Alright, enough is enough.
The Seahawks have had 10 middle linebacker changes since 1998. For a moment, the prescence was felt of Levon Kirkland in the middle of the Seahawks 'box'. Anthony Simmons was effective there for a season. But for the most part, this tone setting position on defense has been been run on and run over.
There is NO QUESTION that we need help at linebacker, and that we need a real defensive leader, someone who gives this defense a physical, dominating, and tougher identity.
There is NO QUESTION we need to sign Edgerton Hartwell.
Hartwell has the experience (4 years) and great mentoring (working alongside bada** and former defensive MVP Ray Lewis for his entire NFL career). He has the youth, he is just approaching his prime (26 years young), and he is ready to move out of Lewis' shadow take over a defense to call his own.
His hunger to excel is reflected in a recent statement where he told reporters that he hopes to become the greatest linebacker in NFL history.
That's quite an audacious statement. It means he wants to be better than Lewis, Butkus, Nitshke, and Singletary. At 6-1 and 250 pounds, He has the tools and the range. He was made for the modern-day position.
He has 331 tackles over the past three seasons, and he hasn’t missed a game.
What further pushes this remedial decision into the obvious is the fact that he is the last outstanding LB talent in free agency.
According to NFL.com, these are the best FA LB available, listed in order of quality:
1. Ed Hartwell
2. Tommy Polley (You've got to be kidding)
3. Rob Morris (Who?)
4. Anthony Simmons (Yeah, wouldn't it be ironic if Hartwell, Polley and Morris were hired elsewhere and Simmons was the next best choice. We'll just file that away under FO Nightmare.)
Bottom line: We need to sign Hartwell, and not be coy about it. Put a crowbar in the salary cap and make room for the Edge.
We as fans need to complain mightily until this is done. Every board and blog in the Seahawks universe needs to say in several threads, "SIGN HARTWELL NOW!!!"
You know what to do. Make some noise, gentlemen.