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  • SEAHAWKS: League insiders say team is in disarray

    League insiders say team is in disarray
    By Greg Bishop
    Seattle Times staff reporter

    KIRKLAND — As the Seahawks' search for a team president stretches into Day 26 this morning, the free-agency clock most certainly is ticking and what the team calls "due diligence" is translating into "past due" in some NFL circles.

    There are 16 Seahawks scheduled to become free agents on March 2 and five restricted free agents scheduled to entertain other teams' offers, which the Seahawks have the right to match.

    There is not, at present, a team president, a vice president of football operations nor a college scouting director — three executive positions vacated in the past month.

    Each problem compounds the other, leaving a front office filled with more uncertainty than people to handle one of the most vital offseasons in the history of the franchise.

    "They are in the worst situation of any team in the league, with that many free agents and their front-office situation," said Sean Salisbury, a former Seahawk and current ESPN analyst. "It's called chaos. And that's what's going on in Seattle."

    The Times posited the Seahawks' situation to a dozen agents, executives and analysts around the league. What emerged was something akin to Chaos Theory Lite.

    The Seahawks are not facing an impossible mission. Not yet, anyway. What they are facing is less than a month to hire a president, a vice president and a college scouting director, evaluate players for free agency, ink as many of their free agents as they deem necessary and prepare for the draft.

    "I couldn't see too many other places putting themselves in this predicament," said Randy Cross, an analyst for CBS. "I imagine it doesn't exactly expedite the process. For the Seahawks, it's safe to say the better part of the foundation of their franchise is sitting there on hold."

    The first three weeks of the Seahawks' presidential search was perceived around the league as an exercise in foot dragging. Late last week, the team brought former cap expert Mike Reinfeldt on as a consultant, a move one NFC general manager called "the second-best thing they've done in a while" — a subtle nod to the firing of former president Bob Whitsitt on Jan. 14 being the first.

    Ted Thompson, then VP of football operations, left the same day to become general manager of the Green Bay Packers. Scot McCloughan, Seattle's former college scouting director, left last week to become VP of player personnel in San Francisco.


    Agents for Seahawks free agents were dealing mainly with Jay Nienkark, director of player administration, before Reinfeldt arrived. But they didn't know who would make the final call or when. Reinfeldt has stabilized some of that anxiety; each agent polled had already received a phone call from him.

    "You've got to know who's going to be calling the shots out there and running the show," said James Cook, the agent for Ken Lucas and Terreal Bierria. "Mike (Reinfeldt) called the other day, and Mike is as good as there is at what he does in this business. It was a good move on their part to bring him back."

    Reinfeldt is among the names that have surfaced during the extensive search, meaning this consultant stint could serve as an audition. The others are former Seahawks executive Randy Mueller, Tony Softli (Carolina college scouting director), Ted Sundquist (Denver GM), Bill Kuharich (Kansas City VP of pro personnel) and Bryan Wiedmeier (Miami CEO and executive VP).

    "(Reinfeldt) is top notch," said Ron Wolf, former Packers GM who worked with Reinfeldt in Green Bay. "I'm not sure why he hasn't been named as the president they're looking for. Mike was ahead of his time, constantly ahead of everybody with that salary-cap business. It wouldn't take him long to get up to speed now."

    Salisbury gave his vote to Mueller, who worked in the Seahawks' front office when Salisbury played quarterback briefly in Seattle. Cross noted that whoever the Seahawks hire needs to do what Whitsitt didn't: bring together a front office best described last season as divided.

    "Their problem, just from an outside observer, was they had a very bad situation in their front office, which ate away at everything about their team," Cross said. "The new person needs to be the one that focuses the entire building and changes the perception from within. Until the perception in that building changes, it doesn't matter if it changes anywhere else."

    Three reports place the Seahawks at $28 million under the salary cap for next season. There are decisions to be made, though, particularly concerning Matt Hasselbeck, Shaun Alexander and Walter Jones.

    "Obviously, it wasn't managed very well," Cross said. "This was one of the things that was driving Holmgren and the football side of the operation batty the last year or so. You have to address things like this on a year-to-year basis. This isn't like, 'Oh, well, in a couple of years we'll look back at this again.' "

    Some believe this is the most important offseason in the history of the Seahawks, a team that made the playoffs the last two seasons but is still searching for its first playoff win since 1984.

    "Their owner, Paul Allen, knows business as well as anyone in America," Salisbury said. "I don't know why it isn't translating. I'm shocked that an organization that is on the brink of being really, really good allowed this kind of chaos. If they can pull this off, it really will be something."

  • #2
    Re: SEAHAWKS: League insiders say team is in disarray

    That makes 2 teams in the NFC West in disarray. :redface:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: SEAHAWKS: League insiders say team is in disarray

      I agree. The Whiners are a mess.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: SEAHAWKS: League insiders say team is in disarray

        Originally posted by AvengerRam
        I agree. The Whiners are a mess.
        Make it 3. The Cards ain't all that pretty either.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: SEAHAWKS: League insiders say team is in disarray

          So this being said, If the Rams do what they are supposed to do this off season , next season should be a walk in the park!I think the Seahawks kinda peaked last year and next year they may kinda stink!

          Comment

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