Thursday, March 14, 2013
Cliff Avril, Chris Clemons and the future
By Mike Sando
Cliff Avril's unexpected addition to the Seattle Seahawks expands the team's options for replacing injured starting defensive end Chris Clemons early in the 2013 season and possibly beyond.
The specific implications aren't yet clear, but those wondering about Clemons' immediate job security shouldn't expect Seattle to make a quick decision on that front.
If Clemons' rehabilitation from knee surgery is progressing as expected, the Seahawks have reason to let the 2013 season play out before deciding where Avril and Clemons fit in relation to Bruce Irvin, the defensive end Seattle selected in the first round of the 2012 draft.
The nature of Avril's contract -- two years and $15 million are the reported terms -- reflect a short-term commitment from the Seahawks.
Clemons is also signed through 2014. He has some financial security in that $1.5 million of his $6 million salary for 2013 is guaranteed. The contract he signed in July carries an additional $4.3 million in bonus-related cap charges over the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Long story short, releasing Clemons would save the team as little as $2.3 million under the cap this season. That's relatively little to gain for parting with a team leader and a player who is arguably the best defensive lineman on the team when healthy.
We'll want to hear from coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider on how the team envisions everything fitting together. I'll be surprised if they have anything but positive things to say about Clemons and his potential to help the team in the future.