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News » Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-03-20

Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-03-20

Seattle Seahawks Inside Slant 2009-03-20
The Seattle Seahawks lost two veterans who contributed to the franchise's recent string of playoff success in two separate transactions last week.

In a move to create salary cap space, Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson was traded to Detroit for defensive lineman Cory Redding and the Lions' fifth-round pick in April's draft.

And veteran receiver Bobby Engram, considered quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's security blanket in third-down situations, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent to serve in a similar role for new Chiefs coach Todd Haley.

Peterson will be 31 in July, and the Seahawks apparently were unwilling to pay his $6.5 million salary for 2009.

With Peterson now in Detroit, 26-year-old Leroy Hill, whom Seattle designated with a one-year, $8.3 franchise tender, will likely slide into his role as more of a pass rusher from the linebacker spot. Until trading Peterson, the Seahawks had $20.7 million in salary tied into its linebackers. They freed up $4 million in salary cap space by trading him.

"I was ready for a change a little bit," Peterson said during his introductory press conference in Detroit. "It seemed like Seattle was almost in a standstill. They went through a big change themselves. So this is a great fit for me to come back into this community and try and do some things."

Engram was a free agent who became expendable when the Seahawks signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh to a four-year, $40 million deal at the beginning of the free agency period.

Houshmandzadeh and Engram have similar skills sets, but the former Cincinnati receiver is four years younger and a bigger target inside.

Engram filled a valuable role for Seattle by playing the slot receiver and working the inside of the field, showing a knack for coming up with the big reception on third downs to move the chains.

After finishing with a career-high 94 catches in 2007, Engram thought he deserved a bump in salary and asked Seahawks management to renegotiate his contract, but Seattle's brass balked at tearing up his deal. He failed to show for voluntary workouts during the offseason because of his contract frustrations, but he reported on time to training camp.

Engram suffered a cracked bone in his right shoulder during the first exhibition game, causing him to miss the first three games of the season. He finished with 47 receptions for 489 yards and no touchdowns in 2008.

Engram said he understood he might not be back at the end of the 2008 season.

"Did a part of me want to stay here? Yeah, I wanted to finish my career with the Seahawks," Engram told the Seattle Times. "But I'm OK with the change. I'm excited by the new challenge. I'm not bitter, I'm not upset. I love Seattle, but I feel like it's time to move on. Change is in the air with the Seahawks. I'll keep the memories of my time here, and I will cherish them."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 20, 2009

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