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  1. #1
    Nick's Avatar
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    Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    http://blogs.thenewstribune.com/seahawks/

    Hawks sign Burleson to offer sheet

    The Seahawks signed Vikings WR Nate Burleson to an offer sheet today, giving Minnesota seven days to match or lose the three-year veteran to Seattle.

    Get this (and I am not making this up): The offer is a seven-year, $49 million deal with $5.25 million guaranteed and two hilarious poison pills guaranteeing the entire $49 million if he plays a certain number of games in the State of Minnesota, or if his average-per-year exceeds the average of the highest-paid running back on the team (I need to confirm the specifics on the second poison pill, but you get the point: The Seahawks have a running back who averages more money per year, while the Vikings do not).

    The poison pills are obviously direct retribution for the contract Minnesota used to sign LG Steve Hutchinson from the Seahawks. More than anything, it appears as though the Seahawks are making a point about just how ludicrous these poison-pill clauses can be. Now we'll see if the league and its players address the issue. Just on principle, it's hard to imagine the Vikings contesting these clauses after using a similar one with Hutchinson.

    Obviously this deal will be reworked after a few years, but they did what they had to do to make this look like the seven-year, $49 million offer the Vikings made to Hutchinson. I hope to have more on the financial breakdown, but like I said, the fact that $5.25 million is guaranteed tells you this is, in reality, a four-year deal dressed up as a bigger package to make a point.

    If Minnesota does not match the Seahawks' offer, the Vikings would receive Seattle's third-round choice in the upcoming draft. It's a low third-round pick given that Seattle advanced to the Super Bowl last season, but the pick would still give the Vikings ammunition should they try to trade up the draft board.

    The timing of the offer sheet is perhaps a little surprising given that NFL teams have until April 21 to make offers to restricted free agents, and this is a league that sometimes needs a deadline to get things done. But Seattle's interest in Burleson has been well established since the team visited with him last week at Seahawks headquarters. Seattle also might be looking to move proactively after suffering some free-agent losses, notably Hutchinson and WR Joe Jurevicius. The team also fell short in a recent attempt to acquire DE John Abraham from the Jets.

    Burleson, who turns 25 in August, caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns in 2004. His numbers fell to 30-328-1 last season as injuries limited him to nine games. The Vikings also suffered through a disappointing season headlined by that most classy of forays into nautical naughtiness on the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

    Seattle views Burleson, 6-0 and 192 pounds, as possessing needed play-making ability. The team would presumably be looking to pair Burleson with WR Darrell Jackson, allowing WR Bobby Engram to retake his former position as the third receiver. This would leave WR D.J. Hackett and WR Peter Warrick fighting for time as the fourth receiver, with WR Alex Bannister trying to return from a broken clavicle.

    Is Burleson the answer for Seattle? Depends on the question. Skeptics will point out that his lone 1,000-yard season came with WR Randy Moss on the other side of the field. Believers will note that Burleson is a young player with Seattle roots (O'Dea High) and good stats when healthy.

    The Vikings have not been particularly aggressive in trying to sign Burleson for the long term. They have a new staff and they also have WR Koren Robinson, the player Seattle envisioned in its lineup all along. Without the off-field issues that ruined Robinson's career in Seattle, the Seahawks wouldn't be in the market for a young prospect such as Burleson.
    tanus should find this one pretty funny.


  2. #2
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    Does "Desperate Housewives" have this much drama, back stabbing, envy or revenge going on? Too funny!LOL

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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    Yeah, this one is HILARIOUS I must admit. Kinda glad to see that the front office has a sense of humor. I would imagine they're trying to force the NFL's hand in patching that gaping hole in the CBA.

    I actually said when I found out that we were targeting Burleson that I wanted them to do something ridiculously spiteful like this. I never thought they'd actually do it though. Too funny. LOL
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by Large_Ant
    Yeah, this one is HILARIOUS I must admit. Kinda glad to see that the front office has a sense of humor. I would imagine they're trying to force the NFL's hand in patching that gaping hole in the CBA.
    Good point Large_Ant, but can the NFL do anything about that gapping hole at this point? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    Good point Large_Ant, but can the NFL do anything about that gapping hole at this point? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
    Yeah, they did it before. A loophole was exposed when the Colts swindled away one of the Bills players on a loophole very similar to the one the Vikings used with Hutchinson. The NFL and NFLPA got back together to amend the loophole. It takes both of them together to make the change though. After the ridiculous way the Seahawks worded this one, I'd bet they get back together sooner rather than later.

