Offseason Blueprint: Seattle Seahawks

Notable Free Agents: Leroy Hill, LB; Leonard Weaver, FB; Maurice Morris, RB; Rocky Bernard, DT; Bobby Engram, WR.

Projected 2009 Cap Space: $900,000

Draft Order: 4

Top Needs: The Hawks need to add depth to an offensive line that has injury and age concerns. The defensive line could stand to add depth as well and this team really needs a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. Safety and even quarterback could be addressed as well.

Offseason Outlook: Jim Mora is set to take over the reins in Seattle as Mike Holmgren puts his coaching career on hold. Perhaps the biggest thing that needs to be addressed this offseason is something the Seahawks have no control over – health. The injury bug hit this team like a runaway train last year and it never recovered.

Many early mocks have the Hawks selecting Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree with the fourth overall pick. Not a bad choice considering this team needs a major playmaker on the offensive side of the ball and Crabtree is easily the best wideout of the ’09 draft class. It’s hard to argue against taking a 6’3”, 214-pound receiver who has outstanding leaping ability and soft hands. If he winds up in Seattle, he would dramatically upgrade the wideout position.

The Seahawks’ top unrestricted free agent is 26-year old linebacker LeRoy Hill, who the team would love to retain, but his marijuana arrest in January complicates things. If nothing else, his arrest could knock his price tag down a bit, which means Seattle could have an easier time retaining Hill, who is one of the better young linebackers on the market. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation develops.

At some point, the Seahawks will address their offensive line, whether it’s in free agency or the draft. It’s doubtful at this point that Seattle spends its first round pick on an O-linemen, since the current starting five is good enough to start again next year. But the group – led by left tackle Walter Jones – is susceptible to injuries and is aging. While technically sound and smart, the starting five lacks a physical mauler, so the Hawks might add depth at all positions in order to create competition in camp.

Defensively, again, staying healthy is key because the front seven is pretty good as is, although Hill and DT Rocky Bernard are both free agents so if they depart the team will need to address those areas. The Hawks also have a size issue in the secondary, but Kelly Jennings and Marcus Trufant are still quality corners and the team could do a lot worse at safety with Deon Grant and Brian Russell. Still, look for Seattle to add depth to the unit this offseason, perhaps in the middle rounds come April.

Finally, the quarterback issue will likely be addressed in the draft. Matt Hasselbeck says his back is once again healthy, but look for the Hawks to draft a signal caller that could challenge Seneca Wallace and Charlie Frye.

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