NFL Nation: Nathan Hodel

Posted by's Mike Sando


Longtime Cardinals snapper Nathan Hodel has landed with the Patriots not long after Arizona released him. New England announced the signing Tuesday.

We've seen veteran snappers hit the market regularly this offseason. The Broncos released Mike Leach and signed the Patriots' snapper, Lonie Paxton, as an unrestricted free agent. The Texans' Bryan Pittman also hit the unrestricted market.

The Seahawks and Cardinals remain in the market for veteran snappers, although Tyler Schmitt hopes to get another chance with Seattle, Danny O'Neil notes.

Snappers are expendable until you can't replace one. The Seahawks have employed Thomas Gafford, Jared Retkofsky, Derek Rackley, Boone Stutz, Tim Lindsey, Jeff Robinson, Ryan Senser and Schmitt since watching J.P. Darche leave after the 2006 season. They have also brought in Pittman, Mike Schneck, Matt Overton and Joe Maese for tryouts.

Releasing Hodel spared the Cardinals from paying a $200,000 roster bonus this offseason. Hodel has snapped in every game for Arizona since 2002.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Seahawks free-agent tackle Ray Willis has visited the Redskins and Raiders.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic provides updates on Cardinals free-agent guard Elton Brown and former Cardinals center Al Johnson. He also suggests coaches had problems with Nathan Hodel's snapping accuracy and coverage ability. What I know: Hodel failed a physical before his termination. He has had some knee issues.

Darren Urban of says Cardinals general manager Rod Graves hopes to meet with Drew Rosenhaus to discuss free-agent cornerback Bryant McFadden. Rosenhaus might have other business following Terrell Owens' release.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean says Cardinals free-agent cornerback Eric Green plans to visit the Titans. Green is no longer in the Cardinals' plans.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers aren't interested in Jeff Garcia as a free agent because coach Mike Singletary isn't convinced Garcia would provide a definite upgrade over Shaun Hill.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Former Broncos snapper Mike Leach, profiled here on, is on his way to Arizona for a visit with the Cardinals, his agent confirmed. Leach also expects to visit the Seahawks.

The Cardinals are looking for a snapper after releasing Nathan Hodel, who was scheduled to earn a $200,000 bonus and an $800,000 salary in 2009.

The Seahawks are looking for a snapper after losing Tyler Schmitt to a back injury last season. Jeff Robinson, 39, took over and handled the job ably, but Seattle would like to find a younger candidate.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Nathan Hodel's release from the Cardinals gives the Seahawks another candidate for the snapping job they've struggled to fill since they watched J.P. Darche sign with Kansas City following the 2006 season.

Hodel was scheduled to earn $800,000 in base salary, plus a $200,000 roster bonus, from the Cardinals this season. He played in 112 consecutive games for the Cardinals since 2001. I'll check to find out about any unknown health issues. Sometimes a player gets released after failing a physical. 

Parting with a snapper isn't a big deal until snaps start flying errantly during real games. The Seahawks experienced that problem when one of Darche's less-expensive replacements, Boone Stutz, lost one during a 28-17 home defeat to the Saints in 2007.

Also from the Cardinals: They made qualifying offers for tight end Leonard Pope and nose tackle Gabe Watson at the projected levels. Both are restricted free agents.

Posted by's Mike Sando

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times tells the story behind the tattoo on Josh Wilson's chest. Wilson, a second-year corner, had an image of his late father's football card etched into his skin during his freshman year at Maryland. Tim Wilson, formerly of the Oilers, died of a heart attack when Josh Wilson was 11 years old.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says veteran Seahawks linebacker D.D. Lewis is filling in nicely for the injured Lofa Tatupu. Leroy Hill calls Lewis the best backup in the league. Julian Peterson calls Lewis a cut about second string.

Also from Farnsworth: Jim Mora deflects questions about the coaching vacancy at the University of Washington.

Michael Steffes of Seahawk Addicts says the Seahawks' Seneca Wallace hasn't been nearly as effective as a runner in his current incarnation as a starter.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune says Tatupu has played well after missing practice, including when he picked off three passes against the Eagles last season.

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says the Eagles would thrive in the NFC West.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' defense hasn't faced a top-flight passing attack at full strength since a season-opening defeat at Philadelphia. That changes when Kurt Warner and the Cardinals visit Sunday.

Also from Thomas: Warner's returns triggers Warner nostalgia, not fun for Marc Bulger.

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the Rams' injury situation, from Steven Jackson to Leonard Little and Adam Carriker.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat checks in with Cardinals snapper Nathan Hodel, who grew up in the St. Louis area and has served as his own agent. Hodel has an MBA from Illinois.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says teammates respect 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, counter to outside perceptions.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers might have some dissenters, as evidenced when news of Mike Singletary's halftime antics surfaced.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News notes that Singletary was dropping his pants at about the same time the 49ers were honoring former linebacker Dan Bunz.

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says quarterback Shaun Hill best fits the 49ers' personnel.

Darren Urban of says Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby has "no clue" what the future holds for him contract-wise. Dansby is earning $8 million this year as the team's franchise player.

Also from Urban: Moving Tim Hightower into the starting lineup might diminish the rookie's role on special teams.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic looks at the lives of interim coaches, from the Rams' Jim Haslett to former Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis.

Also from Somers: Steven Spach has been a quick study in Arizona because the Cardinals' offense is similar to the one he learned in New England.