- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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RENTON, Wash. -- All it took was one glimpse at Seahawks defensive lineman Red Bryant after Friday's practice, and one conversation, to understand why he was a top target of the Patriots in free agency.
He's big and powerful. And he sounds a lot like former Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren.
"That's my guy, he's someone I always looked up to," the 6-foot-4, 323-pound Bryant said of Warren, noting both are Texas A&M alums. "I try to emulate my game after Ty Warren. He's definitely a guy I hold in high regard."
The Patriots held Bryant in high regard this offseason, making him one of their main free-agent priorities.
The decision was a tough one for Bryant, now in his fifth NFL season.
"The Patriots were interested and I definitely was listening. I thought it was a great opportunity for me, and the likelihood of me going there was high," Bryant recalled Friday.
But the Seahawks stepped up with an offer, which could be worth as much as $35 million over five years, that ultimately kept him in the Pacific Northwest.
"I feel like my situation here, it was great for me and my family, and that's what it basically came down to -- my familiarity with Seattle, and the guys I'm playing next to, like [Brandon] Mebane, who happens to be one of my best friends. It was a great opportunity for me and I know that."
Bryant, who is playing a 5-technique type left defensive end role for the Seahawks' 4-3 defense, was asked what the Patriots were selling him in their free-agent pursuit.
"It wasn't so much a sell, as you know you'd have an opportunity every year to be playing for a championship," he said. "You understand with that organization, the history that comes with it, and it's a specific type of player that they like. I was honored to be one of those guys.
"I just feel like they don't have to sell the Patriots. You know going into it the stability, from ownership on down. That alone was definitely enough for me to listen."
Bryant has started all five games this season for the Seahawks, helping to anchor a defense that has allowed an average of 3.23 yards per rush (4th best in the NFL).
His matchup against right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (assuming Vollmer plays) is one of the top 1-on-1 battles to monitor Sunday when it comes to which team gains control of the line of scrimmage.