Seattle has made a lot of noise this off-season, but have they actually upgraded the team? I guess only time will tell. This is a team that won the NFC West with a sub .500 record, so there is a lot they have to do in order to take the next step.
When factoring in the rest of the NFC West I would have to conclude that Seattle is going to be right in the thick of things with the St. Louis Rams for the division title; Arizona and San Francisco lagging closely behind. Outside of the 49ers, the NFC West has been extremely active in free agency and Seattle is no different
Vincent's Note: According to various reports Oakland Raider tight end, Zach Miller, is meeting with the Seahawks today. He would be a major addition to the Seahawks tight end corp. We will keep you updated in the situation as it breaks.
Free Agent Signings
QB- Tarvaris Jackson: Two Year, 8 Million Dollar Contract
2010 Stats: 58.6 Completion Percentage, 341 Yards, 3 TD, 4 INT
Analysis: Its hard to imagine that Jackson is an upgrade over even the 2010 version of Matt Hasselbeck. He wasn't given much of an opportunity in Minnesota, but when on the field it wasn't awe inspiring. Jackson is 10-10 in 20 career starts and was a step above horrible in his only "full" season starting for Minnesota in 2007. Granted the Vikings went 8-4 that season, but in 12 starts he only managed 9 TDs compared to 12 picks.
How It Effects The 49ers? To be honest not much as the Seahawks still have the worse QB in the division at this point.
WR- Sidney Rice: Five Year, 41 Million Dollar Contract.
2010 Stats: 6 Games Played, 17 Receptions, 280 Yards 2 TD
Analysis: It is debatable that a player with just one really good season is worth this amount of money. But, what isn't debatable is the fact that Rice has tremendous upside and talent. Rice followed up a career 2009 season that saw him go for over 1300 yards with a mediocre 2010 season. It must be noted that he was injured for the first 10 games, but after coming back from that injury his production was down from 2009.
You are looking at a player that can stretch the field and has extremely soft hands. He will be a nice weapon for Jackson who paired up with Rice in 2007 in the tune of 31 receptions; Rice's rookie season.
How it effect the 49ers? Like I said in yesterday's post, if San Francisco doesn't get a starting caliber corner or two these wide receivers are going to shred apart their secondary. Rice immediately becomes the best receiver in the division outside of Larry Fitzgerald.
G- Robert Gallery: Three Year Contract, Terms Undisclosed
Analysis: Gallary a former top pick of the Oakland Raiders completely flopped at the tackle position. So, in 2007 they moved him to guard. He had some success at that new position over the last couple of seasons, but isn't by any means a top flight guard in the NFL. The terms of the contract were unknown but it is believed that Gallery was demanding top guard money, not sure if he got it.
That said, Seattle's offensive line was lackluster and he represents a nice upgrade for them.
How it effects the 49ers? Gallery has a lot of issues with quicker defensive linemen, that is the reason he moved inside. With Ricky-Jean Francois promised to get some play at NT and Justin Smith moving inside on obvious rushing downs, I would expect San Francisco to be able to exploit that.
DL- Alan Branch: Two Year, 8 Million Dollar Contract.
2010 Stats: 35 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles
Analysis: When I first heard that Seattle signed Branch for 8MM I was in complete and utter shock. This is a player that has continually under performed since coming out of the draft from Michigan a few years back. After all, he racked up a whopping 35 total tackles in his first three NFL seasons. He surpassed that amount in 2010 alone and Seattle is banking on this continued progression. No one has ever questioned Branch's talent, but he needs to put it together and become more consistent.
How does it effect the 49ers? Minimal at this point. San Francisco has more things to worry about than an underachieving defensive linemen going from one division rival to another.
Re-signed: DL- Brandon Mebane and LB- LeRoy Hill
Free Agent Losses: QB- Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee), K- Olindo Mare (Carolina, LB- Matt McCoy (Carolina)
Team Cuts: QB- Nate Davis, TE- Chris Baker, OL- Stacy Andrews
2011 NFL Draft
1st Round, 25th Pick: OT- James Carpenter, Alabama
3rd Round, 75th Pick: G- John Moffitt, Wisconsin
4th Round, 99th Pick: LB- James Carpenter, Alabama
4th Round, 107th Pick: WR- Kris Durham, Georgia
5th Round, 154th Pick: CB- Richard Sherman, Stanford
5th Round, 156th Pick: S- Mark LeGree, Appalachian State
6th Round, 173rd Pick: CB- Byrton Maxwell, Clemson
7th Round, 205th Pick: DE- Lazarius Levingston, Louisiana State
7th Round, 242nd Pick: LB- Malcolm Smith, USC
Notable Undrafted Free Agent Signings
DE- Pierre Allen (Nebraska), K- Wes Byrum (Auburn), G- Zach Hurd (Connecticut) and S- Jeron Johnson (Boise State)