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Originally published March 23, 2005 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 23, 2005 at 2:42 PM

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Seahawks

Lead negotiator Reinfeldt gets own long-term deal

If the seven weeks Mike Reinfeldt spent as the Seahawks' salary-cap consultant were akin to an audition, then he landed a leading front-office...

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND — If the seven weeks Mike Reinfeldt spent as the Seahawks' salary-cap consultant were akin to an audition, then he landed a leading front-office role as a result.

The Seahawks will hire Reinfeldt as their vice president of football administration, as first reported by The News Tribune and confirmed yesterday by two sources. The Seahawks say the deal is not finalized, but they will announce it later in the week.

The move would put Reinfeldt in charge of all things salary cap, leaving recently hired president Tim Ruskell in charge of football operations.

"(Reinfeldt) is top notch," Ron Wolf, the former Packers GM who worked with Reinfeldt in Green Bay, told The Times in February. "Mike was ahead of his time, constantly ahead of everybody with that salary-cap business."

It didn't take Reinfeldt long to get up to salary-cap speed after a one-year absence from the Seahawks' front office. He returned in early February and promptly signed left tackle Walter Jones and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to long-term deals and designated running back Shaun Alexander as the franchise player.

It was like he never left.

An All-Pro safety and AFC defensive player of the year in 1979, Reinfeldt is known as an executive who won't overpay on the free-agent market. That helps explain the Seahawks' defensive moves in free agency this year, where Reinfeldt helped sign role players such as linebacker Kevin Bentley, defensive end Bryce Fisher and cornerback Kelly Herndon.

Reinfeldt worked as a senior vice president for the Seahawks from 1999 until after the 2003 season.

Notes

• Speaking of Herndon, Denver coach Mike Shanahan told reporters yesterday at the NFL owners' meetings that the team will not match the Seahawks' five-year, $15 million offer sheet. The Broncos have until tomorrow to match.

• Defensive ends Marcellus Wiley, formerly of Dallas, and Courtney Brown, formerly of Cleveland, concluded visits with the Seahawks yesterday. Wide receiver Jerome Pathon, a former Washington Husky, arrived last night in Seattle and will visit with the team today.

• Seahawks players who chose to stay in the area started their offseason conditioning program at team headquarters this week. The first minicamp will begin April 29.

Greg Bishop: 206-464-3191 or gbishop@seattletimes.com

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