Saturday, February 15, 2014
Seahawks free agents: Part 2
By Terry Blount
Thursday was the free agents on offense for the Seahawks. Now let’s look at the free agents on defense and special teams.
Listed below is what they counted against the cap in 2013, how they contributed to the Super Bowl-winning season and the chances of returning, out of one of five categories -- excellent, good, maybe, not good or unlikely.
Seattle free-agent defensive linemen Michael Bennett, No. 72, and Clinton McDonald are likely to get hefty contract offers this offseason.
2013 cap money: $4.8 million
Contribution: The Seahawks would not have won the Super Bowl without him. Bennett was the team’s best defensive lineman, and the Seahawks probably wish now they had signed him to more than just a one-year deal. The Seahawks want him to stay, but it will be tough to keep him because he’s going to get some big-money offers. And Bennett has no intention of giving a home-team discount. “This isn’t Costco," he said.
Contribution: McDonald is one of the most underrated players on the team. This was far and away his best NFL season. McDonald was a huge force in the interior line with 5.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and even an interception. His low salary should help the Seahawks keep him around, but he also will get a few impressive offers.
Contribution: He may be the most disappointed player in the league today since a substance-abuse suspension cost him a chance at playing in the Super Bowl. It also may have cost him his place with the Seahawks. Browner is appealing his one-year suspension, but Byron Maxwell has won the starting spot no matter what happens with Browner.
Contribution: He took over for Browner when Browner was injured, then also got suspended (reportedly for marijuana use, the same as Browner) and lost the starting spot to Maxwell. Thurmond returned and helped the team in nickel packages. The Seahawks would like to keep him, but not if he wants a big raise.
Contribution: A solid contributor on special teams, but his salary is reaching the point where the Seahawks have to consider if it’s worth keeping him around when they have other players ready to step in as backups in the secondary.
Contribution: Played sparingly as a backup at outside linebacker and defensive end. He’s a good guy to have in the locker room as a veteran who knows his role, but it's a luxury the Seahawks may elect to live without.
Contribution: One of the best kickers in the NFL coming off his best season as a Pro Bowl alternate. He missed only two field goals all season, and one of those was a block. He also improved his depth on kickoffs. There’s an outside chance the Seahawks would consider a franchise tag with Hauschka, which would cost $3.6 million, but they are more likely to try to sign him to a multiyear deal.