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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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March 17, 2008 10:26 AM

D.J. Hackett to Carolina

Posted by Danny O'Neil

D.J. Hackett has agreed to terms with the Panthers, his agent Kevin Robinson confirmed.

Hackett will get a two-year deal worth a total of $3.5 million. The Seahawks maintained interest in Hackett until the end, but in the end he opted to choose Carolina over other free-agent suitors Tampa Bay and Washington.

Hackett is 26 and slated as a starter last season. He suffered a high ankle sprain on his first catch of the season in the opener against Tampa Bay and missed the next six games. He caught 27 passes in the four games after he returned before reinjuring the ankle.

Free-agent losses   Free-agent additions
Pos. Name Signed with   Pos. Name Signed from
WR D.J. Hackett Carolina   RB Julius Jones Dallas
DT Chuck Darby Detroit   RB T.J. Duckett Detroit
LB Niko Koutouvides Denver   TE Jeb Putzier Houston
LB Kevin Bentley Houston   G Mike Wahle* Carolina
K Josh Brown St. Louis        
DL Ellis Wyms Minnesota        
*Wahle signed after he was released by Carolina prior to the start of NFL's free-agent signing period.


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Posted by

10:35 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Hackett, wish you good luck in Panthers except when facing us! I will miss you...

Posted by

10:47 AM, Mar 17, 2008

we also added Wahl

Posted by

11:01 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Obo and Courtney Taylor come on down !!!

Posted by

11:12 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Wow, nice work Ruskell...we couldn't even offer him at least $2 million a year?! Probably cause he wasn't a former Falcons or Bucs player...

This has been another suspect offseason for Mr. tight end, no CB depth, no big, did we fill any needs? I guess we signed an LG that was cut from a team. Oh, and we signed some RB's ("two steps, fall down" aka J. Jones and TJ Duckett...HA!) that will not improve the current situation.

If you guys think Obo and Taylor will fill our WR needs, you're kidding yourselves. Engram is one year older and Burleson has a tendency to drop balls and run the wrong route. Brach will miss at least 4 games.

I love my Seahawks, but am honestly not a Ruskell fan because he tends to overload positions instead of filling team needs. That philosophy needs changing, in my opinion which of course does not matter much.

Posted by

11:21 AM, Mar 17, 2008

nice job ruskell...there goes are only tall red zone target...and we all know how bad we were in the red zone last year...this loss will make it even harder...

i would have easily like to pay him at least 2 mil a year to get some more touchdowns....this is disappointing and a steal for the panthers

Posted by

11:38 AM, Mar 17, 2008

I agree I have very few issues with ruskell but this is now one of them Hackett when healthy was in my opinion our best reciever fast, tall, great hands. Carolina got a bargin ill miss hackett wish we could have seen him play to his potential here in seattle. Good luck..... until you come here of course then. Boy are the seahawks going to regret that.

Posted by

11:52 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Thats exactly the problem. Hackett never was healthy. You can't justify paying a guy for 6-8 games a season. You're better off going with the young guys and gaining some reliability. Both Obamanu and Taylor played well when they got chances.

Posted by

11:55 AM, Mar 17, 2008


Can you post the original draft rounds for the players involved? That gives a little bit of a hint to whether we receive comp picks next year. Not where they fall, but whether we receive them.

To the post above that reminds us we also signed Wahl, Wahl was cut waived by his team rather than fulfilling his contract. From that perspective, he does not count to this context of a free agent. That is one of the good things about signing cap casualties.


Posted by

11:57 AM, Mar 17, 2008

Hackett was a good guy, but spent too much time on the sidelines. We'll be fine. I'm more worried about missing FGs than who DJ Hackett leaves town for.

Posted by

12:02 PM, Mar 17, 2008

We could have signed 3 DJ Hacketts for the price of Julius Jones. Our receiving core is going to be hurting with out Hackett and Branch. The 2 young guys from Auburn are way too raw to really make an impact.

Posted by

12:05 PM, Mar 17, 2008

I wish Hackett well. He was good when he was playing too bad he missed so much time. It will be interesting if Branch doesn't make it back this season or does and gets hurt again how much patient the front office will have with him. I bet a little more than Hackett since they won't want to admit they made a BIG mistake with Branch and way overpaid him. We do need a deep threat which is something we haven't had in a long time....can Taylor or Obamanu be the deep threat we need? Not to get off the subject but I hope Ruskell doesn't overpay for Trufant, he is good but not great. How many times have we seen him looking back for the ball to only have it be a completion to the receiver that got behind him? Last hear for him was like SA's MVP season, don't overpay someone based on one seasons play. I'm still more worried about running back right now rather than the WR's. Go Hawks

Posted by

12:35 PM, Mar 17, 2008

"When healthy" D-Jack was EASILY our best WR and much better than Hackett. The only poor move Ruskell has made was transitioning instead of franchising Hutch, everything else he has done has been complained about incessantly until finally proven to be the best move for the team at which point everyone moves on to the next "huge mistake."

