Mebane, Irvin, Sweezy, Among Departures
Charles Darwin once wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
Well, change is certainly what we are seeing right now from the Seattle Seahawks during the start of the 2016 NFL free agency period. While some of the names of departing players might seem frightening, I remain confident that Pete Carroll and John Schneider know the value change can have.
Here’s what we know so far in just the first week or so of free agency–
Hands down, Brandon Mebane was the best interior defensive tackle the Seahawks had last year. It’s a shame that his departure has come as I hoped he’d finish his career playing for the Seahawks. The Chargers signed Mebane for a reported three years and $13.5 million with just $5 million guaranteed.
I’ll be honest with you, the $5 million guaranteed is a little less than I was expecting to see on this deal. If that’s what it took to keep Mebane for one more year, I’m a little surprised the Seahawks didn’t work this deal out.
At 31 years of age, and given the way this deal is set up this could easily turn into just a one year deal for Mebane. Still, every dollar counts in the crazy NFL salary cap world and the price might have been just a tad high for Pete and John.
Departing from the Seahawks will be Bruce Irvin who has signed to play for the Raiders who have opted to pay the pass rushing Irvin $37 million over four years. This move by Irvin reunites him with former Seahawks linebacker coach, Ken Norton, who is now defensive coordinator for the Raiders.
Irvin’s loss doesn’t sting as bad as Mebane’s in my mind even though I had long speculated both would leave the Seahawks this offseason. The Seahawks could look internally at guys like Brock Coyle or Kevin Pierre-Louis to take over for Irvin.
I think it’s also worth noting that with Irvin’s departure, the only first round draft pick made by Schneider and Carroll that is still on the roster is Earl Thomas. Schneider and Carroll have long been fans of guys who feel they have been under rated. I don’t think anyone could ever describe Irvin as having felt that way.
Also departing is the much maligned Seahawks right guard, J.R. Sweezy. Sweezy departs for Tampa who, inexplicably, is willing to pay Sweezy $32.5 million over five years to have him not block people. Seriously, did the Tampa scouts watch any film on this guy?
Sweezy’s departure is by no means a shock, but the deal is a shock in my mind. I wish him only the best and congratulate him and his agent on getting a great contract. I’m certainly glad that deal does not reside with the Seahawks salary cap, however.
Jermaine Kearse has not signed with any other teams just yet but he has announced he has no plans to be back with the Seahawks. Kearse’s relationship with the Seahawks management seems to have soured since the move that brought Jimmie Graham to the Seattle. I think I have to agree with souring sentiment with a not letting the door hit you in the ass type of thought for Jermaine.
A healthy Paul Richardson along side Graham, Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett still leaves the Seahawks with a formidable wide receiver attack. Still, I imagine the Seahawks will be in the market for a receiver that is on the taller side during this year’s draft.
The other guy that doesn’t have a confirmed destination but seems to have his bags packed is Tarvaris Jackson, backup QB to Russell Wilson. Given that Wilson has been incredibly durable in his career, it’s easy to forget about a guy like Jackson.
Jackson appears to be seeking out a starting role, and why not—there is some crazy money being thrown around to quarterbacks right now, many of whom are far less proven that Jackson is.
With Jackson leaving, the Seahawks will have to come up with someone who is a running style QB to spell Wilson for 2016. The options out there are pretty thin. Best case scenario here might be Jackson not finding what he wants and somehow returning to Seattle.