But one player they seem to have zoned in on is Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.
Considered by several draft experts as the top overall player in the draft and the safest pick, the Seahawks recently worked out Curry in Winston-Salem, N.C. on the Wake Forest campus, according to Curry’s agent Andy Ross.
Seattle also had Curry in for a private visit at the team’s Renton practice facility.
“He (Curry) said everything went great,” Ross said about the workout at Wake Forest. “He really got along with the coach well and really likes their system. He just looks forward to whatever team takes him to be a leader and an impact player.”
Curry already visited Detroit Lions, who have the No. 1 overall pick. Along with Seattle, he plans to visit Kansas City and Cleveland.
The 6-2, 254-pound Curry ran the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds last month in Indianapolis at the NFL scouting combine, the fastest time by a linebacker.
Curry would fill a need for Seattle, replacing Pro Bowler Julian Peterson in Seattle’s 4-3 defensive front. The Seahawks traded Peterson to Detroit for defensive lineman Cory Redding and a fifth-round draft choice this year.
Seattle had $20.7 million in salary tied up in its starting linebackers with Peterson in the fold, but gained about $4 million in cap space by dealing Peterson. The Seahawks, however, may not want to put themselves in similar position by drafting Curry, a rangy athlete who would bring a similar set of skills to Seattle’s linebackers’ unit as the departed Peterson.
Ross said Curry would welcome any team drafting him.
“I think he looks at it as a dream come true to play in the NFL,” Ross said. “And whatever team takes him, he just loves football. He loves the game. He loves to study the game. And he wants to get in there and help whatever team decides that he’s the guy for them.”
• Ex-Seahawks cornerback Ken Lucas, recently released by the Carolina Panthers, visited the Seattle Seahawks before taking a trip to Chicago, and could sign with either team soon.
At 6-0, 205 pounds, Lucas is a big, physical corner who would fit in nicely with Seattle’s change to more of a cover-2 scheme.
Lucas was drafted by Seattle in 2001 and got his start with the Seahawks before leaving in free agency, signing a lucrative deal with Carolina in 2005.
Besides having played in Seattle, Lucas presumably also has a good relationship with current Seattle defensive backs coach Tim Lewis, who served as the defensive backs coach in Carolina when Lucas was there.
• The National Football League recently announced its preseason schedule, and the Seahawks will face all of their former AFC West rivals this year. Seattle will play at San Diego in Week 1 (Aug. 13-17), followed by a home date against Denver (Aug. 20-24), an away game at Kansas City (Aug. 27-31) and finishing with a home game against Oakland (Sept. 3-4).
The league typically tries to limit travel for teams during the preseason, and the Seahawks usually do not play against NFC West divisional opponents during these exhibition contests, so that’s why you see Seattle facing a steady diet of Oakland and San Diego during the preseason.
• Ex-Seahawks fullback Leonard Weaver is off to a rocky start with his new team, the Philadelphia Eagles. After telling reporters in Philadelphia that his preference would have been to re-sign with Seattle, a local columnist took Weaver to task for expressing those sentiments.
The story had Weaver seeking to clarify his statements during a radio interview afterward, and talking about himself in the third person.
“And I know, Philly, you gotta be careful about the media and what they say,” Weaver said. “If you didn’t hear it from Weave and you just saw it written down, then make sure you talk to Weave. Weave’ll clear it up for you.”
• The Seattle Post Intelligencer caught up with departed Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren to see how retirement was treating him. Turns out Holmgren is searching for things to do with his free time.
According to the report, Holmgren and wife Kathy will spend time at their winter home in the Phoenix area during the season. The couple also has plans to visit Ireland and Scotland in September, when the league’s regular-season schedule kicks in.
“I’m trying not to read the paper too much, trying not to listen to talk radio,” Holmgren told the Seattle P-I. “I’m interested in free agency, but I’m trying not to think too much about the Seahawks and what they’re doing. I’m trying to distance myself a little bit to get a clear picture of how I feel about this.”
Quote To Note: “Ya know, for 35 years I could tell you pretty much what I’ll be doing next Thursday at 1:30, or the next month, where I’ll be. Now I have no real structure.” – Former Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren commenting on his retirement.
Strategy And Personnel
TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY
Seattle is well-positioned to take the best player available heading into the draft after filling the most pressing needs through free agency. However, the Seahawks may consider drafting a quarterback of the future to eventually replace aging quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who missed nine games last season due to a bulging disk in his back.
The Seahawks also added depth at linebacker by re-signing D.D. Lewis and Lance Laury, and they pretty much swapped backup tight ends with Detroit by signing John Owens. Heading into the draft, Seattle is set up to draft the player that will have the most impact who is available with the No. 4 overall pick. However, the Seahawks still need to address depth concerns at defensive back, running back and offensive line.
1. Running back: Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett are scheduled to share the load this season, but the Seahawks could still use a more explosive alternative here.
2. Offensive line: With Walter Jones coming off of microfracture knee surgery, the Seahawks could use some added insurance here.
3. Safety: The Seahawks need to draft a younger, more physical presence to man the middle in the defensive secondary.
Medical Watch: No updates.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Leroy Hill: Tendered at 8.304M.
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
• QB Charlie Frye started one game and struggled, finishing 12 of 23 for 83 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 27-17 loss to Green Bay.
• LB Wesley Mallard finished on the injured reserve with an injured hamstring.
• C Steve McKinney was picked up at midseason to help add depth to an offensive line decimated by injuries.
• LS Jeff Robinson filled in nicely when rookie Tyler Schmitt suffered a back injury during training camp. Seattle may lean on him again in 2009,
• WR Koren Robinson was productive in spurts but does not have the top-end speed he possessed early in his career. May be off to greener pastures.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
• CB Kevin Hobbs: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
• WR Jordan Kent: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
• LB Lance Laury: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
• LB D.D. Lewis: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
• WR Ben Obomanu: ERFA; tendered at $460,000; terms unknown.
• WR Courtney Taylor: ERFA; tendered at $460,000; terms unknown.
• S C.J. Wallace: Potential ERFA; $460,000/ 1 yr).
• OT Ray Willis: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
• DT Colin Cole: UFA Packers; $21.4M/5 yrs, $6M guaranteed.
• WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh: UFA Bengals; $40M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
• TE John Owens: UFA Lions; terms unknown.
• DT Cory Redding (trade Lions).
• DT Rocky Bernard: UFA Giants; $16M/4 yrs, guarantee unknown.
• WR Bobby Engram: UFA Chiefs; terms unknown.
• OG Chris Gray: UFA; retired.
• DT Howard Green: UFA Jets; $625,000/1 yr, guarantees unknown.
• TE Will Heller: UFA Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.
• RB Maurice Morris: UFA Lions; $7M/3 yrs, SB unknown.
• LB Julian Peterson (traded Lions).
• FB Leonard Weaver: UFA Eagles; $1.75M/1 yr.
• OT Floyd Womack: UFA Browns; terms unknown.