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Originally published March 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 19, 2007 at 9:03 PM

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Veterans fill out Hawks' defense

The Seahawks placed a priority on making their defense younger two years ago, a move that helped spur their trip to a Super Bowl. Now the Seahawks are...

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Seahawks placed a priority on making their defense younger two years ago, a move that helped spur their trip to a Super Bowl.

Now the Seahawks are turning to veterans as they try to get back there.

Seattle announced Friday it signed former Jacksonville Jaguars safety Deon Grant to a multi-year contract. It's a six-year deal that totals more than $30 million, according to ESPN.com.

Grant's addition came only days after the Seahawks signed Patrick Kerney, considered one of the top pass rushers available in free agency. Seattle also agreed to terms with safety Brian Russell, formerly with Cleveland, on Friday.

Russell signed for five years, ESPN reported, but financial terms of the contract were unavailable.

Kerney is 30, Grant turns 28 this month and Russell, 29, is a five-year veteran known for his sure tackling.

The Seahawks have pegged Kerney to give the defense a consistent pass-rushing lineman. They struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks toward the end of the 2006 regular season. Grant will be expected to steady the play of a secondary that was susceptible to the big play.

Grant is a free safety, the same position Ken Hamlin played, and the arrival of Grant and Russell likely means Hamlin won't be back with the Seahawks.

President Tim Ruskell said after the season that the team would be evaluating its personnel at safety, making sure they had people plugged into the right spots.

The team also has Mike Green and Michael Boulware under contract at safety, and Jordan Babineaux is a restricted free agent the Seahawks want to keep.

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