Keep or Kick, Vol. 3 - Leonard Weaver

Through the month of February, Seahawks.NET will be taking an in-depth look at the future prospects of every 2006 Seahawks player who currently enjoys Restricted or Unrestricted Free Agent status. In our third installment of "Keep or Kick?", Todd Breda explores the case for and against fullback Leonard Weaver.

Leonard Weaver
Fullback - 6'-0", 251 pounds
2007 Status: Exclusive Rights Free Agent
2007 Age: 24
2007 Service: 2 years

Year

Team

Att

Yds

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2005

Seattle Seahawks

12

80

1

17

17

17

0

0

0

2006

Seattle Seahawks

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

CAREER

12

80

1

17

17

17

0

0

0

Leonard Weaver was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2005 as an undrafted free agent. Although he played in all 16 games in the team's historic championship season, most of that time was on special teams. He was inactivated for both the 2005 NFC championship game versus Carolina as well as the Seahawks first-ever Super Bowl appearance versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

SEATTLE - Leonard Weaver #43 is seen here during a home preseason game. Weaver was placed on the injured reserve list early in 2006 due to a foot injury. (Photo by Getty Images)

Weaver carried the ball 12 times for a total of 80 yards, catching one pass for 17 yards. He tied a career-high with five rushes and set highs for yards (41) and long gain (24) versus San Francisco (12/11). He replaced the other-wise supernaturally-healthy Mack Strong (stinger, chest) in the second quarter versus Houston (10/16), finishing with five carries for 21 yards.

2006 was unfortunately an uneventful season for Weaver as he injured his ankle early in the season and was placed on the injured reserve list. So all of that stiff-arming, offensive-battering ram potential fans caught a glimpse of in training camps and preseason games would have to be put on hold. Weaver's contract expired in 2006 and since he has three or fewer years in the league, he is currently an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA). The Seahawks must make a contract offer by the league imposed deadline or he will become an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA). No compensation is awarded for losing EFAs. So if the Seahawks want to keep Weaver, they need to make an offer in the near future.

The Case For: Weaver is an aggressive, agile runner for his size who isn't afraid of contact and seems to have a mean streak to his running style which is a drastic contrast in technique over the team's star running back Shaun Alexander. His stiff arm is a thing of beauty, a trait that hasn't been on display with such precision and devastation since John L. Williams was spelling Curt Warner under the concrete roof of the Kingdome. His aggressive, down-hill running style combined with that aforementioned glorious stiff arm has made him a fan favorite despite his limited production and playing time.

The Case Against: The Seahawks have Weaver listed as a fullback but to play and excel at Mike Holmgren's style of West-Coast offense, the fullback has to have superior blocking skills which Weaver doesn't have - yet. Without that vital attribute, he would seem to fit the running back position better, serving as a possibly deadly 2-back option out of the backfield. However, with Alexander and Maurice Morris as the 1st and 2nd at the position, it seems that Weaver could be the odd man out by default.

Keep or Kick? Keep. Weaver has displayed too many positive characteristics when he's had a chance to play. If he can stay healthy and work on his blocking skills, Weaver could become the obvious Heir Apparent to Mack Strong. Even if he can't work out as the team's fullback, he could provide a potentially-potent change-up to the smaller, quicker and more fluid running style of Shaun Alexander.


Todd Breda is the owner of Seahawks.NET. You can email him by clicking here.

 


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