|Joe Nicholson/US Presswire|
|Leon Washington is second all-time in NFL history with seven career kickoff returns for touchdowns.|
Washington re-signed with the Seahawks on March 1, rather than become a free agent and find himself in limbo with so many other veteran players who would remain unsigned after the lockout began 10 days later.
"I've got a lot of friends that are in free agency right now and most of the guys are in that situation, the guys that came out (of college) in 2006 or 2007 or 2008," Washington told me during a recent interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "It is one of those things where you feel sorry for them because with the CBA not being in place, they don't have a fair chance to go out and get what they deserve on the market, especially when free agency's coming after the draft. ... A lot of teams filled some needs during the draft."
But it wasn't merely the desire for peace of mind that drove the speedy running back and return specialist to make the deal before NFL business came to a screeching halt.
Washington concluded that he was in a very good place for both team and individual success. He was happy with his coach, Pete Carroll. He was happy with the team owner, Paul Allen. He was happy with pretty much everything about an organization that took a chance by signing him to a one-year contract after the 2009 season when his deal with the New York Jets expired and he was still recovering from a "devastating broken leg."
"I'm really thankful for that, and that was one of the big (reasons) why I decided to stay out in Seattle because I really feel like we're headed on the right path," Washington said. "If we can own the NFC West and get a home game every year in the playoffs, it's to our advantage. The 12th Man (in Seattle) is unbelievable."
Washington sees the Seahawks as being well positioned to be a legitimate contender. He likes the fact that the offense boasts a big-time playmaker in Mike Williams and an explosive running back in Marshawn Lynch. He likes the fact their defense is loaded with veteran players.
And he especially likes the fact that Carroll is at the helm.
"He's along the lines of a Rex Ryan of being a players' coach, a guy who can really motivate his team to play," Washington said. "I love the philosophy that he has with the competition, (saying) 'In everything we do, we compete and we're going to get better.'
"Just talking with him after (last) season about my role in the offense as my career progresses and (establishing that) my role on special teams is going to be the same, I just felt comfortable that I could spend the rest of my career there."
Follow Vic Carucci on Twitter @viccarucci.