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Grass could appear greener to John Carlson

3/13/2012

John Carlson came to work one day last summer to discover the Seattle Seahawks were forking over big bucks for another tight end.

The situation went from bad to worse for Carlson when he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury requiring surgery. After sitting out the 2011 season and recovering, Carlson has lined up a visit with the Kansas City Chiefs, Bill Williamson notes on the AFC West blog.

Carlson, 27, illustrates the costs of quarterback and scheme instability.

The Seahawks used a 2008 second-round choice for him because their coach at the time, Mike Holmgren, thought Carlson could provide long-sought production at the position. The Seahawks have gone from Gil Haskell to Greg Knapp to Jeremy Bates to Darrell Bevell at offensive coordinator since that time. They have shifted away from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and just about everyone else Holmgren brought to Seattle.

Carlson's production as a receiver suffered. He went from 55 receptions as a rookie to 51 the following year to 31 in 2010. The Seahawks have said they value him, but the money they gave Zach Miller last offseason told everyone which tight end Seattle valued the most.

Miller went from averaging about 60 receptions per season in Oakland to a 25-catch year with Seattle in 2011. He was strong as a blocker, but the drop in receiving production showed Carlson had company among Seattle tight ends struggling to produce in the passing game recently.