Posted by

12:35 PM, Mar 17, 2008

"When healthy" D-Jack was EASILY our best WR and much better than Hackett. The only poor move Ruskell has made was transitioning instead of franchising Hutch, everything else he has done has been complained about incessantly until finally proven to be the best move for the team at which point everyone moves on to the next "huge mistake."

Posted by

12:38 PM, Mar 17, 2008

hey all,
pointing criticism at Ruskell isnt' the issue. All of our money is being tied down b/c of Trufant's arrogant a$$. He thinks he's top 5 money. The fact is, he's not. He's had one good year, where he had most of his INT's in 2-3 games. He's not a lock down premier corner (aka: Bailey, Samuel, etc...). As long as Trufant continues to have an inflated view of his abilities, then the hawks are handcuffed. We were unable to resign Brown, Niko, Bently and now Hackett, b/c of Trufant.

My thought is, trade Trufant (NOW!!!!) and get a high first round pick to get cromartie (younger, faster, quicker and taller than Trufant), oh and less money and not the arrogance.

Posted by

12:43 PM, Mar 17, 2008

Hackett wasn't healthy enought-- that's the main isssue. High impact player in the few games that he did play. Time will tell if he carries the same issues to Carolina.

I agree that Ruskell's only major fubar to date was the Hutchinson deal. That and maybe resigning Alexander-- but everyone would have wanted to have his head the day he let Alexander go. If he had let Alexander go, he'd look like a genius now.

Of course, if Hackett gets his ump-teenth high ankle sprain with Carolina, Ruskell may look wise yet again.

Posted by

12:52 PM, Mar 17, 2008

what about what ruskell has not done! no tight end (holmgren begged for this since '05), has not addressed the depth issue at DT or CB. totallly blew the Hutch and Branch deal...1st round pick for Branch?! draft picks of spencer and sims have not worked out. people give way too much credit for a guy who has come in and torn apart the 2005 super bowl team.

Posted by

1:35 PM, Mar 17, 2008

Mike Wahle- Guard-

Posted by

1:37 PM, Mar 17, 2008

Keep up the great blog!
Mike Whale- Guard

Posted by

2:49 PM, Mar 17, 2008

Come on people, Sims draft pick not working out? He was a fourth round pick and played his but off. He isn't Hutch but who is. Is he a good 4th round pick? Hell yeah, he filled in at left tackle and will be an asset as a back up which we need. As for Spencer, again you're asking a young player to pick up a complex offense and make the line calls after taking over for an All Pro. He was decent but give him time before you call it a bad choice.

DJ is a very talented WR and I wish him all the luck and health he deserves. As for our WR's I like the young guys we have and feel that Obomanu or Taylor will fill in nicely. As for a speed guy lets hope Kent pans out and adds a fast big target for our QB's. We can also add more depth in the draft.

As for the draft we can get a quality TE, DT and WR along with O-Line depth. As for those asking for more CB depth I ask whats wrong with the players we have? With Tru and Jennings starting and Wilson and Babs as backups where do we need to add?

Posted by

2:53 PM, Mar 17, 2008

I would have liked to have seen us improve our WR position during free agency, but that was by adding a player. I'm not sold on DJ and his health history was not worth spending CAP money on. I am excited about what Taylor can add. Easily the most athletic receiver we have. Ruskell's not the greatest obviously, but I'd take him over many other GM's in the league who over spend to get on ESPN. Honestly I'm as worried about losing Hacket as I was trading DJ to the 49'rs which is zip. I said it then and I'll say it now..getting anything for DJ was a plus

Posted by

3:52 PM, Mar 17, 2008

Wylms is now a Viking also.
So far Wahle is the only signing I like.

Posted by

3:53 PM, Mar 17, 2008

Courtney Taylor=DJ Hackett

Same size same speed and Courtney Taylor will be big for us next year. Book it!

Posted by

4:21 PM, Mar 17, 2008

so how bout bringing D Jack back now?????

