Seahawks Tender Six RFAs

On Thursday, the Seahawks gave tender offers to six restricted free agents – guard Sean Locklear, receiver D.J. Hackett, defensive back Jordan Babineaux, guard Craig Terrill, linebacker Niko Koutouvides, and fullback Leonard Weaver.

Right tackle Sean Locklear, one of the most promising young offensive linemen in the NFL today, was the only Seahawk to receive the first-round tender. This offer means that Locklear will either make $1.85 million in the 2007 season, or the Seahawks will get the first-round draft pick of any team that signs the 6’3”, 301-pound North Carolina State graduate. Though he missed six games in 2006 due to a high ankle sprain, Locklear maintained his status as a mainstay on a Seattle offensive line that has gone through its share of changes in the last two years. The 25-year-old Locklear was originally selected in the third round of the 2004 draft. and Seahawks.NET broke the news that WR D.J. Hackett got a second-round tender, according to his agent, Tom Mills of Ascent Sports Management. Despite the level that he was tendered, Hackett will most likely still receive interest from other teams.

This tender, which pays Hackett $1.3 million if no other team negotiates with him and gives the Seahawks a second-round pick from any team who reaches a deal with him that Seattle might refuse to match, is seen as surprising to some, as Hackett is a very highly-rated receiver among those in the know. It was expected in many circles that he'd receive a first-round tender. Hackett, who went to Colorado, was a fifth-round Seattle draft pick in 2004. Through his career, Hackett has caught 73 balls for 1,010 yards and six touchdowns. According to Football Outsiders’ proprietary stats, he led the Seahawks in DPAR (Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement) and finished second in the NFL in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) among wide receivers.

CB/S Jordan Babineaux has also been tendered at the second-round, $1.3 million level. Signed by Seattle as an undrafted free agent from Southern Arkansas, "Big Play Babs" has proven very versatile in the defensive backfield over his career. In that career, he has amassed four interceptions and 137 tackles. He started eight games as strong safety in 2006 after starter Michael Boulware was demoted, and made the tackle on Dallas quarterback Tony Romo that allowed the Seahawks to advance to the divisional round of the 2006 playoffs.

Guard Craig Terrill, a high-motor player with some success rushing the passer and on special teams, received the sixth-round tender (guaranteeing him $850,000 if he stays in Seattle). MLB Niko Koutouvides, who performs on special teams, got the fourth-round tender, which promises the same amount as Terrill’s. FB Leonard Weaver, who spent the entire 2006 season on injured reserve, is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (less than three accrued seasons when his contract expires), which means that he can only negotiate with Seattle.

For the Seahawks and every other NFL team, free agency officially begins when the clock strikes 12:01 AM on Friday, March 2nd. The Seahawks are rumored to be interested in Chargers guard Kris Dielman, Patriots tight end Daniel Graham and Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney.

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