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Peterson, Seahawks agree on seven-year deal

SEATTLE (March 21, 2006) -- The Seattle Seahawks have agreed on the parameters of a new contract with San Francisco 49ers free-agent linebacker Julian Peterson.

Peterson's agent, Kevin Poston, said it was a seven-year deal.

The Seahawks had no comment. A spokesman with the 49ers, who had been hoping to keep Peterson, said the team has been informed a framework for a contract with Seattle is in place.

Delores Peterson, Julian's mother, confirmed from the family's Maryland home that her son was coming to Seattle. She said Julian could not come to the phone because he was "swamped entertaining" dozens of friends who had piled into the house to celebrate his move from a last-place team that has gone 6-26 over the past two seasons to the NFC champions.

Mom felt like celebrating, too.

"I'm the reason he's on this earth -- and no one is giving me love," she joked.

Peterson was partying over getting the contract he has been seeking for three years, since he became an All Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection with a career-high seven sacks, 95 tackles and two interceptions in 2003. The 49ers kept him from free agency by using their franchise-player designation on him in 2004 and 2005.

In 2004, he tore his left Achilles' tendon and missed the final 11 games. He returned last season and was less productive.

Peterson said part of the reason was lingering discomfort from the Achilles' tear. He also didn't fit well into new coach Mike Nolan's 3-4 defense, in which the former Baltimore defensive coordinator demands his defenders remain in assigned places on the field. What Peterson had been excelling at -- freelancing into plays from anywhere -- became a problem of constantly being out of position in Nolan's system.

He finished the season with 83 tackles and three sacks in 15 games.

Peterson's agreement comes one day after the Seahawks lost an arbitration hearing over retaining Steve Hutchinson. They then opted to let him sign a seven-year contract with Minnesota rather than being forced to guarantee the All-Pro guard the contract's entire compensation.

The Seahawks intend to continue upgrading their defense. But they lost out on Jets defensive end John Abraham when he was traded to Atlanta in a three-way deal with Denver.

Though the Seahawks offered to trade the Jets their first-round pick, Abraham wanted to play in Atlanta. So the Falcons swapped No. 1 picks with Denver and sent the No. 29 overall selection to the Jets.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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