Seahawks learn valuable lesson 

March, 20, 2006
That the Seahawks were on the losing end of Monday's ruling by a special master, a decision that cost them All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson, is another example of why an NFL team should not let another write the contracts for its players.

The motto should be: When in doubt, franchise a guy or use a higher tender in restricted free agency. What the transition tag is in free agency is a hollow right of first refusal. Though it saves teams money under the cap because the cost is the average of the top 10 salaries (and not the top five) at the position, the headache and the aggravation isn't worth the savings.

For $600,000 more of using the franchise tag versus the transition tag, the Seahawks wouldn't be facing the pain of guaranteeing the richest deal for a guard in NFL history. Peyton Manning received a $34.5 million signing bonus when he signed with the Colts a couple of years ago. That was part of the quarterback's $98 million contract.