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Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Peterson ready to win NFL title with Hawks

Seattle Times staff reporter

KIRKLAND — Julian Peterson had hoped to start the next chapter of his football life a little closer to his Maryland home.

He couldn't have picked a more faraway place, even though he spent his first six seasons in San Francisco.

Peterson signed his seven-year, $54 million deal on Monday, then spoke to local media via conference call.

"They were not on my radar when free agency started," Peterson said of the Seahawks. "I wanted to try to get back to the East Coast. I also was looking for a team that was on the way to the Super Bowl, had potential to get to the Super Bowl, just maybe missing a couple of pieces. I wanted to be one of the players to ... help them get to the next level."

Peterson visited the Seahawks late last week and came away impressed with what he heard from coach Mike Holmgren, defensive coordinators Ray Rhodes and John Marshall and defensive-line coach Dwaine Board, with whom Peterson worked while they were both with the 49ers.

Peterson also is close friends with cornerback Jimmy Williams, a former 49ers teammate who helped convince Peterson to sign with the Seahawks, and Peterson also knows Sonics forward Rashard Lewis from offseason basketball play.

Peterson is one of the NFL's more versatile defensive players — effective at rushing from an end spot, playing any linebacker position and even dropping into pass coverage. The two-time Pro Bowl player is slated for a starting spot at outside linebacker.

One of the concerns the Seahawks had with Peterson is his injury history. The 27-year-old tore an Achilles in 2004 and was placed on injured reserve after five games.

Peterson also dealt with a nagging hamstring injury last season. He said he started the season at 80 percent effectiveness, and by the end he was "probably getting toward 90, 95 percent."

The Seahawks hope Peterson can be the impact player he was in San Francisco. So does Peterson.

"I can tell you one thing," he said. "You'll get a player who's going to be playing 100 percent and giving it his all no matter what the circumstances are. My background is going to tell you what I can do already. I just go out there and play the game the way it's supposed to be."

More court for Locklear

Seahawks offensive lineman Sean Locklear appeared in Seattle Municipal Court for his pretrial hearing Monday morning, and his trial was set to begin June 13.

Locklear, 24, pleaded not guilty to domestic assault on Jan. 17. He was arrested early on Jan. 15 outside a Seattle nightclub after witnesses told police that Locklear had grabbed his girlfriend by the neck.

Locklear was allowed to play in the Seahawks' playoff game that week, and he had a February pretrial hearing postponed until Monday. Court documents show that the no-contact order with his girlfriend imposed in January has been lifted.

Jon Scott Fox, Locklear's lawyer, expects the trial to last two to four days.

"He's looking forward to his day in court when the evidence will reveal exactly what happened," Fox said.

Notes

• The Seahawks received an additional draft pick when the NFL announced its 32 compensatory picks Monday. Seattle gets a second seventh-round pick — 249th among 255 picks in the draft.

• Lineman Tom Ashworth signed his five-year, $13 million contract Monday.

Josť Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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