Value judgment: David Hawthorne
Lofa Tatupu was released after he declined to restructure his contrat, Aaron Curry was traded after he restructured his contract, and Leroy Hill has played the past two seasons on what amounted to a pair of one-year deals.
After two years of taking the money out of that position, the next few days will give a hint about what Seattle is willing to put into it.
David Hawthorne has reached the open market, and for all the millions that Seattle poured into that position, Hawthorne is the undrafted player who led the team in tackles for each of the previous three seasons.
Teams are interested. That's already become clear. Detroit's Stephen Tulloch is a free agent, and the Lions could have an immediate opening. New Orleans is sniffing around, too.
The level of Seattle's interest is a question mark. He's a versatile linebacker who has started at both weakside linebacker and in the middle. Yes, he was noticeably slowed this season, but he was also playing with a strained knee ligament suffered late in training camp, which he played through all season.
Does Seattle value a veteran linebacker?
Maybe the Seahawks plan to go young at that position. K.J. Wright -- a fourth-round pick last year -- is the only starting linebacker currently under contract for 2012, and then there's Malcolm Smith, a seventh-round pick who runs well, but has had trouble staying healthy.
In two years, we've seen that Seattle is willing to tighten its belt and make changes, but we haven't seen what kind of linebackers the Seahawks want to invest in and keep around. In that regard, Hawthorne's free agency is something worth watching.