Five years ago, Seattle Seahawks scouts admired the play of young quarterbacks - Dan McGwire of San Diego State and John Friesz of the University of Idaho.
McGwire was a first-round disappointment for four years.
Friesz, meanwhile, fulfilled a longtime dream Friday when he signed a two-year, $1.45 million contract to replace McGwire as the Seahawks’ backup.
“I remember when we talked to John in Coeur d’Alene before the (1990) draft and asked him what was his No. 1 goal,” said Friesz’s agent, Leigh Steinberg. “He said he wanted to play for the Seattle Seahawks.”
While coach Dennis Erickson rejoiced over the addition of the 27-year-old Friesz, he worried about the possible loss of his starting center. Ray Donaldson has spent the past two days being wined and dined by the Dallas Cowboys and is being considered the top replacement for departed Pro Bowler Mark Stepnoski.
“He told me it was like being recruited coming out of high school,” said Donaldson’s agent, Dave Dial. “The Cowboys tell us they wanted to do a deal this weekend. They are trying to make him important and they say he’s the type of player they need to stay a Super Bowl contender. He has also instructed us to make sure we keep in touch with Seattle.”
With salary and incentives, Donaldson made $987,000 last season. He is seeking a contract that will pay him more than $1 million a year and has a signing bonus. His backup, Joe Tofflemire, worked out for the Arizona Cardinals on Friday.
Should the Seahawks lose Donaldson and Tofflemire, they would have to move Kevin Mawae to center and have an open competition for guard.
The Friesz signing officially ended McGwire’s career with the Seahawks.
“Seattle was really my first choice early on in the free-agent period,” Friesz said. “I was thrilled to rejoin Dennis Erickson. He recruited me. I redshirted under him. It was weird to go out to dinner with him. It was like being recruited again.”
Friesz, a 1990 sixth-round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers, played four seasons in San Diego before signing a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins. He started four games, completing 105 of 180 passes for 1,266 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Friesz received a $300,000 signing bonus and yearly salaries of $550,00 and $600,000.
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