Free-agency review: Seahawks

March, 18, 2014
Mar 18
9:00
AM ET
Here's a look at where things stand with the Seattle Seahawks after the first week of free agency:

Bennett
Most significant signing: Keeping Michael Bennett, the team's best defensive lineman last season, meant the Seahawks accomplished their No. 1 goal among all their free agents. Bennett had said he wouldn't give the Seahawks a hometown discount, but he signed for a reasonable sum of $28.5 over four years. Bennett agreed to the deal because the Seahawks were willing to give him $16 million in guaranteed money. Re-signing kicker Steve Hauschka on Monday to a three-year, $9.1 million deal was also a key move.

Most significant loss: It was fairly obvious before free agency began that the Seahawks wouldn't be able to keep both Bennett and wide receiver Golden Tate. That proved true when Tate signed a five-year deal with the Detroit Lions for $31 million, including $13.2 million in guaranteed money. The Seahawks were offering Tate about $10 million less.

Biggest surprise: No huge surprises, but the Seahawks really wanted to keep defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, who had a breakout season in 2013 with 5.5 sacks. But Seattle felt they couldn't afford to match the offer McDonald received from Tampa Bay of $12 million for four years.

What's next?: Seven Seattle free agents signed elsewhere in the first week of free agency, which shows how difficult it is to keep together a Super Bowl-winning team. However, Tate and McDonald are the only two the Seahawks seriously considered keeping. It's possible Seattle could still sign defensive end Jared Allen or defensive tackle Henry Melton, but the team has to look to the future when big-money deals are coming for safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman and quarterback Russell Wilson, which could cost as much as $35 million in 2015.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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