The Seahawks were resigned to losing Byron Maxwell but that won't make replacing him any easier. Seattle is considered by some to the front runner to sign former Philadelphia cornerback Cary Williams and also expressed significant interest in Green Bay's Tramon Williams. The club isn't just attempting to replace Maxwell, after all, with Tharold Simon and Jeremy Lane each facing off-season surgery.
Here are a few other notes from the NFL's last full day prior to the official kickoff of free agency that will impact Seattle's strategy:
* It sounds like a late, aggressive move by the Seahawks to land former Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas will come up short. It is being widely reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to a massive deal with the Pro Bowl tight end, though like everything in this odd "not yet official" free agency period, nothing is finalized until the ink dries. There are other intriguing options at tight end available (including Minnesota redshirt sophomore Maxx Williams via the draft), Thomas was clearly the headliner at the position. The perception is that Thomas is a terrible blocker and, frankly, he was, "earning a -11.5 grade from ProFootballFocus in run blocking in 2013, second to last among all tight ends. He made significant improvement in this area last season, registering a 0.1 grade that ranked just behind some guy named Rob Gronkowksi (0.3). Like Gronkowksi, Thomas has the athleticism, size and mitts to be the featured target in a ball-control offense.
* If Seattle misses out on Thomas, Cleveland's Jordan Cameron is an intriguing back-up plan. Cameron is even less reliable from a durability perspective than Thomas but he possesses the raw athleticism to satisfy the SPARQ heads, knows Pete Carroll well from their days together at Southern Cal and could be willing to come in on a cheap one-year show-me deal. The Seahawks have reportedly reached out to Cameron's representatives.
* Rather than gamble solely on adding new talent at tight end, the Seahawks re-signed one of their own in Anthony McCoy, who has missed the past two seasons with Achilles tendon tears. If the 6-5, 259 pounder five-year veteran can remain healthy, he can provide a Zach Miller-like impact on the offense, providing solid blocking at the point of attack and fairly soft hands. McCoy, who ran a 4.78-second 40-yard dash at the 2010 Combine, does not have the breakaway speed that has made Thomas, Cameron and Luke Willson so intriguing.
* Versatile linebacker Mike Morgan and cornerback/returner Will Blackmon were also signed Monday. Morgan, 6-3, 226 pounds, is one of Seattle's most important role players -- as in he can play virtually every role. He's a backup at all three linebacker positions and is a key special teams performer, as well. Blackmon was with Seattle in the 2013 preseason and signed with Jacksonville after being one the Seahawks' final cuts. He started 12 of 23 games the past two seasons for Gus Bradley's squad and at 6-0, 204 pounds, he possesses the length and physicality Seattle likes. Blackmon is also a good special teams performer, who has returned three of his 72 career punts back for scores. If Williams, indeed, also joins the squad, then the Seahawks may have already filled one of their greatest areas of concern.
* The re-signing of Morgan could be especially important for the Seahawks as former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith is reportedly set to sign with the Oakland Raiders. Dan Quinn's Atlanta Falcons and the San Diego Chargers were also reportedly interested.
* With big deals in the hopper for interior offensive linemen Orlando Franklin (reportedly set to sign in San Diego) and Rodney Hudson (Oakland), James Carpenter is drawing more interest in free agency than fans in Seattle might expect. He's reportedly set to join the New York Jets. Replacing Carpenter would likely be one of the club's top priorities, if it came to that. Florida State's highly versatile and athletic Cameron Erving might be a fit at No. 31 if Seattle had to reshuffle their starting offensive line.
* The Jets haven't yet released Percy Harvin, though they are widely expected to do so. which would mean that the Seahawks will be getting a sixth round pick from New York in compensation for the October trade.
* There are several intriguing receivers available, with former Houston star Andre Johnson and Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe generating lots of attention. A shorter, quicker playmaker like San Diego's Eddie Royal would also make sense.
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