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Offseason priorities: Seattle Seahawks

Rams Seahawks Football

A fan in the stands holds up a sign referring to Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who did not play against the St. Louis Rams in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011, in Seattle. The Seahawks, with Charlie Whitehurst in at quarterback, beat the Rams, 16-6. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


My scintillating Brandon Mebane post from this afternoon got me thinking about the Seahawks’ offseason.

That means it’s time for them to get the full “offseason priorities” treatment. We’ve already tackled the Packers, Steelers, and Falcons. The focus is primarily on players that would be headed for unrestricted free agency under the old CBA rules.

(Note: We used Rotoworld’s handy contract pages to come up with these lists.)

The Big One: Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.

Quarterback looks like the bigger issue, but the Seahawks should be more concerned about retaining an above-average young defensive starter. The only question is whether Pete Carroll’s scheme is the right fit for Mebane.

The Quarterback conundrum: Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says Hasselbeck is the team’s top priority. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The Seahawks need to solve their quarterback position, but Hasselbeck isn’t a long-term answer. He’s probably not a short-term answer.

Whitehurst is due $4 million next year and didn’t look good in 2010. Is he a fit for new coordinator Darrell Bevell’s West Coast offense? It’s possible the Seahawks could cut bait quickly.

The Key Ingredients: Running back Leon Washington, kicker Olindo Mare, and defensive end Raheem Brock.

Washington was a special teams dynamo that figures to improve another year removed from surgery. Brock is coming off a surprising nine sack season, but he’s 32 years old. He may be this year’s Tully Banta-Cain: A guy with a high sack total that doesn’t get much interest on the open market and stays put with a fair deal.

Role Players: Linebacker Will Herring and center Chris Spencer.

Spencer is a former first-round pick with plenty of starting experience, but he’s never wowed anyone. He probably needs a fresh start elsewhere.

Could be on the way out: Guard Stacy Andrews, linebacker Leroy Hill, cornerback Kelly Jennings, and tackle Sean Locklear.

Jennings, Hill, and Locklear are free agents. Locklear struggled badly last year and figures to leave. Andrews is due a huge salary and barely played behind Locklear. Hill’s time in Seattle should be over.