Marcus Trufant Is Released As The Great Purge Continues

The following are the players currently under contract who played under Mike Holmgren (who, again, left the team after the 2008 season):

  • Ben Obomanu
  • Brandon Mebane
  • Jon Ryan

For the record, Red Bryant was drafted in Holmgren’s final season, but he isn’t currently under contract.  Ditto John Carlson, who I believe will sign elsewhere.  Ditto Justin Forsett, ditto he’s as good as gone.  Other free agents who once played for Holmgren and are likely gone include:  David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill.

When all is said and done and Red Bryant re-signs, there will be a total of 4 players on this team who were on the team back in 2008.  That’s because Marcus Trufant was released today.

Trufant has played 9 seasons in the NFL after being drafted 11th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft.  We passed on such guys as Troy Polamalu, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Charles Tillman, which doesn’t even mention Dallas Clark, who sure could’ve solved our tight end woes in Super Bowl XL.  But, that’s neither here nor there.  We took Marcus Trufant, and I don’t think that was such a bad thing.

He always got a bad rap for being injured and for not generating turnovers.  Neither one of those accusations I find fair or legitimate.  Yes, it was unfortunate he was injured for the playoffs in the 2006 season, but I would hardly place all the blame on him for us getting beat by the Bears (safety play was abysmal in that game, a testament to the overtime bomb Grossman threw to get in field goal range).  Trufant only really missed significant time in 2009 and 2011, when you could argue his body started breaking down due to wear & tear.

And, as for the turnovers, it’s kinda hard to make much of an impact when quarterbacks rarely make an effort to throw in your direction.  He still managed 7 picks in the 2007 season, when he earned his first and only Pro Bowl selection.

Trufant wasn’t the greatest cornerback ever, which might make it seem like a disappointment what with him being an 11th overall draft pick, but going into 9 straight seasons, you knew exactly what you had with Trufant.  You could write him in as a starting cornerback and you didn’t have to worry about whether he could hold his own or not.  He just balled.

The question now is:  Does Marcus Trufant Belong In The Ring Of Honor?

I say yes.  He’s without a doubt the best cornerback that’s ever played for the Seahawks.  He’s a local product and a fan favorite.  And in spite of the fact that he’s being released, he’s still got some gas left in the tank.  I think the Seahawks will do the right thing eventually.  He’ll just have to wait in line behind guys like Walter Jones, Shaun Alexander, and Matt Hasselbeck.

The Seahawks Say GTFO To Some More Guys

On the plus side, the Seahawks have also said Get The Fuck In to some guys guy too.

GONE is Matt Leinart.  Of course, since he was never here to begin with, this makes no sense.  Still, he’s decided to stay in Houston, presumably because he’s decided it’s better to go full retard than to go to a team with your former head coach and no defined starter at his very position of employment.  What does that say about a guy’s heart?  I mean, assuming these rumors were true and the Seahawks were truly trying to sign this guy, where are your nuts at, guy?

Matt Schaub is the man in Houston.  He’s proven himself and they’ve proven they’re married to him by way of what it took to get him there in the first place.  The Seahawks, meanwhile, have two suck-asses at quarterback.  Regardless of the fact that we’ve invested draft picks and millions into Whitehurst, regardless of the fact that we hired Jackson’s offensive coordinator (i.e. regardless of the fact that it appears both have a leg up over a theoretical Matt Leinart), neither of those guys have established themselves as starting quarterbacks in this league.  Therefore, you’re looking at a strict 3-way competition with the best of the worst earning that starting job come September.

Leinart just chose an automatic 2nd string quarterback job over the potential for a 1st string job.  Somebody get that guy a tampon, stat.  For his vagina!  Because he a little girl!  Ho-ho!

GONE is Will Herring.  He’s signing with New Orleans.  I lamented this for about 10 seconds until I realized that backup linebackers are a dime a dozen and we drafted a couple more a few months ago.  Herring was good, worthy of being a starter SOMEWHERE, and he was aces as a special teams coverage man.  I hope the Saints let him start because I have a feeling he’ll dominate for many years to come.