    Here's the article on the Colts/Bills case:

    The Seahawks might try to argue that such guarantees are no longer allowed under a 1994 CBA revision sparked by Wolford's move from Buffalo to Indianapolis. Wolford, the Bills' transition player, signed a three-year, $7.65 million offer sheet with the Colts.

    The deal included a clause that Wolford must be the team's highest-paid offensive player. He qualified for that distinction in Indianapolis, but in Buffalo, quarterback Jim Kelly was earning more. In order to match, Buffalo would have had to raise the overall value of Wolford's offer sheet.

    The Bills lost the case in arbitration and did not match Wolford's contract. Afterward, the NFL and the union agreed that offer sheets for transition players no longer could require the matching team to raise the overall value.
    http://www.startribune.com/510/story/314728.html

    In the Hutchinson case, the Vikings got around this loophole fix by making the Seahawks guarantee the contract instead of actually paying more in the total value of the contract. Despite the fact that we all know it's the same thing, the CBA didn't specifically say that wasn't allowed so they got away with it. I'd expect them to get back together and fix it otherwise we might actually see a day when the offer they gave Burleson isn't really all that ridiculous.
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    tanus is offline Registered User
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer shee

    lol, i love it. so what do you think about the clause about the number of games in minnesota nick?

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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    The best thing about the offer to Burleson is that when T.O. sees how much he's getting paid he'll hold out and leave the Cowboys in the lurch! LOL

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer shee

    Quote Originally Posted by tanus
    lol, i love it. so what do you think about the clause about the number of games in minnesota nick?
    Honestly, I don't have a big problem with it. I'd rather have the third round pick than Burleson. :tongue:

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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    Besides the hags trying to make a point with this contract, they seem a bit desperate. They are over spending because they think they are on the verge of a SB win. Someone please tell them they are already set up for failure this year. It’s called SB hang over, you can’t spend your way out of it, you just have to paid the price for coming up short.

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    I'm hearing rumblings that the more realistic terms of the deal really appear to be four years for $14 million, including the $5.25 million guaranteed. That's essentially the same deal Keyshawn got from Carolina, and I'm sorry, but Nate Burleson is not at the level of Keyshawn Johnson, IMO. Keyshawn is aging, but I would take him over Burleson at this point.

    The contract is clearly back loaded and Burleson definitely won't see any of that money, but if the terms of the contract are as stated and it's essentially that four year deal, I still think they overpaid. Will Burleson be better than any receiver the Seahawks get in the third? I definitely think he will. But I'm not convinced you look at it that way. The Seahawks could spend a first or second on a receiver whom I think could be better than Burleson, and because of the depth of talent in this draft, take a player in the third who could still develop into a better pro than Burleson.

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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer sheet

    Its an interesting basis for a player personnel decision, though...

    Spite!

  12. #12
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer shee

    Not at all. Burleson is a big YAC guy, he'll fit into this offense quite well, I think. Ironically, in the role that was originally earmarked for now-Viking K. Robinson.

    I think he's well worth the late third round pick, we wouldn't get any better value there. I don't fully agree that we overpaid for him either, it's almost certain that the contract will be re-negotiated. In the meantime, less than $6mill is guaranteed.

    We might have overpaid for Peterson though, but if he stays healthy it will be worth it, imo. I'd rather the FO be over agressive while we have a great nucleus than under-aggressive (see Mariners FO for the last five years).

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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer shee

    Quote Originally Posted by bluengreen
    I think he's well worth the late third round pick, we wouldn't get any better value there. I don't fully agree that we overpaid for him either, it's almost certain that the contract will be re-negotiated. In the meantime, less than $6mill is guaranteed.
    Keyshawn Johnson > Nate Burleson

    Yet Nate is getting the better contract, even when you take out the back loaded bump and break the thing down to what it essentially (supposedly) is.

    I'm sorry, but that's overpaying, IMO.

    As for the third round pick, I absolutely agree that it's slim the Seahawks could get a better wide receiver than Burleson in the third round. But I think the talent of this class is deep enough where they could get a better overall player, and spend an earlier pick on a wide receiver that would be better than Burleson.

    Let me put it this way. The Seahawks could draft a good late second round receiver such as Derek Hagan, Martin Nance, or Demetrius Williams, and I think could find themselves with a player who has more potential than Burleson. Then they could have spent that third rounder on a defensive end (if they didn't use their first round pick on one) or more depth on the offensive line or secondary.

    I could have seen the Seahawks going best CB or DE available in the first round, WR in the second, and then either CB or DE in the third (whichever they didn't address in the first), and ending up with a better receiver as well as defensive help at positions of pretty good depth.

