By John Boyle Herald Writer
The Seattle Seahawks tendered five of their restricted free agents Thursday before the NFL’s free agency period kicked off at 9:01 p.m. PST Thursday night.
Receiver Ben Obomanu, guard Rob Sims, center Chris Spencer and defensive Darryl Tapp were tendered at the original draft choice level, meaning if another team signs them, the Seahawks have the right to match that offer or be compensated with a pick in that players’ original round of selection. Spencer was a first-round draft pick, Tapp a second, Sims a fourth, and Obomanu a seventh.
The Seahawks used the exclusive rights tender on linebacker David Hawthorne, meaning he can’t negotiate with other teams.
The Seahawks did not tender Brandon Frye, who filled in at left tackle after a number of injuries decimated the position, or Lance Laury, a backup linebacker, meaning both are now unrestricted free agents.
Last week, the Seahawks used the franchise tag on kicker Olindo Mare. The team’s biggest unrestricted free agent is receiver Nate Burleson, who will likely draw interest from several teams.
Barring a last-minute labor agreement, the NFL will have an uncapped 2010 season. While the prevailing thought is that an uncapped year won’t lead to wild spending in free agency, the more likely noticeable change will come when teams start cutting veterans who have big-money contracts without having to worry about taking a cap hit.
An uncapped year also means less free agents available to sign, as a clause in the league’s collective bargaining agreement states that, should the league go without a salary cap in 2010, players would need six accrued years of service, not four, to become unrestricted free agents. Under the old rules, Tapp, Spencer and Sims would all be unrestricted free agents.
Herald Writer John Boyle: email@example.com. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog