can pick up another undersized 7th round running back!
- Jimmy Wilkerson – He was injured all year, so he didn’t record any stats. He’s a 9-year veteran who hasn’t really done all that much in his 9 years (though he had a career-best 6.0 sacks in 2009), but I suppose we signed him before the 2011 season for a reason. The fact that he doesn’t have any additional wear & tear on his legs is probably a plus. The fact that that’s because he injured his knee so bad it put him on the IR in the preseason is most definitely a huge minus. Ehh, either way though.
Throw The Bum Out
- Charlie Whitehurst – Who couldn’t see this ending coming a mile away? He cost us a couple draft picks, millions of dollars, and all he gave us in return was a victory against St. Louis sandwiched around two abysmal defeats to the Giants (2010) and Browns (2011) where we scored a combined 10 points. In those other games, where he appeared in reserve roles, he brought nothing to the table. He was a preseason dandy who reverted to a dud in the regular season. In a long line of attrocious Seahawks quarterbacks (Kelly Stouffer, Dan McGwire, Stan Gelbaugh, Rick Mirer, John Friesz, Jon Kitna, Trent Dilfer, Seneca Wallace), Charlie Whitehurst might’ve been the very worst. Then again, Dan McGwire WAS pretty shitty, but did he cost us multiple draft picks and millions of dollars?