Lucas, Griffith Deals Announced

The Seahawks sure didn’t wait long to spend the money earned from rescinding Leroy Hill’s franchise tag designation. They were immediately off the hook for $8.3 million, and were able to reach agreements with veterans Ken Lucas and Justin Griffith.

The Seahawks made the official announcement earlier this week, but I wasn’t able to immediately track down the financial specifics. Ken Lucas signed a one-year deal worth $2.3 million, and Justin Griffith’s contract is a one-year deal as well, worth less than $700,000. Both bargain prices for proven veteran players who will be able to contribute immediately.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that Ken Lucas will find a starting spot opposite Marcus Trufant, and I can’t disagree. Lucas brings size (6-0, 205 pounds) to a position that has been lacking, and experience to a group of relatively young players. Last season with Carolina, the 30-year old cornerback had 60 tackles, 10 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions. Lucas is showing no signs of slowing down and is durable enough to play through an entire NFL season.

After watching bigger receivers dominate our undersized defenders last season, the 12th Man will collectively welcome Ken Lucas back to Seattle. I expect him to start and contribute immediately, but at the very least he’ll provide necessary depth and veteran leadership.

Justin Griffith is an experienced fullback who is familiar with the offense that Greg Knapp is bringing to Seattle. He has played in Knapp’s offense in both Oakland and Atlanta, and offers more skills than your traditional, smash mouth fullback. His skills may not be as vibrant as former starter Leonard Weaver, but his production is very similar. He is a capable veteran with excellent hands and good blocking skills. If Owen Schmitt isn’t ready (or able) to capture the starting fullback position, Griffith offers an excellent alternative. Leonard who?

A great set of additions by the Seattle Seahawks. As I have noted previously, removing Hill’s franchise tag was a brilliant decision, and we’re starting to reap the benefits from the added cap flexibility. I like the way that commenter Ed M. referred to the signings, which quickly sums up the importance of both:

The signings of Ken Lucas and Justin Griffith might seem small now, but these can make a HUGE impact next season. A lot of people argue against Griffith’s skills, but take a look at his numbers against Leonard Weaver. Griffith’s “production” skills are on par with Weaver AND he is a skilled blocker in both running and passing situations.

Lucas, well… we know what he can do. He was the stud corner when Trufant was still learning the ropes.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers Contract Details Greg Knapp Josh Wilson Justin Griffith Kelly Jennings Ken Lucas Leonard Weaver LeRoy Hill Marcus Trufant NFL Oakland Raiders Salary Cap Seattle Seahawks Tim Ruskell

  • David Rudy

    Lucas (along with Hill, YEE HAW!) is a great signing. I wish he had never left, so we would never have drafted Jennings.

    I heard a recent interview with Mora that Lucas will be given the starting CB job opposite Trufant.

    While I agree with this, I also like Wilson on the field. What do you think about moving Wilson to safety? Is he too small to cover tight ends? He doesn’t necessarily have to be a hitter – Grant can lead that role. But he does have solid cover skills, ball awareness and play making ability, i think it could work. just as long as brian russell never plays a snap!

  • Shaun Dolence

    I agree, Ken Lucas was an outstanding signing. You can never have enough quality depth in your secondary. I’m not quite as down on Jennings as most fans are, however. Sure, his size was exposed last season, but it won’t matter how big or athletic your corners are if your pass rush is terrible and your safeties are out of position.

    And a lot of people are telling me that Lucas was given the starting job. True, Mora did mention that, but all he said was that Lucas would work with the first team defense in the minicamp (which starts today). He also said that Josh Wilson will be given the opportunity to compete, and the best players will start on defense.

    Wilson is an undersized, athletic player who possesses great speed and solid cover skills. He doesn’t project as a safety because his size and skills don’t translate well into the position. He is much better suited at cornerback. And don’t forget, he’ll have the opportunity to continue to contribute on special teams, now that the team has more depth after the Lucas signing (another Mora revelation). Your starting safeties will be Russell and Grant.