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

May 12, 2011 at 9:24 AM

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Leinart to the Seahawks? Slow your roll

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Leinart to Seahawks?
By Scott Wolf, L.A. Daily News

It's just one sentence. Seventeen little words that don't even identify who with the Seahawks talked to quarterback Matt Leinart. Nor does it specify when that may have occurred -- something the NFL presumably could be quite interested in.

It's not the first time that Leinart has been linked to the Seahawks nor will it be the last given all the uncertainty at the position and the history with that specific player. Leinart played for coach Pete Carroll at USC, won a Heisman Trophy for him in fact, so it's not a stretch to think that both sides might be interested to see if a reunion might rekindle some magic.

Two things to note, though:
     1) NFL teams can't have contacted free agents from other teams in 2011
At least not if they're following the rules. Leinart was under contract with the Houston Texans in 2010, and while that contract expired and Leinart is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, the new league year has not begun. On April 29 -- the one-day window in the lockout -- teams could contact their own free agents, according to an NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. That meant the floodgates weren't open to begin free-agent courtship.

     2) Seattle didn't jump on the chance to sign Leinart last September
He was available last year after the Cardinals decided to go a different direction. Seattle didn't jump at the chance to sign him. Now, that was a different time, and acquiring Leinart would have spawned uncertainty about whether Matt Hasselbeck was in fact the starter Carroll wanted. And what would acquiring Leinart have implied about Charlie Whitehurst? Was he already being chalked up as a dead end? Things are different now. It would be possible to bring in Leinart to compete for a roster spot without everyone assuming that he would be the eventual starter. But the fact that Seattle didn't make a strong move to acquire him last year when he was available certainly says something about the Seahawks' evaluation of where Leinart might fit in their plans.

And I have now written entirely too much to explain and expound upon a simple, 17-word sentence.

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