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Troubled TE Stevens appears on way out of Seattle

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell
confirms what was quickly becoming a foregone conclusion: Jerramy Stevens' days with the Seahawks are done.

"I would say it's probably a time for a change of scenery and
to move on," Ruskell said Tuesday.

Jerramy Stevens Stevens

Speaking at the muddy worksite of the Seahawks new headquarters
-- scheduled to open in the summer of 2008 -- Ruskell verified
Seattle's lack of interest in retaining Stevens, an unrestricted
free agent who spent his first five seasons with the Seahawks.

That interest sank last week when Stevens was arrested for
investigation of driving under the influence and possession of
marijuana in Scottsdale, Ariz. A Scottsdale police officer noticed
Stevens driving erratically around 2:15 a.m., and Stevens
reportedly told the officer he had "four of five margaritas" at
Salty Seniorita, a downtown Scottsdale bar.

In a police report, the officer said he smelled alcohol and
noticed Stevens' eyes were "bloodshot and watery and half-closed.
Spoke with slow, slurred speech."

"I was disappointed. I feel bad for him and his family,"
Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "I've come under the gun in
years past about not taking a harder line with some of our players,
but people don't know what goes on behind the scenes.

"I really wish him well and I hope things work out for him."

Stevens had previous off-the-field problems, pleading guilty and
serving two days in jail for reckless driving in 2003. He also was
convicted on a hit-and-run charge in 2000 after driving into a
nursing home while a student at Washington.

Stevens was a first-round draft pick by the Seahawks in 2002. He
had a career-best 45 catches for 554 yards, a record for Seattle
tight ends, in the Seahawks' 2005 Super Bowl season. But that
season ended unceremoniously when Stevens verbally sparred with
Pittsburgh's Joey Porter leading up to the Super Bowl, then dropped
three passes in the championship game.

Last season, Stevens caught 22 passes for 231 yards and four
touchdowns, but struggled with injuries and was considered the
instigator when Oakland's Tyler Brayton tried to knee Stevens in
the groin during a nationally televised Monday night game.

Hours after Stevens' arrest on March 13, the Seahawks signed
veteran Marcus Pollard, giving them four tight ends under contract.
Stevens' agent, Marvin Demoff, didn't immediately return a phone
message seeking comment.

"I think we're in good shape," Ruskell said.

Ruskell also very briefly touched on the situation surrounding
Patrick Kerney, Seattle's new defensive end. Police are
investigating a woman's report that she was sexually assaulted at
Kerney's Atlanta home early Sunday, although Kerney is not a
suspect. In a statement released Monday, Kerney said an assault
occurred at this house while he was asleep. He said he could not
comment further "out of respect for my friend who was assaulted
and the police officers who are diligently working to apprehend the
offenders."

Earlier this month, Kerney signed a six-year, $39.5 million
contract with the Seahawks after spending his first eight seasons
with the Falcons.

"It's an unfortunate situation. They are still investigating
it," Ruskell said. "Our concern would be for the woman who was
allegedly assaulted."

Seattle's major free-agent activity should be complete, Ruskell
said, although the team is trying to re-sign veteran wide receiver
Bobby Engram and is waiting to see if offensive lineman Chris Gray
wants to return. The offensive line is the one area where Ruskell
would like to see more depth added, with both free agents and draft
picks.

"We still don't have our numbers yet. Even if we were to draft
one or two we still wouldn't be at our numbers," Ruskell said.

As for the team's headquarters, construction has been under way
for about two months and remains on schedule. The
200,000-square-foot facility located on the shore of Lake
Washington will include three outdoor fields and an indoor
facility.