The Seattle Seahaawks have called a 10am PT news conference, where it's expected that team president and general manager Tim Ruskell will announce his resignation.
Ruskell is in the fifth year of a five-year contract. He has not received a contract extension, and his status has been a main topic of discussion as the team appears headed towards a second consecutive non-playoff season.
A Pro Football Weekly report on Sunday stated that Ruskell had been told that he wouldn't be back in 2009.
Why resign now?
Well, for starters it allows Ruskell to start positioning himself for a position with another team. Though he's unlikely to land a general manager's job this soon after being dismissed/resigning from one, he is a solid evaluator of talent and can be a valuable member of an NFL personnel department.
Secondly, it never makes sense to have a lame-duck general manager running the ship. Not only will the Seahawks be evaluating their own roster over these last five weeks, they will be scouting the rest of the league, as well as bringing in free agents to workout for possible "futures" contracts, which are signed in January.
In the interim, I suspect that Seattle's Director of Pro Personnel, Will Lewis, will handle the day-to-day operations of the front office. He pre-dates Ruskell, having been hired by Holmgren in 1999, and may be a candidate for the position once the interview process begins.
The executive one rung above Lewis, Ruston Webster, was a Ruskell hire, with the two men working together for 15 years in Tampa before Webster joined the 'Hawks in 1986.
A quick rundown of the major sins of the Ruskell Era:
1. Transition tagging, not franchise tagging, All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson.
2. Neglecting to select an offensive tackle between 2006 and 2009, despite Walter Jones turning 32 during Ruskell's first-year on the job.
3. Trading a first-round pick for Deion Branch, then signing him to a $39M contract. Also, allowing that contract to enter a fourth year without a restructure.
4. Devoting a disproportionate percentage of the team's resources--both cash and high draft picks--towards building a defense that still struggles to pressure the quarterback or defend the pass, even at Qwest Field.
5. Failing to lock-up key players to long-term contracts, waiting until the deals to expire before signing them to long-term deals, often after use of the franchise tag.
6. Pushing a Hall of Fame head coach (Holmgren) out the door when he was at least open to signing a contract extension.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you'd like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.
Ruskell Out as Team President
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