Seahawks can't afford to jettison Hill

Posted April 18, 2010 @ 12:44 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

• While the Seahawks' hierarchy could very well change its mind pending further details of OLB Leroy Hill's latest arrest on charges of domestic violence, just days after he had reached a plea deal on a previous marijuana charge, we hear Hill doesn't appear to be in any immediate danger of being released by the team. Said one source, "With so many other needs at other positions, they don't know if they could afford to create another one at linebacker without Hill."

• Our Niners insiders aren't putting much stock into a recent rumor that the team might consider making a trade for huge Ravens OT Jared Gaither, who reportedly could be had for a second-round draft pick. The consensus seems to be that Gaither's questionable work ethic would not sit well with Niners head coach Mike Singletary.

• At no point, we hear, did the Cardinals consider Mike Nugent, who kicked for the team late in '09 in place of the injured Neil Rackers, as an alternative this season to Rackers, who was released in favor of veteran Jay Feely. Word is, the consensus on Nugent was that his kickoffs were too short, and there were concerns about his ability to connect on long-distance field goals.

• While it appears it could be quite awhile before the sale of the Rams is finalized, we hear that, contrary to popular belief, the hang-up in the process will not make it more difficult for the team to reach a contract with whichever player it selects with the first overall pick in the draft, the most likely candidate being Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford. "It will have absolutely no impact," a team insider emphatically told PFW. "That is a very common misperception right now. There is a budget in place to handle that pick."

• We hear the Packers could have more than a passing interest in free-agent RB Brian Westbrook, who they think could be a good fit in the offense as well as in the locker room. That said, Westbrook's well-documented concussion issues remain a huge concern.

• Recognizing the Bears' major need for help at the safety position, team insiders couldn't help but take note of the breakfast that head coach Lovie Smith had with South Florida S Nate Allen before Allen's pro day early this month. It would probably require the Bears to make a trade up into the second round to be in a position to select Allen, which would be very unlike Bears GM Jerry Angelo. But nobody expected the Bears to seriously go after Julius Peppers, either.

• Saints DT Remi Ayodele didn't want to give away his team's offseason strategy in a conversation with PFW, but he did say that working on lower-body strength has been part of the focus for defensive linemen. "I'm not going to give you too many of our secrets, but (we are working on) some power stuff on our legs." One of New Orleans' biggest weaknesses last season was defending the run, and building a stronger base could help each interior D-lineman hold his ground vs. the run.

• The Jets are going to have to trim their bulging WR corps at some point, as they have 11 wide receivers on the roster, but sources expect them to go into training camp with that full contingent. Four of the 11 receivers have never played in an NFL game and could compete for a role on special teams, where there is a vacancy following the departure of WR Wallace Wright, who signed with the Panthers this offseason.

• Wide receiver is a glaring need for the Browns, and while they could address the position in this week's draft, GM Tom Heckert indicated this wasn't a particularly strong class of draft-eligible wideouts. "To be honest with you, it's not a great group," he told Cleveland reporters. "I wouldn't say a normal group, but it's not a great group. We talked about it; we would love to have a receiver. Now, the same thing goes with all the positions. We are not going to force somebody just to get a receiver in here. Like everything, you have to wait and see what happens during the draft."

• In a recent interview with PFW, Browns RB Chris Jennings said that Cleveland's four-game winning streak to end last season was particularly satisfying because "we never, ever gave up" even after a 1-11 start. Jennings also said the team's close-knit nature made the late-season success that much more enjoyable. "The locker room was just fun," he said. "... A lot of locker rooms around the league aren't like that, I've heard."

• S Mike Brown may have stayed healthy and had more than 100 tackles for the Chiefs last season, but that doesn't mean he'll be back in 2010. We hear that it would be a surprise if Kansas City re-signed Brown, an unrestricted free agent. The former Bear was at least a step slower at age 32 and was often caught out of position last year, and the Chiefs want to make a concerted effort to get younger at the safety position. The savvy veteran still has enough left in the tank to find a home elsewhere, however.

• The Broncos still have high hopes for second-year safeties Darcel McBath and David Bruton, but the bulk of their contributions will likely be on special teams again in 2010. Veteran starting safeties Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill are expected to keep their spots, although McBath looked as though he could be ready for a larger role when he received playing time on defense last season.

 

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