GONE is Olindo Mare.  He goes to Carolina.  What is it with Carolina stealing all our fucking kickers?  I didn’t even know John Kasay had retired … and apparently he didn’t know that either.  That’s too bad, I guess.  Since I no longer have any delusions of competing for even a crappy NFC West, I’m not going to sweat this Olindo Mare move.  We should just sign the best undrafted free agent kicker out there and give him a shot for a year; what harm could it do?  Better than picking up some old fuck off the scrap heap.

GONE is Brandon Stokley.  Again, another move I’m not going to sweat.  It’s not like we’ll have Hasselbeck around; buying a possession receiver for the likes of Jackson or Whitehurst just seems like a waste of funds.  Unless the possession receiver has Go-Go Gadget arms to reach all the overthrown balls tossed in their general vicinity, I don’t see the point.

HERE is Robert Gallery!  This is pretty exciting.  The lone bright spot in this whole week of disappointment, we’ve got our O-Line set for at least the next 3 seasons.  What ISN’T there to like?  He’s experienced, he’s good, he’s familiar with Tom Cable’s system, he’s a veteran presence for these young guys on the line to grow up around, AND it’s only a 3-year deal.  Not that teams are necessarily bound by contract years, this is still a good thing all around.  I’ll probably have more good things to say about this as the season approaches, but it’s new and fresh now so I thought I’d mention it.

So, what’s next?

Part of me thinks it’s ominous that we don’t have Brandon Mebane signed yet, but I just need to calm down a bit.  He’s GOING to test free agency, that’s just something I’m gonna have to get used to.  Doesn’t mean he’s going to sign elsewhere, but it does mean his price will go up accordingly.  He’s one of the better, younger D-linemen out there on the market; he deserves to get his money now.  I just hope Schneider is a little flexible with his negotiating.  I have a feeling he’s got a firm offer on the table and it’s going to be dwarfed by the open market.  I guess we’ll see.

Also, still no word on a cornerback.  It’s still early, none of the big studs have found a home yet (in other words, the market won’t be set until Nnamdi Asomugha signs), and who knows?  The Seahawks could very well be comfortable going with Trufant, Thurmond, and the rookies.  At the very least, though, I wish they’d get Big Play Babs back in here (if, indeed, they’re not going to make a bigger splash in the cornerback market).

Man, can’t wait for Day 3.  At this rate, I’m going to be writing one of these recaps every day through the weekend!

It’s Time To Start Thinking About Seahawks Football Again

If you’re like me, you’ve been avoiding all this stupid back-and-forth, will-they/won’t-they nonsense with the Lockout.  As such, if you’re like me, you’ve pretty much blocked all thought about the NFL and the Seahawks in particular.

This post is a little lot self-serving, but here are the issues we have to think about as Seahawks fans as the two sides come to a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  • We’ve got a lot of Free Agents to think about re-signing.  An update to this link:  Leon Washington is back with a 4-year deal.
  • There’s a 50/50 chance we’ve seen Hasselbeck play his last game as a Seahawk.
  • There was a Draft; I’m a big fan of who we picked.
  • Here’s to hoping the Final Eight rule doesn’t exist once we have a new CBA.  The Seahawks have a lot of money to spend on guys like Nnamdi Asomugha and Robert Gallery.
  • Regardless of who’s under center, there probably shouldn’t be a lot of optimism for this team repeating as Division Champs; we’re rebuilding, these things take time.
  • Don’t call it Qwest anymore.

My goal is to not rehash everything I’ve written over the past offseason … let’s see how well it goes.

The NFL’s “Final Eight” Rule Is Going To Fuck The Seahawks, Probably

You ever heard of this rule?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, because for the most part, the Draft-obsessed sports media has ignored the Final Eight Rule and anything else related to Free Agency.

Hence the poor Draft marks for the Seahawks.  Put the potential to replenish via Free Agency what we skipped in the Draft, and you Negative Nellies wouldn’t have so much firepower.

