Former Seahawks LB David Hawthorne, who is coming off a career season, has signed a five-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. Though financial numbers aren’t available at this time, the Saints have snatched up one of the top free agent linebackers of this offseasonFor each of the last three seasons, Hawthorne has led the Seahawks in tackles (no less than 100 in each of the last three seasons). He had an excellent year in 2011, racking up 115 total tackles (73 solo tackles) 2 sacks and 3 interceptions. The undrafted free agent out of TCU has quietly gained a reputation as a hard hitter who can stop the run, but what makes him a prize is the fact that though he generally plays middle linebacker, he can play outside as well. He will most likely play outside linebacker for the Saints.
Hawthorne became a starter for Seattle in 2009 in place of oft-injured Lofa Tatupu and picked up 16 tackles and an interception in his first start. Even though he soon lost his job to Tatupu upon his return, he regained his spot in week 8 of the 2009 season and kept it from then on.
The market for linebackers this offseason was soft, with the highest profile linebackers like Curtis Lofton and Stephen Tulloch getting much softer deals than initially expected. The Seahawks were hoping that their LB would return for the team for less money and initially offered him a two-year deal but later rescinded the deal.