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Originally published April 5, 2010 at 11:57 AM | Page modified April 5, 2010 at 8:23 PM

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Seahawks trade guard Rob Sims to Detroit Lions

Seahawks traded Rob Sims and their seventh-round draft pick to the Lions for Detroit's fifth-round pick and pass-rusher Robert Henderson.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle chose Rob Sims with the 128th pick of the NFL draft four years ago.

That's pretty close to what the Seahawks received from Detroit in a trade Monday after the Seahawks decided Sims didn't fit into their offensive line.

Seattle received the Lions' fifth-round pick, No. 133 overall, in this month's draft, and also acquired Robert Henderson, a pass-rusher who has been on three teams but never appeared in an NFL game since the Giants drafted him in the sixth round in 2008.

Seattle included its seventh-round choice, No. 213 overall, along with Sims.

The transaction ended a month of uncertainty for Sims, who entered the free-agent market in a somewhat awkward position.

He knew the Seahawks didn't foresee him as part of their future, but the team believed he would have value to another team. That's why Seattle tendered Sims a one-year qualifying offer of $1.176 million, giving the Seahawks the right to receive compensation if Sims signed with another team.

That made the logistics of Sims' exit more complicated.

"It has been real hard," he said in a phone interview after news of the trade. "Just the unknown of what was going to happen. I always thought I was good enough to be playing somewhere."

But it wasn't going to be Seattle. Sims is 26, and has been a starter at guard since the end of his rookie season in 2006. The Seahawks decided Sims didn't fit into their plans under offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. Sims is 312 pounds, bigger than the typical interior lineman for Gibbs, who values speed and decision-making among his linemen.

For the past month, Sims was left in limbo.

"They handled the situation professionally," Sims said, "and I think we did as well. It was just a lot of hurry-up and wait."

The wait ended with Monday's deal.

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If Sims signed an offer sheet with another team, Seattle would have received a fourth-round pick. Instead, he signed the one-year offer from Seattle last week and was traded as the Seahawks accepted a lesser draft pick from Detroit.

Sims gets an opportunity to start at left guard for Detroit, playing close to his home of Ohio. He mentioned the fact that he will play less than a three-hour drive from where his mother and sister live was a selling point for the Lions.

In addition to a second fifth-round pick, the Seahawks acquired Henderson. He is 6 feet 3, 278 pounds and will compete for a roster spot as a pass rusher along with players like Ricky Foley, whom the Seahawks signed from the CFL.

The Lions get a seventh-round pick and add another former Seahawk. Detroit signed Nate Burleson earlier this year, and acquired linebacker Julian Peterson, running back Maurice Morris and reserve tight end Will Heller last year.

Chicago had also been interested in Sims.

Sims was asked if there were any hard feelings leaving Seattle.

"The only thing I'm upset about is that I didn't get another shot to show that particular coaching staff what I can do," Sims said. "I feel like I'm hot right now. I feel like my talent is ready to take off. I wanted to show that to them, too. But I'm going to get a fresh start in Detroit, and the opportunity there."

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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