BY Doug Farrar 05:11PM 12/01/2010

Hawthorne gets one-year contract extension

Seahawks show the money to valuable and versatile linebacker David Hawthorne, who accepts a $1.38 million deal for 2011 and a substantial raise for the balance of the 2010 season.

David Hawthorne (left) has provided great replacement and starter value along the linebacker corps (Rod Mar/Seattle Seahawks)

Versatile linebacker David Hawthorne has signed a one-year contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks. The two sides agreed to terms on November 27, and was first reported by Brian McIntyre of Mac’s Football Blog.

The new deal, which ostensibly keeps Hawthorne on the roster through the 2011 season, is worth $1.38 million. A $350,000 signing bonus was included, and Hawthorne’s $470,000 base salary this season will increase to $696,667 (prorated) for the season’s final six weeks.

Hawthorne was an exclusive-rights free agent ; the last player to sign with the team before 2010 training camp began.

“I guess it just shows that hard work pays off,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “I took the hard route, coming in undrafted — I just jumped off the boat and started working. I think I’m just starting to be rewarded for it now.”

The 6-0, 240-pound Hawthorne was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in April of 2008, and quickly moved up the depth chart despite placing 80th in NFLDraftScout’s pre-draft linebacker rankings. He played in an aggressive defense at TCU, and he brought that aspect to the NFL.

When Lofa Tatupu missed 11 games in 2009 with a torn pectoral, Hawthorne took over in the middle of Seattle’s defense and played well through a dismal season. He put up a team-leading 116 tackles (93 solo) in Tatupu’s stead then, and has amassed a team-leading 63 tackles as Leroy Hill’s replacement on the weak side.

That’s an impressive feat, given the fact that middle linebackers are generally a team’s tackle magnet.

Hawthorne is a dynamic downhill tackler who is learning his way in coverage.