Seattle waiting for Sharper deal to be finalized

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks are ready to release linebacker Chad Brown to create salary cap room for free-agent pickup Jamie Sharper, team president and general manager Tim
Ruskell confirmed Wednesday.

Seattle's front office has spent the past month trying to rework Brown's salary, but the 12-year veteran faces a big pay cut. He's scheduled to make $4.2 million. The team's proposal calls for $1 million plus incentives for next fall.

"It's more than what we're willing to do," said Peter Schaffer, Brown's agent.

Sharper, who played for the Houston Texans last season, agreed last week to a five-year, $17.5 million deal that included a $1.5 million signing bonus. The contract hasn't been signed, but Brown likely will be gone after the deal is approved by the NFL office.

"We've got a logjam," Ruskell said. "We're waiting for the Jamie Sharper contract to be processed, so we're still talking. It isn't dead in the water. Something could happen. We'll see."

Brown, a three-time Pro Bowl player, wants $1.5 million to $2 million, plus incentives for playing time.

It's heading toward an ugly resolution for one of the team's most popular players, a fan favorite and locker room leader. Ruskell said there are durability concerns with Brown, who turns 35 this summer.

"Chad's been a great player for the Seahawks and done great things," he said. "We'd love to keep him, have him end his career as a Seahawk. He's been a hardworking guy, a warrior on the field. But as you know, there's more to it than that."

Brown has made only 13 starts over the past two seasons, missing the second half of 2003 after surgery on his right foot. He missed three games last year after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Brown has played eight seasons in Seattle after starting his career with Pittsburgh.

"If it comes to pass that he's released, our door will still be open if he tests the waters and doesn't find anything out there. He knows that," Ruskell said.