The move comes as somewhat of a surprise, because the second-round tender, if signed, means Johnson would make $2.187 million in 2014, which is obviously a lot of money for a backup safety.
Then again, the Seahawks tendered safety Chris Maragos, long snapper Clint Gresham and defensive tackle Clint McDonald last year, then eventually got each player to re-sign later at a lower deal (though McDonald was released before eventually returning).
Likely the Seahawks tendered Johnson because they feel there would be interest in somebody from their secondary if left unprotected, and on the off chances somebody wanted Johnson badly enough, a second-round pick would be pretty good compensation for a backup should the Seahawks decide to not match that offer.
Because Johnson was undrafted, the Seahawks only options for draft compensation is a first- or second-round tender. Teams can use the original-round tender on players drafted in later rounds and receive the pick that player was drafted in as compensation should that player sign elsewhere, but with undrafted unrestricted free agents, there is no draft compensation unless the team uses a first- or second-round tender.
The most notable restricted free agent on Seattle’s roster is receiver Doug Baldwin, and the Seahawks may very well place a first-round tender on him if they can’t agree to a long-term deal soon, which would pay $3.113 million in 2014.
Baldwin said Monday while attending the premier of “Super Bowl XLIII Champions Seattle Seahawks” that he has not yet signed any new deal with Seattle.
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