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Seattle Seahawks

Notebook: Seahawks welcome back players as offseason program kicks off

Quarterback Geno Smith was among several veterans returning for the Seahawks' voluntary offseason program on Monday.  (Tribune News Service)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

Likely little else could have eclipsed the excitement the Seattle Seahawks undoubtedly felt Monday as players returned to the VMAC for the beginning of the team’s voluntary offseason program — the first under rookie head coach Mike Macdonald.

The team released photos of a handful of players making their way back for the program, including quarterback Geno Smith, receiver DK Metcalf, defensive lineman Leonard Williams and outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu.

The program begins with phase one, which is two weeks devoted to meetings, strength and conditioning work and rehab.

While Macdonald leads the returning players through the offseason program, president of football operations John Schneider continues to lead the personnel side in draft preparation, and in taking care of other roster-related business.

Here’s a recap of some recent news:

Seahawks host Nix for visit, schedule one for Sweat

NFL teams are allowed to bring in up to 30 prospective draftees for visits to their facilities through April 17. The Seahawks have reportedly had eight in for visits. There are likely others that have not been reported.

That list includes former Oregon QB Bo Nix, who several outlets reported visited Seattle over the weekend. Nix is generally regarded as potentially a mid-to-late first-round pick but one who could be available in the second round.

The Seahawks have the 16th overall pick and doesn’t have another one until 81 in the third round.

The NFL Network reported that the Seahawks have a visit scheduled with Texas defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat for Thursday.

That news came on the heels of reports that Sweat was arrested Sunday on a charge of suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to the Travis County (Texas) Sherriff’s office.

Sweat was reported to have posted a $3,000 bond, with ESPN reporting the arrest came after Austin, Texas, “officers responded to a crash between an SUV and a sedan at 4:41 a.m. Sunday on I-35. Sweat drove the SUV, while the driver of the sedan left on foot immediately after the crash.’’

Sweat measured at 6 foot 4, 366 pounds at the scouting combine in February and is generally considered a second-round pick after earning the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Other players listed by various sources as visiting with the Seahawks include: DT Khristian Boyd, Northern Iowa; WR Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky; TE Theo Johnson, Penn State; ILB Tyrice Knight, UTEP; DE Grayson Murphy, UCLA; WB John Rhys Plumlee, Central Florida; OLB Chop Robinson, Penn State.

Seahawks sign seven, cut one

The Seahawks took care of some contractual business Monday, signing cornerback Michael Jackson and linebacker Jon Rhattigan to their restricted free agent contracts and signing five others to their exclusive rights free agent deals — defensive end Myles Adams, guard McClendon Curtis, tackle Raiqwon O’Neal, linebacker Joshua Onujiogu and tight end Brady Russell.

Jackson and Rhattigan were tendered last month and were allowed to continue negotiating with other teams until they signed their contracts. The NFL’s official listing showed that neither had signed an offer sheet with another team. Signing their RFA tender with the Seahawks binds them to the team for this season.

They also waived defensive end LaTrell Bumphus.

That put the roster at 65. Teams can have up to 90 in the offseason, and most of the rest of the spots will be filled during the draft April 25-27 and afterward with undrafted free agents.

With those moves on the books, the Seahawks are listed as having just over $1.7 million in cap space by, 30th in the NFL. They are $1.5 million in the red in effective cap space, which considers the space that will be needed to get draft picks under contract. That indicates they will have to make another move or two to create some cap space to get all its picks under contract. The amount of space needed for draft picks can change if the Seahawks trade some of their picks, or move up or down, or acquire some additional picks.

Seahawks add a guard — sort of

That the Seahawks listed Curtis as a guard is of note. They listed him as a tackle all last season after signing him to the 53-man roster off the Raiders’ practice squad following the first game of the season. Curtis made 30 starts at right guard in college at UT-Chattanooga, and Schneider said recently he could be used at that spot by the Seahawks.

It appears as if guard will be his primary position, adding depth to a spot sorely in need of it.

The Seahawks have only two other players listed as guards on its roster — second-year player Anthony Bradford, and veteran free agent signee Tremayne Anchrum Jr.