Seahawks slowly begin GM search

BY foxsports • December 21, 2009

The Seattle Seahawks are not reaching out to former coach Mike Holmgren - or anyone else - in their search for a new general manager. At least not yet.

As Holmgren pondered becoming the Cleveland Browns' chief of football operations, a Seahawks spokesman said Thursday that Seattle is still in an ``initial auditing'' stage of assessing the slumping franchise and has yet to talk to any GM candidates.

Last week, Holmgren told a Seattle radio station he ``absolutely'' wanted to talk to Seahawks owner Paul Allen and chief executive Tod Leiweke about possibly returning to the franchise. Seattle created an opening two weeks ago when it forced president and GM Tim Ruskell to resign.

The Seahawks are 9-20 since their last playoff game in January 2008.

Leiweke did not immediately respond to an e-mail message.

He is leading Seattle's search, with the help of New York firm Spencer Stuart. The search firm will help identify candidates beyond the Seahawks' list, which Leiweke has said will likely include Ruston Webster, the team's interim GM and a former longtime scout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

``I will tell you this, that there's going to be a process,'' Leiweke said the day Ruskell resigned.

Holmgren spent a week in rural Mexico with his wife on a humanitarian mission, constructing concrete floors for people who live on dirt. He returned last weekend and went to Cleveland. He left Ohio on Wednesday after days of meetings with the Browns without a contract to take over as that team's director of football operations. Agent Bob LaMonte was with his client in Cleveland, adding credence to the Browns' courtship.

Browns spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz said money has not been discussed, despite reports that Holmgren could command upward of $10 million a year. That would be slightly more than Holmgren made under his final contract in Seattle, which ended in January.

Bonsiewicz said the two sides agreed to talk again in the coming days.

LaMonte did not return an e-mail Thursday asking to characterize the situation with the Browns and whether his client is waiting to hear from the Seahawks before deciding.

The 61-year-old Holmgren spent 10 years in Seattle and became the Seahawks' longest-tenured and winningest coach. He was also Seattle's GM from 1999-2002.

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