As first reported by Mike Sando of the Tacoma News-Tribune, Mike Reinfeldt has been named the Seahawks’ Vice President of Football Administration. He had been with the Seahawks previously from 1999 to early 2004 before being lowballed by exiled team president Bob Whitsitt. Whitsitt had reportedly offered Reinfeldt a contract renewal at half his former salary.
When Reinfeldt returned to the team on February 3 in the wake of Whitsitt’s firing, he faced the daunting task of signing two of the team’s three marquee free agents – quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, running back Shaun Alexander and left tackle Walter Jones were all scheduled to hit the open market. Reinfeldt deftly constructed deals with Hasselbeck and Jones, allowing the team to place the franchise tag on Alexander – a move that saved the team approximately $2 million in cap room. Reinfeldt was not only credited within the organization for getting the deals done. Jones’ agent, Roosevelt Barnes, told USA Today that Reinfeldt was the pointman.
In the almost unprecendented disaster that Whitsitt had left behind – sixteen of the team’s players went into 2005 as unsigned free agents – some players were bound to slip through the cracks. CB Ken Lucas’ signing with the Carolina Panthers and DE Chike Okeafor’s departure to the Arizona Cardinals were two big hits to a defense that ranked 26th overall in the NFL. Had Reinfeldt not taken care of business with Hasselbeck, Alexander and Jones, the Seattle Seahawks would have faced an even more difficult future.
Reinfeldt came to Seattle along with Mike Holmgren from Green Bay in 1999. He was instrumental, along with former Packer GM Ron Wolf, in Holmgren’s hiring there.
When he came back to Seattle on an uncertain basis as a consultant, Reinfeldt was succinct in his reasoning. "This isn't about me and my status," Reinfeldt said. "I care about this franchise and want to help. This is a labor of love."
Thank goodness he was there to show it.
Doug Farrar is the Editor-in-Chief of Seahawks.NET. Feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.