Seahawks News, Notes and Needs

CFL pass-rush specialist Ricky Foley does not expect to be a training camp casualty come September. Foley, who led the CFL with 12 sacks last year for the B.C. Lions, reportedly signed a deal with Seattle after trips to the N.Y. Jets, St. Louis, Philadelphia and San Diego.

Foley, who turns 28 in June, had an earlier chance to stick in the NFL, but was released after a month from the Baltimore Ravens in 2006.

The Toronto native returned to play four solid seasons in the CFL, and now hopes to follow in former CFL teammate Cameron Wake's footsteps. Wake finished with 5.5 sacks for the Miami Dolphins last season. "I think it's funny because people have been saying in the media I am too small to play on the line of scrimmage and point of attack," Foley told Seattlepi.com. "Our CFL offensive tackles are 6-5 to 6-8 and between 310-350 pounds, too.

"Technique and footwork is what separates them and anyone who thinks I'm going to get pushed out or out-physicaled by one of those big boys is crazy."

--With the Chicago Bears recently firing pro personnel director Bobby DePaul, speculation has it that former Seahawks president Tim Ruskell could be headed to the Windy City as his replacement, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.

The move would be a nice fit for Ruskell, who is good friends with current Bears general manager Jerry Angelo from their time together in Tampa Bay. Ruskell stepped down from his job as president and general manger of the Seahawks on Dec. 3.

--According to a Scout.com report by Brian McIntyre of NorthwestFootball.net, Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux played enough to trigger an increase in his salary for 2010. Babineaux was due to earn $1.45 million in base salary next year, but by meeting playing time incentives will earn $2.6 million in base pay.

Babineaux is signed through the 2013 season, agreeing to his current five-year, $15 million deal in 2007, $3.75 million of which is guaranteed. The increase in pay raises speculation on whether or not the Seahawks will keep the 27-year-old receiver around, but don't expect Babineaux's pay increase to affect the team's decision to retain him.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think you've got a real good coach there. And he's put together a good staff. And it's going to be a very successful football team." -- Former Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn, who he played nine seasons as a quarterback for Seattle, on the team's new head coach Pete Carroll.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

OFFSEASON STRATEGY

With the clock starting on teams beginning to add franchise tags to players that are entering free agency, the Seahawks likely will let the two-week period go without assigning the franchise tag to one of their possible free agents.

Seattle likely will have 10 unrestricted free agents if the owners and players do not reach an accord on a new collective bargaining agreement by March. Wide receiver Nate Burleson, kicker Olindo Mare and defensive lineman Cory Redding would be the likely candidates for the franchise tag.

Burleson would have to be signed at a price tag of $9.521 million which is a steep price for a No. 2 receiver. He made $3.25 million last season and was due to make the same this year, but took a player option in his contract that made him a free agent.

Mare would cost Seattle $2.814 million as a kicker. He made 21 straight field goals last season and proved to be an effective kicker in the rain and wind at Qwest Field. But Mare turns 37 in June.

Mare made $1.5 million last season.

Another player Seattle could consider franchising is defensive lineman Cory Redding, who made $2 million last season and had an uneven performance in his first year as a Seahawk. The tag for defensive tackles is $7 million

The deadline for applying the franchise tag is Feb. 25.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Running back: New offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said Justin Forsett and Julius Jones are good fits for the team's zone blocking scheme. However, the Seahawks could still use a dynamic playmaker at the running back position.

2. Defensive end: With Patrick Kerney likely not coming back this year and the Seahawks struggling to generate a consistent pass rush the past two seasons, the team could use an elite pass rusher coming off the edge.

3. Offensive tackle: With Walter Jones likely retiring and Sean Locklear struggling to stay healthy, Seattle needs an upgrade at the left tackle position.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--WR Nate Burleson finished with 63 catches and three touchdowns, and served as the team's deep threat last season.

--OL Trevor Canfield was a late-season pickup off the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad and is a big body who can play both guard and tackle.

--FB Justin Griffith is a crafty veteran and experienced blocker in the zone running scheme. The Seahawks could use him.

--LS Kevin Houser finished the season on injured reserve after suffering a collapsed lung against Tampa Bay, missing the final two games of the season.

--LB D.D. Lewis was a capable fill-in and special-teams player, but he likely will not be back.

--CB Ken Lucas was supplanted by Josh Wilson in the starting lineup in the second half of the season. He likely will not be back.

--K Olindo Mare had another strong season for Seattle in 2009, and the Seahawks would be wise to bring him back.

--OT Damion McIntosh played solidly when the team picked him up midseason. He'll likely leave in free agency because he's looking for a starting job.

--S Lawyer Milloy played well in limited duty and would be a good person to hold onto as a mentor for younger players. A Tacoma native, Milloy would like to stay close to home.

--DL Cory Redding played both defensive end and defensive tackle for Seattle, coming on at the end of the year. However, he could be looking to get closer to his Texas roots.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (*indicates restricted because of uncapped year)

--OL Brandon Frye showed some promise before going on injured reserve with a neck issue. He has some versatility with the ability to play guard and tackle.

--*LB Lance Laury led the team in special-teams tackles and served as an able backup at linebacker.

--WR Ben Obomanu played well on special teams and could get a chance to play more offensively next season.

--*OL Rob Sims was the team's best offensive lineman last season and wants to return to Seattle.

--*OL Chris Spencer was moved from center to guard because of issues snapping the ball with his off hand in the last three games of the year. Spencer still believes he's a center in the league.

--*DL Darryl Tapp was the team's most consistent pass rusher in 2009, but still only finished with 2.5 sacks on the year.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--P Jon Ryan: Potential RFA; $9.1M/6 yrs, SB unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--DE/LB Ricky Foley: CFL FE; terms unknown.

--LS Patrick MacDonald: CFL FA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST: None.


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