Seahawks reach four-year deal with Leon Washington
Running back Leon Washington has reached an agreement in principle to re-sign with the Seahawks.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Fitting that Leon Washington will be coming back to the Seahawks.
After all, returns are what he did best for Seattle.
Washington agreed to a four-year contract to return to the Seahawks, negating the possibility he would enter free agency.
That deal is part of the Seahawks' last-minute rush with the possibility of a lockout looming later in the week. Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider each said in the past week the team continues to negotiate with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, also scheduled to be a free agent.
The Seahawks announced Washington's re-signing Tuesday afternoon, but neither Schneider nor Carroll were available to comment. Terms were not disclosed, but it's believed the deal will pay $12.5 million over four years with an additional $3.5 million in incentives based primarily upon achievements as a running back.
The Seahawks acquired Washington, 28, during last year's draft from the New York Jets. Seattle gave up its fifth-round pick (No. 139) in exchange for Washington and the Jets' seventh-round pick (No. 236).
That turned out to be one of the best acquisitions of Seattle's season. In exchange for sliding down 97 spots in the final two rounds of the draft, the Seahawks got Washington, who beat the San Diego Chargers with two kickoff returns for scores in Week 3 and added a third kickoff return for a touchdown later in the season. No Seahawk had ever returned more than one kickoff for a touchdown in his Seahawks career before Washington.
Washington did not return an e-mail message seeking comment.
His re-signing marks a milestone in his comeback after suffering a compound fracture of his leg in 2009, ending his season with the Jets. He went from someone who was negotiating for a long-term contract with the Jets to being traded away for third-day draft position.
But Washington didn't complain. Not about being dealt from the Jets, who were coming off an AFC Championship Game appearance. He didn't complain about going to the Seahawks, who were on their third coach in three years. He didn't complain about a one-year deal, either.
He went out and came as close as any Seahawk to making the Pro Bowl in 2010. He totaled the third-most kickoff-return yardage in the league and nearly returned a punt for a touchdown against Carolina.
Washington didn't have much of a backfield role last season, though, carrying just 27 times. In his second year back from the leg injury, Washington could be a more prominent component in the rushing attack this season.
The deal with Washington was reached just days before the current collective-bargaining agreement expires on Thursday. Until then, teams have the exclusive right to negotiate with their own free agents-to-be.
But if a new collective bargaining-agreement is not reached before Friday, the league is expected to shutter its doors.
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who received an original-round restricted free-agency tender Tuesday, is another player the Seahawks are actively seeking to re-sign before a potential work stoppage.
The tender means if Mebane is signed to an offer sheet and Seattle does not match it, the Seahawks would get a third-round pick from the team that signed him.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.