Bannister, a fifth-round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft and a 2003 Pro Bowl special teams selection, played in seven games with one start last season before being placed on injured reserve with a broken clavicle on November 5. The Kansas City Chiefs were the team most interested in signing Bannister.
Tobeck, who joined the Seahawks in 2000 after spending his first six years in Atlanta, has started 64 straight games and both postseason games for the Seahawks since 2001. He has been the single source of reliable play at the center position, and his re-signing allows the team to draft another center and bring that young player along, as opposed to filling a need at the last minute.
With Tobeck and Bannister back on board, the Seahawks have retained all of their offensive unrestricted free agents save three. Guard Chris Gray has been talking to the San Francisco 49ers and will likely be supplanted in the starting role - whether he stays in Seattle or not - by Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack, who signed his own two-year deal with the team on March 13. FB Heath Evans took his undistinguished resume to Miami, and QB Brock Huard is unlikely to return. The key components – QB Matt Hasselbeck, LT Walter Jones, TE Itula Mili, Tobeck, Bannister and Womack – are all back on board. RB Shaun Alexander was franchised by the team, but has not signed the one-year tender worth $6.3 million.
Score one (actually, two!) more for new VP of Football Operations Mike Reinfeldt, who has done an incredible job since returning to the team in early February.