    So while I agree that Burleson is likely better than a late third round receiver, I don't think it's quite as simple as that.

  14. #14
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer shee

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick
    Keyshawn Johnson > Nate Burleson

    Yet Nate is getting the better contract, even when you take out the back loaded bump and break the thing down to what it essentially (supposedly) is.

    I'm sorry, but that's overpaying, IMO.

    As for the third round pick, I absolutely agree that it's slim the Seahawks could get a better wide receiver than Burleson in the third round. But I think the talent of this class is deep enough where they could get a better overall player, and spend an earlier pick on a wide receiver that would be better than Burleson.

    Let me put it this way. The Seahawks could draft a good late second round receiver such as Derek Hagan, Martin Nance, or Demetrius Williams, and I think could find themselves with a player who has more potential than Burleson. Then they could have spent that third rounder on a defensive end (if they didn't use their first round pick on one) or more depth on the offensive line or secondary.

    I could have seen the Seahawks going best CB or DE available in the first round, WR in the second, and then either CB or DE in the third (whichever they didn't address in the first), and ending up with a better receiver as well as defensive help at positions of pretty good depth.

    So while I agree that Burleson is likely better than a late third round receiver, I don't think it's quite as simple as that.
    Great post. You seem to have a pretty good grip on what our team needs -- better than I've kept track of the Rams this offseason I must admit, though I tracked your coaching situation with great interest. Of course it's not as simple as that. But in the end, after last season, I really, really trust our FO's talent evaluation skills.

    Many people (including myself) for instance thought that trading up to take Tatupu was a horrible reach, but it turned out that he was imo our defensive MVP last year and we wouldn't have got where we did without him.

    So I have to suspect that Burleson -- who is a great YAC sort of receiver -- will do really well in our offense, making him well worth his contract.

    And I gotta believe that they did their homework with Peterson and are convinced his achilles isn't going to blow up again and he's going to continue playing at his monstrous level.

    Of course I could be just being naive here -- and time will tell -- but for the first time since the mid-eighties I really trust our FO.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Seahawks respond to losing Hutch by signing WR Burleson to $49 million offer shee

    Quote Originally Posted by bluengreen
    Many people (including myself) for instance thought that trading up to take Tatupu was a horrible reach, but it turned out that he was imo our defensive MVP last year and we wouldn't have got where we did without him.
    I was one of those people, and my stomach is still rumbling as it tries to digest the large plate of crow that I was served. That said, I think it's a bit different striking gold on an underrated prospect than it is striking gold on an NFL free agent that we've seen at the professional level.

    I do agree that Burleson's ability to gain yards after the catch would make him a nice fit in Seattle, but I don't see him as a big play-making receiver and I don't think he's going to match what Jurevicius did production-wise.

    Here's my problem with Seattle's offense. When I look at that offense, I don't see a guy who can take the team on his back and get results single-handedly. To an extent Hasselbeck fits that role, but he's handicapped by what's around him - see the SB for an example.

    I'm not convinced that Shaun Alexander, when his team needs him most, is the kind of guy who is going to step up and be a gamer. He gets amazing stats, but he's not in the Tiki Barber mold where he can simply take the Seahawks on his shoulders and carry them if they need him to do that, IMO. I'm trying to say that as tactfully as possible without trying to really make it seem like I'm slamming Alexander too much. I think he's a top five runner in this league, but I think there are some running backs who when their team is struggling can just man up and make things happen themselves, and I just don't see that in Alexander.

    As for their receivers, even with Burleson, I don't see a game changer. Jackson is a good starter, but not in the upper echilon of receiving talents. Stevens had a career year at TE only to crap the bed in the biggest game of his life. Jurevicius filled in well when injuries forced him into a bigger role and I think he's still a good starter but he's gone now. Engram is probably best relegated to situatinal duties as the slot receiver. I like the potential of D.J. Hackett but I think he has a way's to go still.

    I really think the Seahawks would benefit from getting a true impact receiver. Unfortunately for the 'Hawks, there weren't a great many of them really available in free agency. Clearly your front office was smart enough not to make a play for TO, and I think the only other real option out there was David Givens. That's why I liked the notion of the Seahawks spending a second round pick on a receiver, because I think there is some good talent through the first two rounds. But I think dipping into the third, it starts to decline. If the logic is that the front office wasn't going to spend a first or second round pick on a receiver anyways, then Burleson's deal makes more sense because he's an upgrade over the late day one receivers. But if the Seahawks were open to taking a receiver in the first or second, then I think they shot themselves in the foot a bit with this offer sheet.

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