Seattle Seahawks Rumors & News

Seahawks To Sign Michael Wilhoite

The Seahawks and free agent linebacker Michael Wilhoite have agreed to a contract, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Michael Wilhoite

Seattle had been on the lookout for linebacker depth before its deal with Wilhoite, having met with him, ex-49ers teammate Gerald Hodges and former Redskin and Steeler Terence Garvin in recent days. The Seahawks were already familiar with Wilhoite prior to free agency, as he spent the first five years of his career with NFC West rival San Francisco. Thus far, the 30-year-old Wilhoite has amassed 65 appearances and 36 starts.

After starting in all 28 of his appearances from 2014-15, Wilhoite took on a lesser role last year. While he did log the third 16-game season of his career and play 58.3 of the 49ers’ special teams snaps, he only started in six contents and saw action in 44.3 percent of defensive snaps. As a defender, Wilhoite picked up 46 tackles, a forced fumble and a half-sack, and ranked as one of Pro Football Focus’ five worst qualified linebackers in overall performance (though he did earn a respectable grade against the pass).

When the Seahawks’ agreement with Wilhoite becomes official, they’ll have added two linebackers this offseason (the special teams-only Arthur Brown was the first). The team has also lost one, as Brock Coyle signed with the 49ers, while longtime Seahawks reserve Mike Morgan remains without a deal. Regardless, with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright in place, Seattle possesses an elite linebacker corps.

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Seahawks Notes: Garvin, Hodges

  • The Seahawks hosted linebacker Terence Garvin on a visit Wednesday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Garvin, 27, spent last year with Washington and was with the Steelers in the previous three seasons. Garvin has 59 career appearances on his resume but just one start.
  • Along with Garvin, the Seahawks met with yet another linebacker, Gerald Hodges, on Wednesday. The two sides “had a good visit,” though there’s no deal yet, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Hodges is coming off a quietly impressive season that saw him tally 80 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions in 15 games (12 starts) with San Francisco. He also graded 21st among Pro Football Focus’ 87 qualified linebackers.

Front Office Rumors: Bills, 49ers, Colts

Earlier today, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com brought us news on the Redskins’ GM search. Further down in his column, he presented more front office news from around the NFL. Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • New Bills coach Sean McDermott could convince ownership to import front office guys with whom he has a relationship. JLC floats the name of Panthers director of player personnel Don Gregory and notes that there are “already rumblings that the marriage of McDermott and Bills GM Doug Whaley” will not last.
  • The 49ers are also looking to add to the front office. This makes sense given that new GM John Lynch is a front office neophyte.
  • New Colts GM Chris Ballard may want to shake up the scouting core, but league sources tell JLC that he may have to wait a year since the evaluators that are already there have more time to go on their contracts. Still, Ballard badly wants to poach Seahawks executive Ed Dodds. If Indy can land him, he’ll probably get a promotion over his current title. Jets director of college scouting Rex Hogan is also a Ballard target, but JLC hears that he still has a good amount of time left on his contract and might be harder to pry away.
  • Bears exec Morocco Brown, who has history with Ballard, could be a possible candidate for the Colts and 49ers. JLC notes that Brown had a solid relationship with new SF coach Kyle Shanahan in D.C.

Latest On Redskins’ GM Search

The Redskins are casting a wide net in their search for a general manager, but they’re already finding that several top executives are not interested in working for them. Redskins officials are looking at some of the more successful teams in the league to find a highly qualified candidates, but several targets have already removed themselves from consideration, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora. Redskins Cheerleader (vertical)

La Canfora doesn’t list specific names of execs who have been considered, but he hears that the search has included front office people with the Steelers, Seahawks, and Packers. I would speculate that the list of candidates could include Packers Director of Football Operations Eliot Wolf, Packers Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst, and Seahawks co-Directors of Player Personnel Scott Fitterer and Trent Kirchner. However, based on what JLC is hearing, they might not have any interest in the job.

Front office guys from around the league have multiple concerns about the gig. It’s not clear who would really have the power in D.C. given the history of meddling from team president Bruce Allen and owner Dan Snyder. Furthermore, the team’s proposed GM salary is in the $1.5MM range, and that might not be enough money to make a top candidate overlook all of the red flags in Washington. There’s also concern about whether Snyder will be willing to pump the necessary resources into scouts and talent evaluators.

So far, former Bucs GM Mark Dominik and ex-Chargers GM A.J. Smith have been among the names linked to the opening, but JLC hears that neither guy is expected to land the job. Former Redskins quarterback Doug Williams and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock have also been mentioned as possibilities. In the past, La Canfora has opined that Redskins executive Alex Santos would make a good internal candidate for the job and today he also put forth the name of Washington cap guru Eric Schaffer.

As we’ve heard previously, no hire will be made before the draft in late April, but JLC gets the sense that the Redskins also don’t want to let the process linger too far beyond the draft either.

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Seahawks To Meet With Obi Melifonwu

  • UConn safety Obi Melifonwu has meetings lined up with the Steelers, Seahawks, and Saints, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Meanwhile, Melifonwu met “extensively” with the Lions yesterday, and will also visit with the Panthers, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com, who reports roughly 40% of NFL clubs view Melifonwu as a cornerback. Melifonwu, a four-year starter for the Huskies, posted four interceptions during the 2016 campaign.

