After seeing talented veteran punter Jeff Feagles get coaxed into
leaving by a big offer from the New York Giants, the Hawks now have lost
placekicker Rian Lindell to Buffalo.
Lindell was wooed by a four-year,
$4.2 million offer from the Bills, which included $1.2 million in bonuses.
As Lindell was a restricted free agent, the Hawks had the right to match
the offer. They had tendered Lindell the minimum one-year deal for $605,000.
Lindell's efforts as a field-goal kicker were not the problem in
Seattle, as he connected on nearly 75 percent of his attempts.
season, Lindell made 23 of 29 field goals. He has had six game-winning field
goals and made seven of 12 attempts from 50 yards or longer.
his kickoffs routinely failed to reach or even near the end zone, a liability
for a team that was ranked 28th in total defense.
Seattle gets no
compensation for the loss of Lindell since he was undrafted out of Washington
The Hawks may now look at Mike Hollis, like Lindell a native of
the state of Washington, as a replacement candidate. Hollis had been considered
by the Bills before they made the offer to Lindell.
special teams will not be entirely without returning "specialists," however, as
long snapper J.P. Darche, a restricted free agent, signed a four-year contract
to return to Seattle.