Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com selects his overrated and underrated players for each NFL team. His picks for the Seahawks: Mike Williams and Brandon Mebane. Prisco on Williams: “OK, so he was a nice story. But he doesn’t run well enough to truly be a No. 1 receiver. You watch.” Prisco on Mebane: “Playing in the Northwest, he doesn’t get a lot of love. But he’s a heck of a player who could become a free agent. He’s about to get paid.”
It wouldn’t be an official cyber surfing offering without some conjecture about the future of QB Matt Hasselbeck, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent when the league calendar finally begins. In this blog item from CBSSports.com, what’s been “out there” about Hasselbeck this week is served up. The latest speculation has Hasselbeck going to the Titans, where he could start and also tutor former UW QB Jake Locker, the team’s first-round draft choice.
Speaking of conjecture, the name of free-agent guard Robert Gallery has been linked to the Seahawks on more than one occasion during the lockout because, well, he plays left guard – a need area for the team – and he also played for new line coach Tom Cable in Oakland. Pat Kirwan of NFL.com takes a look at what the cost of signing Gallery might be – for any team; or for any potential free-agent guard, for that matter. Says Kirwan: “Veteran Robert Gallery turned down a deal to stay with the Oakland Raiders before the lockout to take his chances in free agency. It was probably a good business decision, but things will change quickly if players with four and five years of experience are declared free agents pending the outcome of the new CBA.”
NFL.com weighs in with its selections for the best backup quarterback in the league, and former Seahawks/Central Washington/Lincoln High School of Tacoma QB Jon Kitna gets some love. Pat Kirwan on Kitna: “My favorite backup quarterback who really isn’t a candidate to start anywhere for the rest of his career, but is still good enough to come off the bench on a moment’s notice and win games, is Jon Kitna in Dallas. He led the Cowboys to a 4-5 record last year when Tony Romo went down with injury and threw 16 touchdown passes to 12 interceptions with an 88.9 passer rating.”
In our give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-situation-update we jump into the WABAC (way-back) machine (with Mr. Peabody’s permission, of course) to look at the last work stoppage in the NFL. Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN.com takes a look at the 1987 players’ strike, which led to the owners fielding teams of replacement players for three weeks. Offers Merrill: “The search for talent went everywhere, in grocery stores, bars and chewed-up semipro fields. One team, the Washington Redskins, picked up a quarterback on work furlough from prison. But most of the replacement players were young men in limbo, somewhere between college and whatever was supposed to come next.”
For a more Seahawk-centric look at the same period, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer did this piece on the 15th anniversary of the first replacement games. Offered Tim Burnham, the left tackle on the Seahawks’ replacement team: “It was a good time, but it wasn’t something I’m necessarily proud of. Personally, I came close to not doing it out of respect for the Players Association, and what they were trying to achieve. But when I look back on it – like a lot of people who have crossed a picket line, for whatever reason – most of them are doing it not to be spiteful, but to simply give themselves an opportunity.”
As for the current labor situation, Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com talked with Patriots owner Robert Kraft about the current discussions between representatives of the owners and players. Said Kraft, one of the owners at those meetings: “I think we’ve been fortunate that we’ve had two rounds of talks, and any time principals are talking in any deal that’s complicated or has potential problems, I think that’s a big plus. I’m happy that we’re talking, principal to principal.”
Trent Dilfer, a former QB for the Seahawks and now an analyst for ESPN, says he doesn’t see the players winning in this situation. Talking to reporters at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Dilfer offered: “I do not see any chance the players win this negotiation outright. I think they can lose to a lesser degree than they may have in March. But no matter how you cut it now, the owners are going to win. We as players in both leagues (also the NBA) have been just destroying the owners in the last couple of collective bargaining agreements.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles about the first 35 seasons in franchise history with a look at 1999 – when an 8-2 start turned into a 9-7 record in Mike Holmgren’s first season as coach. But the team did post a winning record for the first time since 1990, and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1988. The ’99 season also included a victory by a quarterback in the only start he made for the Seahawks. We also ask: Who had the best single-season performance by a wide receiver?