By John Boyle Herald writer
On Saturday night, Lindsey Hauschka posted, then quickly deleted, a picture on Twitter of her husband Steven popping open a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne.
Two days later it became clear that the kicker had something to celebrate, as the Seahawks announced they re-signed Hauschka, who was an unrestricted free agent. The three-year deal is worth $9.15 million according to NFL.com, including $3.35 million in guaranteed money.
“I asked her to take it down,” Hauschka said in an interview with 1090 The Fan’s Steve Sandmeyer, explaining the celebratory picture’s brief appearance. “We weren’t supposed to blow the cover yet.”
The Seahawks’ willingness to pony up and pay Hauschka that kind of money serves as a good reminder of how much Seattle coach Pete Carroll values special teams play. Had the Seahawks wanted to be frugal and save a couple million to pay other free agents, they could have let Hauschka walk and taken their chances with a young, unproven, and yes, cheaper kicker in 2014, but instead they paid Hauschka like what was in 2013, one of the league’s best kickers, giving Hauschka good reason to open that very nice bottle of bubbly.
Hauschka, who took over Seattle’s kicking job in 2011 , enjoyed his best season last year, making 33 of 35 attempts, all 44 extra point attempts, and averaging touchbacks on 51 percent of his kickoffs. One of Hauschka’s missed attempts was blocked, and the other clanged off the upright, and over the course of the season Hauschka, who made two game-winners in overtime, was so automatic that Carroll gave him the nickname “Hausch Money.”
Prior to landing in Seattle, and eventually landing a big deal, Hauschka spent time with five different NFL teams and the UFL’s Los Vegas Locomotives. He started kicking at Middlebury College only after being cut from the varsity soccer team, then eventually transferred to NC State, where he was teammates with future Seahawks Russell Wilson and J.R. Sweezy.
“It’s very rewarding,” Hauschka said of his new contract. “… We wanted to work something out with the Seahawks, and eventually were able to do that. We heard from a few other teams, but we wanted to stay here in Seattle, so I’m fortunate it worked out.”
Hauschka is the fifth Seahawk to re-sign in free agency along with defensive end Michael Bennett, tight end Anthony McCoy, defensive tackle Tony McDaniel and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Six free agents, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, safety Chris Maragos, receiver Golden Tate, right tackle Breno Giacomini, cornerback Brandon Browner and cornerback Walter Thurmond have all found homes with other teams in free agency, as did linebacker O’Brien Schofield, though his deal fell through after a failed physical. The Seahawks also released defensive ends Chris Clemons and Red Bryant and receiver Sidney Rice in cost-cutting moves. Clemons and Bryant both signed with Jacksonville, while Rice remains a free agent.
Defensive end Jared Allen, who met with the Seahawks over the weekend, was reportedly in Dallas Monday for a visit.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.