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Lutui, Lewis, Ruud agree
Pete Carroll is all about competition, and the level just got raised in a big way on the offensive line.
Deuce Lutui, who played for the Seahawks’ coach at USC and spent the past six seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, agreed to contract terms on Friday to rejoin his college coach in the NFL.
The 6-foot-4, 338-pound Lutui was a 16-game starter at right guard for the Cardinals from 2008-10 and also started 15 games in 2007. Where he fits with the Seahawks remains to be seen, but his size and experience are a plus for a line that finished last season with three starters on injured reserve.
The club also announced that cornerback Roy Lewis and linebacker Barrett Ruud agreed to terms.
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Lewis, who played the University of Washington, spent the past three seasons with the Seahawks. But he was not tendered an offer last month as a restricted free agent. Lewis played in 14 games in 2010 and 10 in 2011, after beginning the season on the physically unable to perform list. In 2010, he was voted special teams captain, selected the winner of the Steve Largent Award and also named the team’s Man of the Year.
Ruud entered the league in 2005 as a second-round draft choice by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and started 68 games over the next six seasons. He spent the 2011 season with the Tennessee Titans, starting nine games.
The arrival of the 6-2, 241-pound Ruud comes just four days after middle linebacker and leading tackler David Hawthorne agreed to sign with the New Orleans Saints in free agency. Ruud, 28, posted four consecutive 100-tackles seasons with the Bucs (2007-10), including 142 in 2008 and 137 in 2009.
Lutui, also 28, is the second lineman to sign with the team since the free-agency period began March 13 – joining Frank Omiyale, who started at left tackle, left guard and right tackle for the Chicago Bears and also played for Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable when both were with the Atlanta Falcons. The club also released veteran guard Robert Gallery, who then signed with the New England Patriots.
In a 2½-week period last season, the Seahawks lost right guard John Moffitt (knee), right tackle James Carpenter (knee) and left tackle Russell Okung (pectoral) to injuries that required surgery. In their absence, Paul McQuistan (right guard and left tackle), Breno Giacomini (right tackle) and Lemuel Jeanpierre (right guard) stepped in and played well. Giacomini and McQuistan were free agents, but have been re-signed. Now, enter the Tongan-born Lutui.
His family moved to Mesa, Ariz., when he was still an infant and he grew into an all-state lineman who played both ways at Mesa High School. Lutui then became an All-American guard at USC and started on the Cardinals’ Super Bowl team in 2008.