Seahawks lose depth
So much has happened, so where do I begin? How about a little fairly current development while we await news on Jared Allen… (Ooops This just in. Allen agrees to 4-year deal with Bears bit.ly/1dqOo30)
As free agency started, rumors that Jermichael Finley and the Seattle Seahawks had mutual interest started to circle. Unfortunately it looks like he failed his physical.
That means, at the very least, that reunion between John Schneider and Finley will have to be put on the back burner for a while (There is a possibility that the team could re-evaluate Jermichael at a later date and sign him).
The reason I decided to write this piece was because I wanted to take a look at the state of the franchise after the first several days of movement. Sure, the Seahawks have lost a lot of very talented players; some by team choice and others by player choice. But where does that leave the team on March 22?
Unfortunately, there were a lot of movements, so I had to break it into a two-part piece.
The Seahawks added some offensive line depth when they signed OT/OG Stephen Schilling. The Chargers chose not to tender the restricted free agent, allowing Seattle to sign him without compensation. He is an athletic, young and versatile player — exactly the type of player who offensive line coach Tom Cable is able to maximize potential from.
Seattle added WR Taylor Price.
They also added TE Travis Beckum, LB Mike Taylor and DB Terrence Parks.
There was no doubt that DE Michael Bennett was going to test free agency this year after playing last season on a one-year, “prove it” contract. Well, Bennett did in fact prove that he was one of the most dominant interior rushers in the game. Including the playoffs, Michael recorded 10 sacks last season.
Bennett agreed to re-sign with the Seahawks. His four-year deal was reportedly worth $28.5 million with $16 million guaranteed.
They were also able to re-sign fellow DT Tony McDaniel to a two-year, $5.75 million contract including $1.25 million guaranteed by way of a signing bonus.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 13, 2014
SS Jeron Johnson and C Lemuel Jeanpierre both signed one-year deals to remain with the team. Johnson, who had been a restricted free agent with a second-round tender, earned a deal worth $2.187 million (same as the second-round tender) according to Tom Pelissero. Lemuel received a one-year, $950,000 offer.
In a move that honestly surprised me a little, the Seahawks re-signed K Steven Hauschka. Not that I didn’t think he was good enough; I thought he was so good that he would command more than the Seahawks would be willing to invest into a kicker. Like Bennett, Hauschka had played last season on a one-year contract. The team had expressed concerns about his kickoff depth and his ability to kick long-range field goals.
Steven worked during the offseason to improve and it paid off. For the first time in his career, he had over 50 percent of his kickoffs lead to a touchback, and he was perfect in field-goal attempts from beyond 50 yards for the season. He was perfect on all attempts during the postseason, including two early field goals during Super Bowl XLVIII.
I didn’t think John Schneider would be willing to spend $3-plus million per year average on a kicker (the market had already been set), but in the end, he signed Steven to a three-year deal worth $9.1 million including $3.3 million guaranteed.
That was actually a pretty good deal for the Seahawks, I have no doubt Hauschka could have gotten more if he had wanted to leave Seattle.
Another big re-signing was backup QB Tarvaris Jackson to a one-year $1.25 million deal.
The team also re-signed TE Anthony McCoy, who spent last season on IR to a one-year, $1.35 million contract. McCoy gives the Seahawks some needed depth at the position which allows them to have a lot of options during free agency and the draft.
After Brandon Browner was reinstated by the league, it looked very doubtful he would be headed back to Seattle. The Seahawks didn’t make a very big push to bring him back, while the Jets, Patriots, Redskins and Saints were all reportedly interested in his services.
In the end, the Patriots won out, signing him to a three-year deal worth approximately $17 million contract. Browner will miss the first four games of next season due to suspension.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 17, 2014
Golden Tate excited fans when he said that he would be willing to take less money to remain with the Seeahawks, a championship team, rather than go to a team that loses a lot. People took that to mean that he was going to re-sign with Seattle.
In the end, money won out and Golden Tate inked a five-year contract worth $31 million to join the Detroit Lions. Tate is saying the Seahawks’ offer was 40 percent less than the Lions’.
Whether that is true of not, we’ll likely never know. What we do know is that the Lions have won 61 percent fewer games than the Seahawks over the last two seasons.
More concerning to me was the loss of RT Breno Giacomini to the New York Jets. He gave the offensive line a lot of attitude. I know a lot of people harp on his stupid penalties, but he has really done a good job of cleaning those up over the last season and a half. Not only will his attitude be difficult to replace, but he was a mentor to young players like JR Sweezy.
The Seahawks cut a couple defensive ends to ease room under the salary cap. Both Chris Clemons and Red Bryant followed former defensive coordinator (Current Jaguars head coach) to Jacksonville. Clemons signed a four-year, $17.5 million deal, according to Rotoworld.com, while Red’s four-year deal is worth $19 million.
Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald also headed to Florida, signing a four-year contract with the Buccaneers.
Last year, Clinton played for the league minimum and now he is making $3 million average per year.
Two defensive backs ended up in the NFC east. Backup FS Chris Maragos signed a three-year deal with the Eagles ($4 million, $1 million guaranteed) and Walter Thurmond went to the Giants on a one-year contract worth $3 million.
In part two, I will look at where all these moves leave the Seahawks moving forward.
Go Super Bowl Champion Seahawks!