Seattle Seahawks

Hawks buoy offensive line, sign ex-Texan guard Pitts

With training camp set to begin on Saturday, the Seattle Seahawks added some depth to their offensive line.

The team announced on Thursday the signing of offensive lineman Chester Pitts, a 31-year-old free agent who last played for the Houston Texans.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is thought that Pitts signed a one-year deal worth up to $2 million.

“I have a JOB!!!!!!!” Pitts announced via his Twitter account. “Felt like longest road ever at times, but just continued to grind … hard work is good for you-it makes you STRONG!”

Pitts played left guard for the Texans, starting all 114 games in the franchise’s history before suffering a knee injury two games into the 2009 season. Pitts had microfracture knee surgery and expects to make a full recovery.

At 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds, Pitts was a second-round pick (50th overall) by Houston out of San Diego State in the 2002 draft. Besides adding depth up front, he also could push second-year player Max Unger at right guard.

Seattle had its struggles keeping a healthy offensive line on the field last season, resulting in 41 quarterback sacks. The Seahawks played four different left tackles, three different left guards and centers, and six different offensive line combinations in 2009.

Pitts also attracted interest from Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Denver, but he said early on that Seattle was the frontrunner. While in Houston, Pitts played for current Seahawks offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, so he’s familiar with the team’s zone blocking scheme, which should make for a smooth transition.

The Seahawks also released defensive end Robert Henderson and linebacker Anthony Heygood.

HILL TRIAL DELAYED

Both sides in a domestic dispute case involving Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill agreed to a continuance of the trial granted Thursday morning by Issaquah Municipal Court Judge N. Scott Stewart, according to court administrator Lynne Jacobs.

No new trial date has been set, but the two sides agreed to a status conference on Aug. 20 if no settlement is reached by then.

Hill faces a misdemeanor charge of assault for his role in an incident that allegedly took place April 10 between the Seattle Seahawks’ linebacker and his live-in girlfriend at his Issaquah home.

Lynn Moberly, the prosecutor for the city, has been unable to get the main witnesses in the case to cooperate.

Hill is expected to participate in Seahawks’ training camp.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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