Posted by

10:21 PM, Mar 17, 2008

There's something about Carolina and injuries. Seems the majority of the players on that team are injured most of the seaon. Probably a good fit for DJ.

Posted by

9:00 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Forget bringing D J back man not only did he have health issues but he didnt get along well with the front office and had a severe fear of big games he was always dropping balls in big time situations.
We need to add maybe a big time Recieving TE or some more big guys along the OL Jones is almost immortal but he cant go forever gray cant be around to much longer and as others here have pointed out our other O-linemen are best as back ups not starters. Id also like to see another big guy on the DL although mebane looks to be a good prospect you can never have to many run stuffers on the line weve got plenty of pass rush.

Posted by bigmaq

4:23 PM, Mar 18, 2008

With the signing of Johnson by the Niners and the loss of Hackett, it's official the Hawks now have the fourth best receiving corp in the NFC West - How times have changed and how far have the Hawks fallen. Let's see 6 back-up RBs without a feature back (and $15 million of cap) and the only OLine improvement are a new OLine coach and a journeyman guard. - Oh I forgot he's not a journeyman; he is only being paid journeyman's wages because: 1) he loves the Northwest and has in-laws here, 2) he's an ex Navy grad and wants to be by water 3) his agent is an intern or 4) Ruskell has compromising pics of him.

Posted by zach

6:31 PM, Mar 18, 2008

i love how people are criticizing Ruskell. he put the DAMN SB team together people lol. anyways i read alot of these posts and i just wonder why so many people criticize the work of our front office. if its so easy to retain injury ridden people than why arent you in office.

Oooo. let me get some stuff off my chest now.....
mike wahle- Pro bowler 3 out of last 4 years (that does not make someone a journeyman sorry)
Julius Jones-No is not a LT or a LJ or a STAR in this league, how many teams have won the SB with a STAR RB in past 25 years LOL Look at the dudes career numbers at qwest and listen to what he said about the turf here (156YPG)
TJ DUCK- now i wont sweat as much on 3rd and 1s this year
the biggest loss this offseason was to our Special teams play of NIKO AND BENTLEY ,
u dotn pay a player who plays half the season 2mil a year (hackett)
you dont pay a player who DEMANDS the most money at his position b/c he doesnt want to be tied down to the bizness man or its not his fault the team is in a CAP bind (JOSH BROWN)

Hey Brown , isnt the NFL a team sport way to be a TEAM player

Posted by Zach

6:48 PM, Mar 18, 2008

The Seahawks like every team in the NFL have a glaring weakness, Seahawks have a few and as much as i hate losing players i know the draft will shore up some losses. Ruskell is a genius when it comes to the draft so have faith ok lets take a look back on our drafts since Ruskell has been here
(round in parantheses)
Chris Spencer(1st)- Still has work to do
Lofa(2nd)-All pro what a steal, rememebr when u said Lofa what the f.........
Leroy hill(3rd)- Very underated player
Ray Willis(4th)-plays like a 4th rounder
Tubbs(1st)-Health Issues costing him a PB every year
jennings(1st) -makes play will be an above average CB for his career

My point is the guy can evaluate talent and not only talent but character which is so huge in the NFl. think about why we traded Darell jackson last year the dude was a cancer to everyone. He was lazy .
All im saying is Ruskell has done a hell of a job through the draft and i havent even talked about FA's

Posted by zac

6:57 PM, Mar 18, 2008

WE can all say Ruskell messed up on the Hutchinson ordeal but he was asking for a ton of money at the time.

the additions of deon grant, brian Russel, kerney, peterson

our defense has more talent than 90percent of the def in the nfl.

we have a chance of having a pro bowler at every position. We need a TE so lets hope Fred Davis (TE from USC) falls into our laps that would be huge , and im not talking about a first rounder im saying we make a trade for an early pick in the second to draft him cuz we obviously need to draft the DT Kentwan balmer sicne we cant seam to have healthy DT's for a full season. TE is waht scares me cuz the year we went to the SB we had aleast a productive stevens, and pollard was far from productive last year ( i still give u props bro)

So ruskell if your reading this:

Jonathan stewart would be a tremendous pickup but figure out waht your going to do with Morris( the second coming of Chris Warren) , weaver should be our next Mack Strong

Think about another QB also, and remember taht Mora will be our next coach so draft PLAYErs that have that same kind of edge as him

