News & Notes: Sims Out the Door?


Posted Apr 2, 2010


It appears the Seattle Seahawks soon will be parting ways with offensive guard Rob Sims. A restricted free agent, Sims reportedly signed his $1.176 million, fourth-round tender with the hopes of accelerating a potential trade.

According to reports, Sims is not in Seattle's future plans because he is not a good fit in the zone-blocking scheme being installed by new offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. And Sims has generated some interest around the league, with both Chicago and Detroit showing interest in the 6-foot-3, 312-pound offensive lineman.

Sims was a favorite of former general manager Tim Ruskell, who is rumored to be joining Chicago's front office. Sims had been part of Seattle's plans moving forward when Ruskell was still with the team.

Sims was considered the best blocker up front for an offensive line that struggled to protect quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in 2009. Seattle even considered moving Sims out to left tackle after the team suffered a series of injuries to players at the position, including cornerstone tackle Walter Jones missing all of last season after microfracture knee surgery in December 2008.

Considered a mauler, Sims likely would be a better fit in a man-blocking scheme. Sims was a fourth round selection by Seattle out of Ohio State in 2006. He started 34 of 45 games played for the Seahawks.

Sims, 26, missed most of the 2008 season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle against Buffalo in the first game of the year. He came back in 2009 and started in 14 of 16 games.

If Sims winds up in Detroit, he would be joining several former Seahawks already on the roster, including recent unrestricted free agent signing wide receiver Nate Burleson, linebacker Julian Peterson, running back Maurice Morris, tight end Will Heller, safety Marquand Manuel and cornerback Kevin Hobbs.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

--Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill appears to have put a drug-related incident that happened over a year ago behind him.

Hill pleaded guilty to a charge of marijuana possession in Douglas County Superior Court in suburban Georgia, receiving 12 months probation. Hill also had to pay a $500 fine and $50 in court costs.

According to court documents, Hill will have to serve 30 hours of community service, attend drug and alcohol counseling classes over the next, four months and be available for random drug and alcohol screening.

Hill, 27, can petition the court to have the conviction erased from his record under the jurisdiction's conditional discharge program.

Safety belt and brake light violation charges were dropped.

The charges stem from a Jan. 24, 2009 incident that occurred early Saturday morning where police found the Seahawks linebacker passed out behind the wheel at a major intersection in suburban Atlanta. Officers found less than one ounce of marijuana in Hill's vehicle.

The incident didn't stop the Seahawks from franchising Hill and later signing him to a six-year, $38 million deal, with $15.5 million in guarantees.

Hill also expressed remorse for the incident.

"I am embarrassed by the incident Saturday morning and the poor judgment I showed," said Hill a few days after the incident. "Please understand my actions were not consistent with the type of person I hope to become."

Even with the case resolved, Hill could still be subject to further discipline against him by the league's confidential substance abuse program.

--The Seahawks recently announced the signing of Arizona Cardinals free agent wide receiver Sean Morey to a multi-year deal

Morey, 34, played a key role on the Cardinals punt and kickoff coverage units -- an area Seattle could certainly use some help.

Morey earned a 2008 trip to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player, with 22 tackles on special teams that year. He also earned notoriety that season for blocking a punt in overtime against Dallas that led to a game-winning touchdown by linebacker Monty Beisel. Morey was selected a Pro Bowl alternate as a special teams player in 2009.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll also is familiar with Morey. Carroll was the head coach for New England when Morey was a seventh-round draft choice of the Patriots in 1999. Morey spent two seasons with the Patriots before signing with Philadelphia. He spent the past three seasons with the Cardinals.

--The Seahawks continue to insist that even though they made a trade to bring in San Diego restricted free agent Charlie Whitehurst to compete with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, there's still a chance they take another signal caller early in this year's draft.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider recently attended the pro days of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Texas signal caller Colt McCoy.

Although Seattle probably does not have a shot at the Oklahoma quarterback, with Bradford likely pegged to go to St. Louis at No. 1, Carroll was impressed with Bradford's workout.

"His accuracy was just about perfect today," Carroll said about Bradford. "And he came back at the end of the workout and threw a couple more deeps just to show he had it in him to do it. It was a big day for him."

Asked if he was done going after quarterbacks, Carroll had this to say:

"Heck no," Carroll told the NFL Network. "When you look at a guy like this (Bradford), he has a chance to make you for a long time. And I don't know if we'll ever get a chance at him, but we'd love the opportunity."

--The NFL recently released its preseason schedule, and the Seahawks will face Tennessee and Green Bay at home, Minnesota and Oakland on the road.

