Notebook: Can Pollard Make a Difference?

Marcus Pollard wasn't a big-ticket free agent this off-season, and for good reason. The veteran tight end is 35 years old and coming off a 12-catch season with the Lions. The Seahawks weren't initially interested in him for those reasons, but they changed their outlook in a big way after researching the situation.

Pollard caught 46 passes for the Lions in 2005, but his role in the offense disappeared when Mike Martz installed a receiver-oriented offense last season. Seattle watched the tape and determined Pollard still had the quickness and good hands to be a productive player if used properly in the right offense.

In fact, coach Mike Holmgren recently said he thinks Pollard can become the first tight end in franchise history to reach 50 receptions. "I'm counting on him to do it," Holmgren said. "In fact, it should be more than that because when (Jerramy) Stevens and (Itula) Mili and Ryan Hannam were here, when the top guy was getting 45-50 catches, the other guy would get 20 and another guy would get 10.

"The position would get 75 or 80. So, if (Pollard) is going to be, if he can hold up and be the guy in there most of the time, then I expect him to catch his share of balls because he is a good pass receiver."
Seattle has some decisions to make in how to use its personnel. Stevens played primarily in the base offense and in the one-back, three-receiver grouping. He came off the field quite a bit because Seattle played without a tight end more often last season.

"The problem is with our tight end now with what we are doing, we take him out of the game and put three receivers in the game with two backs," Holmgren said. "So we have (Bobby) Engram in the game. He replaces the tight end. That hurts the actual numbers of reps."

That could change if Pollard proves he's worthy of getting on the field more often.


--Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke played a leading role in the NFL's new revenue-sharing agreement. He was part of the eight-member qualifier committee that spent the last year working toward a resolution. NFL owners approved their plan by a 30-2 vote.

"Revenue sharing is a difficult issue," Leiweke said. "But the cool thing is that there was a spirit of cooperation. We would not have gotten a unified vote without a bunch of well-intended people being on that committee. And it was an important thing for the commissioner. For him to get a unified recommendation out of the committee and then to have it go down on a 30-2 vote was really significant."

--Mike Holmgren argued against the proposal to let one defensive player use a coach-to-player radio receiver in his helmet. Owners favored the device by a 22-10 vote at the recent league meetings, but the issue needed at least 24 votes to pass.

"I can understand the sentiment for it, but I think it creates another level of problems," Holmgren said. "They are saying one guy can have it and that's the middle linebacker, the safety, whoever is calling the defense. Then if that guy gets hurt, they can't use it anymore. Then one team has it and the other team doesn't.

"I just reminded them to keep in mind why we have it on offense."

Quarterbacks were allowed to use the radio receivers after the league shortened the play clock by five seconds in 1993. Offensive terminology can be quite involved, and the radios let coaches get the play into the huddle without risking penalties for delay of game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It worked out well for Seattle and he'll be a good player for the Seahawks for a long time." -- Mike Holmgren on the trade that brought Deion Branch to Seattle for a 2007 first-round pick.


The Seahawks feel reasonably comfortable with their situation on the offensive line after re-signing Floyd Womack. The team could also bring back Chris Gray. Even if that happens, Seattle is a candidate to draft one or more offensive linemen this year. Walter Jones, Rob Sims, Chris Spencer and Sean Locklear will start. The team needs to identify a starting right guard. Womack is one option, but he has had injury problems.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

--PK Josh Brown: Tendered at $2.078M.


--OG Chris Gray could return in a backup role and he has the potential to start if needed.
--LB D.D. Lewis has a hard time staying healthy and that will hurt him in free agency.
--DE Kemp Rasmussen spent last season on injured reserve. He's a good special-teamer when healthy.
--RB Josh Scobey is a top-flight special-teams coverage player who can return kicks, but he is not a factor as a runner.
--TE Jerramy Stevens ended his chance of being re-signed after March 13 arrest.
--DE Joe Tafoya can be a very good special-teams player, but injuries have taken a toll.
--CB Jimmy Williams is coming off ACL surgery, putting his future in doubt.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--S Oliver Celestin (not tendered as RFA) served as a backup all last season. He has some experience.

--DB Jordan Babineaux (tendered at $1.35M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) can play corner or safety, and he has a history of making plays. At some point he needs to focus on one position.
--WR D.J. Hackett (tendered at $1.35M with 2nd-round pick as compensation) has starting potential.
--LB Niko Koutouvides (tendered at $850,000 with 4th-round pick as compensation) is a core special-teams player but not a starting-caliber linebacker.
--OT Sean Locklear (tendered at $1.85M with 1st-round pick as compensation) got a higher tender even though he's coming off an injury-diminished season.
--DT Craig Terrill (tendered at $850,000 with 6th-round pick as compensation) is a good pass rusher with lots of energy and a great motor. He should be recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2006 season early.


--WR Bobby Engram: UFA; $3.4M/2 yrs, $880,000 SB..
--TE Will Heller: UFA; $1.8M/2 yrs, $300,000 SB.
--DB Pete Hunter: Potential UFA; terms unknown.
--FB Josh Parry: Not tendered as RFA; $1.52M/ 2 yrs, $120,000 SB.
--LS Derek Rackley: Potential UFA; $720,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.
--OG Floyd Womack: UFA; terms unknown.

--S Deon Grant: UFA Jaguars; 6 yrs, terms unknown.
--DE Patrick Kerney: UFA Falcons; $39.5M/6 yrs, $19.5M guaranteed.
--TE Marcus Pollard: FA Lions; terms unknown.
--S Brian Russell: UFA Browns; $13.5M/5 yrs, $3M SB.


--LS J.P. Darche: UFA Chiefs; 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--S Ken Hamlin: UFA Cowboys; $2.5M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--C Robbie Tobeck: UFA; retired.
--DE Grant Wistrom (released; post-June 1 designation). Top Stories