Posted by Leif Long

9:36 PM, Mar 18, 2008

wow stop bashing the front office he was cut for injury reasons and they obviously see something in oyur young wideouts which we need to gv a chance to...and i think they hv a lil more experince in the GM position thn u guys do so stop all the bashing...and btw wahle was cut cuz they couldnt afford him and he is a realy good guard...and julius jones is a steal i think his potential wil finally be reached in seattle and duckett helps with the short yardage situations and guess wut we hv depth and cb and we r fine at DT mab one more would b nice but did u forget we hv a draft in apriil...honestly u act like they dont kno wut theyre doing in ther...but uh did u forget it was them who changed the roster for the good and got us to the superbowl...? honestly stop the bashing start the believing

Posted by

10:50 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Geez, the past is the past, so forget about what Ruskell and the front office did with Hutch deal.

Those of you that dwell in the past mistakes are the ones that hold this team from succeeding in winning the Super Bowl. You never, ever see professional athletes focusing on the past, because if they did, they would fail.

Focus on the present and what we have.

If you think you can do a better job than Ruskell, then apply for the fricken position and quit you wining!

Posted by 84hawk

2:10 PM, Mar 19, 2008

look at all the ruskell lovers - the guy has disassembled the sb team - he didn't create it! Yes, he got lucky with the lofa pick to help with that team but the 05' team was primarly built by Holmgren not Ruskell.

Ruskell has disassembled it and overpaid many players and overfilled positions (ie WR last year, RB this year). he can't attract players other than from his past jobs. he won't get guys with killer insticts. our team showed how soft it was in the packers playoff game.

look, it's good to get guys with character but you also need those killer instict guys, other than kerney, that doesn't exist on this team.

Homgren has begged for a tight end - ruskell didn't come through. trust me, we need another top CB. Jennings is a #3 not a #2. We have not big DT to plug that hole Ruskell doesn't fill needs, he just fills as he says "best player available" - that's stupid.

i'm sorry, you guys will see in the next two years that ruskell is an overrated GM who is lucky thus far because he has a great owner and coach.

Posted by hoping for the hawks

4:21 PM, Mar 19, 2008

84hawk is correct. Holmgren put the 05 team together not Ruskell. Ruskell is the guy who gave 14 million to a 30year old RB. Lost hutch because he did not know how to tender a player and traded a 1st round pick for a 5'9 WR. Once again he underestmates the value of his own players.(calling out Trufant as a 2nd tier DB AFTER HE MAKES THE PRO BOWL] GET rid if Ruskell. The hawks are in for it in 08 and when Holgrem goes things are gonna be worse.

Posted by bigmaq

5:59 PM, Mar 19, 2008

Your both right in that Ruskell did not build '05 Hawks and both wrong in that Holmgren did not build '05 Hawks either. It was Thompson who, after putting together the '05 Hawks, opted to leave for GB where he put together the '07 Pack. Doubt it, it was reported just that way by the New York Times, the WSJ and SI/CNN and no one from the Hawks or local press disputed it. Sorry to burst your Holmie bubble.

Posted by bigmaq

6:07 PM, Mar 19, 2008

"Ooo. let me get some stuff off my chest now.....
mike wahle- Pro bowler 3 out of last 4 years (that does not make someone a journeyman sorry)"
Sorry Zack in today's NFL a journeyman's salary means journeyman player. If we have learned anything whether as a FA or released by a team such as Wahle, the going rate is always, not sometimes, but, always above his worth. If Wahle is making $3 mil/yr when great guards get $7+ mill and good guards get $5 to $6 mill then he is just that a $3mill guard not a $6 mill guard. Get over it and get over the Solari move - who is touted for his three pro bowl players while at KC. Guess what since 2000 when Laveroni arrived the Hawks have had three Pro Bowl O Line men as well. Great that we got rid of Laveroni who was the reason for the Hawks poor line play in '07. What did he go brain dead or forget a lot after coaching the line from 2000 through '06?

Posted by 12thmanforlife

9:24 AM, Mar 20, 2008

Somebody, correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Ruskell is in charge of negotiating contracts. He decides who we draft and want to sign, but he is not the money man. The guy who gave Shaun all that money is now the GM in Tennessee....I think. Again, I could be wrong.

Now, Ruskell is a good GM. He isn't perfect, but most of his signings have worked out very well. The draft (for the most part) is sort of a crap shoot, but Tatupu and Hill will be cornerstones of our defense for many, many years.

Posted by Patrick F.

4:18 PM, Mar 20, 2008

I like the additions of Wahle and Putzier, but am puzzled by the two mediocre running backs we decided to sign.

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