Seattle usually plays a steady diet of AFC West teams during the exhibition season to cut down on travel, but likely only plays Oakland this year because the Seahawks play the AFC West during the regular season. Dates for the games have not been announced.

Seattle's regular season schedule likely will be announced in mid-April, but the team's opponents are already locked in.

The Seahawks will host Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis, Atlanta, Carolina, San Diego, Kansas City and the New York Giants. Seattle will travel to Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Oakland, Denver and Chicago.

--Former Seahawks safety Deon Grant signed a deal with the New York Giants. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Giants signed Grant as insurance in case Giants' safety Kenny Phillips struggles in his return from an arthritic knee condition.

Seattle released Grant, 31, on March 15. He was due to make $4 million for the Seahawks in 2010, and started every game during his three-year tenure with Seattle. Seattle now only has two safeties on the roster with Grant gone, Jordan Babineaux and Jamar Adams.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "From OU to bowling with (offensive tackle Russell) Okung at Fontiere Lanes to our next stop watching Dez Bryant in Lufkin, Texas ... it's a road trip..." -- Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll commenting via twitter on his recent pro day trips.

 

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

OFFSEASON STRATEGY

The Seahawks still need to figure out how to fix an offensive line that struggled last season. Walter Jones likely will retire this offseason, leaving a huge void at left tackle. Seattle appears to be leaning toward developing Sean Locklear at left tackle, but could draft a tackle to develop in the first round.

Seattle also has a void at guard. Seattle restricted free agent Rob Sims has not signed his fourth-round tender and likely will be traded. Seattle has hosted Houston unrestricted free agent offensive guard Chester Pitts, who has experience in offensive line coach Alex Gibbs zone blocking scheme. Denver Broncos unrestricted free agent offensive lineman Ben Hamilton also is expected to visit Seattle.

And with defensive end Cory Redding signing a two-year, $6 million deal with Baltimore, the Seahawks need to add depth along the defensive line.

 

TEAM NEEDS

1. Safety: The Seahawks parted ways with veteran Deon Grant, releasing the 31-year-old safety and his $4 million base salary for 2010. Seattle struggled stopping the pass in the past two seasons and will be looking to add a young playmaker in the back end of its defense.

2. Defensive end: With Patrick Kerney set to make $5.16 million in 2010, he likely will not be back this year. The Seahawks struggled to generate a consistent pass rush the past two seasons with Kerney on the field, so the team could use an elite pass rusher 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 so it can move Locklear to his more comfortable spot at right tackle.

MEDICAL WATCH: No updates.

 

FRANCHISE PLAYER: PK Olindo Mare (tendered at $2.814M; signed tender March 9).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--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.

--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.

--LS Jeff Robinson keeps rolling along, snapping when he gets the call.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

--OL Brandon Frye (not tendered as RFA) showed some promise before going on injured reserve with a neck issue. He has some versatility with the ability to play guard and tackle.

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

--WR Ben Obomanu (tendered at $1.101M with seventh-round pick as compensation) played well on special teams and could get a chance to play more offensively next season.

--*OL Rob Sims (tendered at $1.176M with fourth-round pick as compensation) was the team's best offensive lineman last season and wants to return to Seattle.

--*OL Chris Spencer (tendered at $2.621M with first-round pick as compensation) 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.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

--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.

--LB David Hawthorne led the team in tackles with 117, starting 11 games for injured middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--K Olindo Mare: FFA; $2.814M/1 yr.

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

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--TE Chris Baker: FA Patriots; $4.75M/2 yrs, $2.75M guaranteed.

--DE Chris Clemons (trade Eagles).

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

--RB Quinton Ganther: Not tendered as ERFA by Redskins; terms unknown.

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

--*WR Ruvell Martin: Not tendered as RFA by Rams; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--LB Matt McCoy: Not tendered as RFA by Buccaneers; terms unknown.

--WR Sean Morey: UFA Cardinals; terms unknown.

--QB Charlie Whitehurst (trade Chargers, new contract $8M/2 yrs).

PLAYERS LOST

--WR Nate Burleson: UFA Lions; $25M/5 yrs, $11M guaranteed.

--S Deon Grant (released).

--*LB Lance Laury: Not tendered as RFA/Jets; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--DL Cory Redding: UFA Ravens; $6M/2 yrs.

--*DE Darryl Tapp (traded Eagles); had been tendered at $1.176M with second-round pick as compensation, signed tender and traded.

--QB Seneca Wallace (traded Browns).



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