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Sunday, March 16, 2014
Thurmond the 7th Seahawks defection

By Terry Blount

Cornerback Walter Thurmond became the seventh Seahawks free agent to sign with another team when he agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the New York Giants Sunday morning.

Thurmond is the third defensive back to leave, including Brandon Browner (New England) and safety Chris Maragos (Philadelphia). Browner got $5.7 million a year from the Patriots and Maragos received $1.3 from the Eagles.

Assuming all three had stayed in Seattle for equal money, subtracting their 2013 salaries, it would have added $8.3 million to the payroll. That’s money the Seahawks aren’t willing to spend for players who would have been back-ups in 2014.

Byron Maxwell earned the starting job at right cornerback when Thurmond and Browner were out with suspensions. And the secondary probably is the deepest area of the team with quality backups like Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead and Jeron Johnson, who was re-signed as a restricted free agent.

With seven defections in six days of free agency, it’s also clear that the Seahawks are looking ahead. They know big paydays are coming for free safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman and quarterback Russell Wilson. Those three players could cost the Seahawks as much as $35 million in 2015.

However, it doesn’t mean the Seahawks will stand pat. They were is serious negotiations over the weekend with former Pro Bowl tackle Henry Melton. He could come cheap, relatively speaking, because he is coming off ACL surgery and missed most of the 2013 season with the Chicago Bears.