Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.
September 17, 2008 10:23 AM
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Kicker Josh Brown just concluded a teleconference with Seattle area media, which became a retread of the Seahawks' most significant offseason departure.
Is he bitter? Not at the coaches or former teammates, but he's still a little peeved at some of the things said during negotiations.
The Seahawks tried for two offseasons to sign Brown to a long-term deal and didn't get it done either time. In 2007, Seattle named Brown the franchise player. In 2008, he left for St. Louis on the first day of free agency after coming to an impasse with the Seahawks over what wasn't all that much money.
So why did he leave? José Miguel Romero asked that question.
"It's a lot of things. It's a lot of business and there were things done and said and the way that they wanted to do things is not the way that I wanted to do things. Sometimes, just a fresh start is the best thing for a player. And with the situation that was presented, that was exactly what I need to do."
-- Kicker Josh Brown
So is there bitterness left at the way things went down?
"It's a hard thing to say because I have such fond feelings for everyone in that building. Nobody ever did anything to me personally as far as coach Holmgren and his people. But yeah, there were things said and there were opinions shared that I didn't really care for. I don't hate anybody. Anybody that knows me knows that I'm going to be friends with everybody until the end and try to be as nice as I can all the time, there were situations presented where I just needed to move on."
-- Kicker Josh Brown
Here's where a little background is appropriate because the team's negotiations with Brown got sticky just as free agency was about to begin. The team and player were at an impasse, and at that point Brown called coach Mike Holmgren. This was a departure from the usual protocol. Usually, it's strictly between front office and player. But Brown called Holmgren to ask why the team wasn't budging just the little bit that it required to get a deal done.
Well, that call resulted in two things. One, Brown's agent was understandably a little bent out of shape because that undermined bargaining position. Two, the Seahawks responded with an offer they thought bridged the gap. Instead, president Tim Ruskell said the team never had heard back from Brown's side after that and he was gone on the first day of free agency, signed by St. Louis.
In a telephone interview the week after his departure, Brown said that when he got the Seahawks' offer, it still wasn't structured the way he asked. That's true. The Seahawks were at the time pressed pretty hard up against the salary cap and couldn't give him as large a signing bonus, and instead offered roster bonuses guaranteed to be paid down the road.
There's a second factor that actually sounds like it stuck with Brown a little more, and that's the comparisons drawn during negotiations. Specifically, the Seahawks used San Diego's Nate Kaeding as a benchmark because Kaeding's field-goal percentage was higher, but as Brown pointed out, Kaeding didn't attempt nearly as many field goals of 50-plus yards.
Here's what Brown said about that in Wednesday's interview:
"There's a difference between looking at somebody's stats and looking at the effect a player had on a team. Yes, there are players out there that are going to have numbers here or there that may show better than I did. But the impact that I had on a team, the impact my field goals had on the records of our team and of the situations that I built for myself there, yeah, I felt like they didn't really see me as a major value. They compared me to kickers in the league that I didn't really think were of the same caliber, but they felt that because their numbers were better than me, they didn't need to pay me above them. I disagreed with them on that, as anyone would."
-- Kicker Josh Brown
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