Anyway, here’s the Final Eight Rule, implemented before the 2010 season (when we also had an Uncapped Year), via Bleacher Report:

The final four teams will not be permitted to negotiate or sign any unrestricted free agent to a player contract unless he is cut from his team or originally belonged to the team that is trying to sign (or re-sign) him.

The bottom four of the final eight have it a little easier. They will be allowed to sign only one player with a salary of $4,925,000 or (less) and any number of players with a first-year salary of no more than $3,275,000 with an annual increase of no more than 30 percent in the following year.

As you well know, the Seahawks were indeed one of the Final Eight teams in last year’s playoffs, thanks to beating New Orleans.  So, not only did we slide 17 or so picks in the Draft, but we’re also saddled with this Final Eight bullshit.

What does this mean?  Well, unless Hasselbeck signs some crazy-huge contract with some desperate team, we can kiss Robert Gallery goodbye.  And that pipe dream (or wet dream, depending on who you ask) known as Nnamdi Asomugha … you can forget that one, Looney Tunes!  You’ll never get EITHER of those studs for less than 5 mil!  (unless there’s some sort of loophole … like guaranteeing a boatload of money in that 3rd year of the contract; or rigging up some kind of way to give more in the signing bonus somehow).

Oh bleak despair!  What was the point of eliminating all those big-money contracts if we weren’t going to be able to sign better players the following year?

This salary cap must return!  This is no good!  You fucking NFL owners need to pull your heads out of your asses!

Or … OR, maybe don’t.  Then, when we can’t sign anyone good in Free Agency, we can say, “Well, yeah, but look at that Final Eight Rule!  It’s not our fault, it was the one-armed man!”  Then … THEN, when we go 0-16 (all the while blaming said Final Eight Rule), our consciences will be clear (as will the path to draft Sir Andrew Luck).  It’s all coming together.

We’ll be like that one year the San Antonio Spurs were terrible, right before they drafted Tim Duncan.  Heavens no they did not tank!  Neither will we … *wink*

What Should The Seahawks Draft? – Cornerback

This has got to be a tough position to draft for NFL teams, because a good cornerback can come in so many different sizes.

Of course, all of this will be entirely moot if the Seahawks can grab Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency; he’s the prototypical All Pro NFL Cornerback.  6’2, fearlessly takes on the other team’s best receiver, has almost zero stats because teams just don’t throw his way!

Here’s how much I want Asomugha:  I would gladly watch Hasselbeck AND Mebane sign with the 49ers and go on to win a Super Bowl next season if it meant I’d get Asomugha.

But, let’s face it, we’re not likely his primary destination.  Even though he would be perfect in that Charles Woodson role Green Bay enjoys (savvy veteran surrounded almost entirely by young up-and-comers on defense).  So, we’re going to have to do something here.  Likely in the draft.

Kelly Jennings SHOULD be gone.  I have to hope we don’t re-sign the guy; he’s had plenty of time to show us what he is!  Cornerbacks don’t get better with age; they pretty much give you what they have by Year 3.  Jennings is all downhill from here, and let’s face it, that’s not a very high hill.  Marcus Trufant, by contrast, is also going downhill, but he’s got further to roll.  He’s nobody’s Number 1 Cornerback anymore and will likely require safety help more often than not.  After those two guys, we’re full of young fellas who’ve yet to do anything.

Here’s the question, though:  can we reasonably expect to get a quality cornerback with the #25 pick?  It’s silly, really, because we COULD find a Number 1 cornerback in any round of the draft.  Some of the NFL’s top young guys weren’t even drafted!

BUT, if you do find that guy you think could be the next Revis, the next Asomugha, you better grab him.  I don’t care how bad we need a quarterback or a lineman; shoring up this position needs to be a high priority.

