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Ruskell resigns as Seahawks president/GM

Tim Ruskell knows his legacy is set in Seattle. And it's not from presiding over the Seahawks' only Super Bowl.

It's for letting perennial Pro Bowl blocker Steve Hutchinson leave in free agency while as the Seahawks' president and general manager, a job that ended Thursday.

That gaffe, giving Hutchinson a transition tag instead of the more restrictive franchise tag for 2006, accelerated the team's decline that cost the 20-year scout his first GM job.

"I talked to my wife the other day and said, 'Let's look at that will again,"' Ruskell joked after announcing his forced resignation weeks before his five-year contract ended in Seattle. It says 'burial.' But let's go for 'cremation' — so they won't be able to write, 'Here lies the man that lost Hutch' on my tombstone."

That was the biggest of many missteps with which Ruskell is more easily identified now that Seattle is 8-19 in the last two seasons.

» The San Diego Chargers likely will be missing some key defensive players when they visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Outside linebacker Shawne Merriman, end Luis Castillo and safety Eric Weddle aren't expected to play after missing yesterday's practice.

» Police said yesterday there is not enough evidence to prove a bar patron's claim that San Diego Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie hit him in the head with a champagne bottle hours after the team's victory at Denver.

»Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney returned to practice yesterday and cornerback Kelvin Hayden worked out for the second straight day, meaning both could play Sunday against Tennessee.

» Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart split practice time with the starters again yesterday, and Whisenhunt said he has made no decision. Warner, who suffered a concussion against St. Louis on Nov. 22, took all the practice time with the starters last week but sat out Sunday's 20-17 loss at Tennessee because of lingering symptoms.

» St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson has been fined $5,000 for throwing a ball into the stands. He does not plan on appealing. Jackson said he knew the fine was coming after he scored in the final minute of Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. He said he just wanted to toss a present to the handful of fans who were still around at the end of the game.

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