Seahawks SIgn John Lunsford

  • The Seahawks announced that they’ve signed kicker John Lunsford, who was waived by the Buccaneers earlier this week. Lunsford, originally a 49ers UDFA in 2016, doesn’t figure to make Seattle’s final roster given that the club has already inked Blair Walsh this offseason.

Vikings, Four Others Interested In Rod Streater

The Vikings looking at free agent wide receiver Rod Streater, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. The Colts, Seahawks, Browns, and incumbent 49ers are also in the mix, but Tomasson says that no deal imminent. "<strong

Streater, 29, is ranked as one of our top fifteen wide receivers left on the open market. Once upon a time, Streater appeared to be on the verge of big things with the Raiders. Unfortunately, after catching 60 passes for 888 yards in 2013, he was derailed by injuries. After appearing in just four games for Oakland between 2014 and 2015, he wound up with the Niners on a one-year deal. He had 18 catches for 191 yards and two touchdowns for San Francisco while appearing in all 16 regular season games.

The Vikings have Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright, and Laquon Treadwell at receiver but Streater could be brought in to compete with Isaac Fruechte at the WR5 spot. The Niners technically have ten receivers under contract, including free agent additions Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, and DeAndre Carter.

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Seahawks Sign S Bradley McDougald

One of the best defensive players left on the board is now spoken for. Safety Bradley McDougald has agreed to terms with the Seahawks on a one-year deal, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. He’ll earn $2MM, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). The former Bucs notable was also mulling an offer from the Browns, La Canfora adds. Bradley McDougald (Vertical)

McDougald, 26, has been a full-time starter for the last two years. The former UDFA graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 42 safety last year, but he regarded more highly by traditional evaluation methods. In his four seasons with Tampa Bay, McDougald started 31 games and recorded four interceptions with 14 passes defensed. Once the Bucs signed fellow defensive back J.J. Wilcox to a two-year deal, odds were that McDougald wound wind up elsewhere.

In Seattle, McDougald will likely be the first safety off the bench to relieve Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. In Cleveland, we presume, he would have had a chance of starting. It’s possible that McDougald chose the Seahawks over the Browns because of their higher likelihood of winning in 2017 and the potential for him to boost his value as a part of a strong defense. McDougald is still young and he could cash in on a multi-year deal this time next year if he performs well.

Heading into Wednesday, PFR’s Dallas Robinson had McDougald ranked as the No. 2 safety left on the board behind T.J. McDonald. Darius Butler was ahead of both players on the list, but he circled back to the Colts when the second wave of free agency got underway. He was our No. 10 ranked safety at the outset of free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks To Meet With Gerald Hodges

The Seahawks will host free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges on Wednesday, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.Gerald Hodges (Vertical)

Seattle, of course, already employs two of the league’s best linebackers in Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, but the club does need to replace the production void left by Mike Morgan, who remains unsigned at present. Hodges, 26, could fill that role after playing for the division rival 49ers for the past season-plus.

Hodges started 12 games in 2016, playing on roughly half of San Francisco’s defensive snaps while grading as the NFL’s No. 21 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus. In 15 total games, Hodges racked up 80 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. He also chipped in on special teams (73 snaps).

Although he ranks as PFR’s third-best free agent linebacker, Hodges hasn’t generated much interest since the market opened. His only known visit came with the Chiefs earlier this month, but the two sides couldn’t agree to a pact.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Marshawn Lynch

As speculation swirls around Marshawn Lynch potentially coming out of retirement to join the Raiders, his agent claims that he has not spoken with his client about a return (via KNBR). At the same time, Doug Hendrickson does not deny that the itch to play football is still there. Marshawn Lynch

[RELATED: Raiders Or Bust For Marshawn Lynch?]

Well in all sincerity, Marshawn’s been in Canada,” Hendrickson said. “I’m due to see him this week. So he and I have not spoken about this at all. So it was the media who took the ball and kind ran with it….He’s one of the most unique guys I’ve ever been with in my life. Marshawn, it wouldn’t shock me in three days if he says, ‘Hey, I want to play.’ It wouldn’t shock me if he says, ‘Nah, I don’t know where this came from. I don’t want to play.‘”

Under the terms of his current deal, Lynch is under contract to the Seahawks and would earn $9MM per the terms of that contract. Even if Lynch is asked to rework that salary, he’d still be in for a nice payday in 2017. The money could certainly be a motivating factor, but Hendrickson says that the running back is not hard up for cash.

He doesn’t spend any of the money he’s made. He’s got a lot of money,” Hendrickson said. “He does miss football, no question. He loves the game of football. He’s 30. But until I meet with him this week, you know, I don’t know what his mindset is. He’s the kind of guy that can shift by the hour.”

A report on Monday indicated that Lynch would only return to the NFL if he were to suit up for the Raiders. Still, we won’t know Lynch’s intentions for certain until he or his agent are willing to speak publicly.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.