A List Of Current Seahawks Facing Free Agency

We’ve got a lot of decisions to make this year, much like we did last year.  The disadvantage is, of course, the impending lockout (which I’m not going to get into, because what’s the point?  Yeah, I hate the idea of a lockout as I assume every other fan does too; bitching about it will accomplish nothing.  Football WILL be played again eventually, and when it is, you will watch).  The ADvantage, however, is that this coaching staff (or what’s left) and this management has had a year to analyze the players who will potentially be on their way out.  Here’s what I perceive to be the official list, with my thoughts on whether or not we should keep them.

By the by, I’m getting my info from this website.  Took me a while to track down something so simple, so credit where credit is due.  It’s worth a glance as it is a list of EVERY ALMOST EVERY Seahawks player and when they’re up for free agency.

1.  Matt Hasselbeck – I don’t know if I’m on record or not, but I’ll say it again:  I want Matt Hasselbeck back next year.  I WANT him to retire as a Seahawk, but at the very least I want him for a couple more years.  Of course, I also want us to draft someone in this upcoming draft, so he can work behind Hasselbeck, but for now Matt gives us the best chance to repeat as NFC West champs in 2011.  Final Answer:  2-year extension.

2.  Leon Washington – The dude is in his prime, 28 years of age, and he’s one of the best return men in the game.  Of COURSE I want him back.  I’d give him a 2-3 year extension if I had it my way.  Unless he hits the market and gets blown away with an offer.  I love what the guy brings, but let’s get serious, blowing a bunch of money on a running back you never use AS a running back is a bit much.  Final Answer:  2-3 year extension, if the price is right.

3.  Sean Locklear – Let him go.  He’s a bum and will be due for raises he’s not worth.  Final Answer:  No way; there are other fish in the sea.

4.  Ray Willis – If he can come back healthy, I’d like to get him on the cheap.  A bulldog with size, and at the very least can bring some depth.  Final Answer:  Yes, if healthy.

5.  Tyler Polumbus – Another solid depth guy; he’s young and cheap.  Final Answer:  Yes.

6.  Ben Hamilton & Mansfield Wrotto – I was under the impression that we’d already traded Wrotto away.  And Hamilton, I’m pretty sure, is retiring.  Final Answer:  N/A.

7.  Chris Spencer – I liken centers to defensive ends and quarterbacks:  they generally get better with age and experience.  You rarely see any of those three positions come out of college lighting the world on fire (unlike running backs, linebackers, some offensive tackles and safeties, who tend to rely on their explosive raw talent immediately).  I don’t think Spencer will ever be a Pro Bowler, but I think he can still be a solid center in this league for another 5-8 years if his body holds up.  I think he kinda gets lumped in with the shitstorm that was the 2009 Seahawks offensive line, and I think that’s unfair.  Put some talent around him, and I think Spencer is a guy worth keeping around.  He’s coming into his own now, I’d like to see where that’ll take him going forward.  Final Answer:  Yes, sign to a long-term extension.

8.  Brandon Mebane – This is EASILY the number 1 guy we have to re-sign in whatever free agency period we have this year.  If defensive tackle wasn’t so injury-prone as a position (regardless of the player), I would say we’re stupid for not inking him to a long-term deal BEFORE the offseason.  As it stands, it will weaken our already weak defensive line CONSIDERABLY if we don’t wrap this up.  He’s a run-stuffing machine who can cause a little havoc from time to time; exactly what you want with a D-line that plays 3 tackles with a Leo end as the primary pass rusher.  Final Answer:  Hell Yes!  Long-Term Deal!

9.  LeRoy Hill – We made it through this year without Hill, we specifically voided the remaining years on his deal to GET him to free agency this year, so no, I don’t think we’ll be re-signing LeRoy Hill.  Should we?  That’s up for debate.  His hitting ability is there.  If we got him cheap enough, I’d say that wouldn’t be the worst thing.  But, look, we’ve got Hawthorne entrenched at our other outside linebacker position.  We’ve got cheap, young linebacker depth kicking ass on our special teams.  We don’t NEED LeRoy Hill.  If he came back, he’d have to earn his way onto this team and likely wouldn’t be starting unless someone got injured or we started playing 4 linebacker sets.  With Tatupu’s injury history, it might not be the worst thing in the world.  We can slide Hawthorne into the middle and Hill could reclaim his old position.  Final Answer:  If he’s cheap enough, yes; but I doubt this will even be an issue.

