SEATTLE — Competition Carroll strikes again with the Seattle Seahawks coming to terms with linebacker Barrett Ruud, cornerback Roy Lewis and guard Deuce Lutui to one year contracts Friday. All three signings somewhat solve depth problems at each position with linebacker and guard the two crucial holes on Seattle’s depth chart.
Ruud, 28, was a second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2005 NFL draft and excelled under then linebackers coach Gus Bradley who is the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator. In six seasons with the Bucs Ruud recorded 585 tackles, five sacks and six interceptions.
With the loss of free agent linebacker David Hawthorne to the New Orleans Saints Ruud could be in position to become the starting middle linebacker in 2012 depending on what happens in the 2012 NFL draft at middle linebacker. Ruud will be able to compete, as usual, for the starting middle linebacker job but he could also be featured on special teams.
Last season Ruud was slowed by injuries appearing in just nine games and recording 57 tackles and one interception for the Tennessee Titans.
Lewis, 26, returns to the Seahawks after spending his entire four year career in Seattle and going back further to his days at the University of Washington. While he’s never played an entire 16 game season Lewis has shown well in nickle and dime packages when given the opportunity.
Seattle doesn’t have a drastic need at cornerback having lost only Marcus Trufant. The Seahawks could use a dominant No.1 cornerback to support “rookie” cornerback Brandon Browner who showed well after a slow start.
Lutui, 28, is arguably the most impactful of the three signings, especially in size at 6-feet-4 338-pounds. He also could prove to be a pivotal signing should the Seahawks not draft an offensive guard or tackle in the first round like Stanford’s David DeCastro or Jonathan Martin.
The Seahawks young offensive line was touch-and-go to say the least but their patch-work line toward the end of the season held up thanks in large part to offensive line coach Tom Cable. Seattle has already resigned tackle Breno Giacomini this offseason and missed out on Steve Hutchinson and cut Robert Gallery.
Needless to say the offensive line is a major question mark heading into the draft and signing a player like Lutui, who was with Carroll in his USC days, gives the Seahawks more options in the draft.
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