The circumstances raised questions about whether the linebacker would report for training camp.
We'll know for sure when the team practices Saturday morning, but Hawthorne participated in a team meeting Friday. That seems like a good indication Hawthorne will sign and participate in practice.
Hawthorne arguably deserves more than the $470,000 Seattle was required to offer him as an exclusive-rights free agent. He started 11 games last season and he's the leading candidate to start in Week 1 this season while Leroy Hill serves an NFL suspension. The collective bargaining agreement affords little leverage to exclusive-rights free agents, however.
Exclusive-rights free agents can either re-sign with their teams or not play. If they do not sign, they do not receive credit toward free agency. In Hawthorne's case, he would return as an exclusive-rights free agent, no closer to becoming a restricted or unrestricted free agent (unless the NFL and its players were to change the rules as part of a new agreement).
The smartest approach for Hawthorne would be to continue improving as a player, endearing himself to a new coaching staff and putting himself in better position to capitalize when he has more leverage.