10.  Kelly Jennings – HELL NO!  I’ve been counting the fucking days until this waste of space is out of my life.  He’s too small, he’s too slow, he’s never in a position to make a play, and it forces the safeties to help out on his side too many times, making Marcus Trufant’s life a living hell.  We need to dump the zero and sign a true lockdown corner (ahem, Nnamdi Asomugha), so the safeties can return to helping out Trufant and we can start kicking some tail on the defensive end.  Final Answer:  Are you shitting me?

11.  Lawyer Milloy – This one is about as 50/50 as it gets for me.  He won’t be expensive, he’s a natural leader and a great mentor for Earl Thomas, he knows the system inside and out, he’s a Dawg, and if we don’t re-sign him it’s unlikely he’ll go somewhere else and burn us.  On the downside, he’s pushing 40 (which means he might as well be pushing 70 in football years).  He has a tendency to over-play the run and get beat deep.  We should probably be looking towards the future at this position too.  Final Answer:  1-year extension, draft a safety that he can tutor, and that will be that.

12.  Olindo Mare – Do we dare franchise our kicker two years in a row?  Final Answer:  Hell yes we do!  Franchise the hell out of him until he stops making field goals and then cut him to the dogs!

Interesting fact of note:  Our top receivers and tight ends are signed through at least next season (can’t find word on Stokley though; I’d like to get him back if he wants back).  However, with Deon Butler’s massacre at the end of the season, we’ll likely be looking for more talent in the pass-catching department.

I know for a fact that there are others Seahawks free agents (reserves, special teamers), but I think that’s as good a rundown as we’re going to get.  The only guy who will kill me if he isn’t retained is Mebane.  The only guy who will kill me if he IS retained is Jennings.  Obviously, keeping the team the same is no way to improve (after all, we DID only win 7 games last year; and no way we blame that all on injuries), so I don’t expect all the guys I want back to BE back.  But I think my argument speaks for itself.

I Heart Tom Cable

This is what I’m talking about when I say I want a little more nastiness to come from my offensive line.  We need more alleged wife-beaters on our coaching staff!  Or maybe not alleged, I don’t know, I don’t read newspapers.  All I know is he probably punched another coach in the puss, and by golly that’s all right with me!

SOMEONE needs to beat these women on our offensive line into shape!  Whether they “fall down the stairs” or “run into a doorknob with their faces”, one thing is clear:  bitch-slapping these blockers into respectful human beings is the name of the game.

This could be really good for us.  I mean, look at how the Raiders have run the ball the last few years; they’ve been outstanding!  And, if maybe this leads to one or two Raider free agents to come over with their erstwhile head coach – one or two being left guard Robert Gallery and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha – I might just get on my knees and suck Tom Cable’s dick right then and there.

Can you even imagine our team with Gallery and Asomugha?  Left guard should be priority number one at this point, to solidify that side of our line for the next four or five years.  And cornerback is priority 1-A considering the junk we’ve been playing with for Christ knows how long now.  We NEED those two.  Those two give us an extra two wins all by themselves!  Gallery settles our offense and makes it more balanced; Asomugha locks down the other team’s best receiver and makes our defensive line look spectacular!

I promise to even learn how to spell Nnamdi Asomugha’s name if he comes to Seattle!

I don’t even care who we bring on as offensive coordinator now, thanks to Tom Cable.  I guess this guy Darrell Bevell is at the top of our list.  Another West Coast Offense guy, who worked under Brad Childress (who worked under Andy Reid, who worked under Mike Holmgren, who worked under Bill Walsh); let’s just hope Bevell doesn’t have Brad Childress’s penchant for choking in the big moments and looking the fool all the while.

Of course, if we start to see that happen, we’ve always got Tom Cable to beat that shit right out of him.