LB David Hawthorne hurt in New Orleans
LB David Hawthorne to undergo knee surgery
Brian McIntyre, Around the League | NFL.com
The Seahawks lost one starter from last year's defense: linebacker David Hawthorne.
They didn't want to lose him. They made an offer to re-sign him, but when he didn't take it, they pulled that offer and he went to New Orleans where he signed a five-year contract that could be worth as much as $19 million.
The sticking point for Seattle -- and the reason it never ponied up the offer Hawthorne wanted -- was concern Hawthorne slowed noticeably over the course of last season. That fact was readily apparent last season, but there was also a reason. Hawthorne played the entire season with a knee injury, which he suffered in August and kept him out of the regular-season opener. Rookie K.J. Wright started that game at middle linebacker.
Hawthorne said the injury was a strained medical-collateral ligament (MCL). He played the year with a brace on, and still led the team in tackles for a third consecutive year. He said he wouldn't need surgery to repair the injury, just rest.
Now, Hawthorne is undergoing surgery to repair a damaged meniscus. It's impossible to say whether this injury is related in any way to what bothered him last year as Saints interim coach Joe Vitt hasn't even specified which knee it is that will require surgery.
No one with the Seahawks wanted to lose Hawthorne, who was the kind of over-achieving tackling machine of a linebacker that everyone loves. But the fact Hawthorne is battling a knee issue this year after he suffered from one last year offers some validation to the Seahawks' approach that there was a limit to the amount they were willing to invest in bringing Hawthorne back.