By John Boyle
As expected, the Seahawks didn’t make any noise in terms of signing players on the first day of free agency, but that doesn’t mean Tuesday’s moves didn’t affect what Seattle’s roster might look like in 2014.
For starters, the Seahawks lost defensive tackle Clinton McDonald to Tampa Bay and O’Brien Schofield to the New York Giants. On top of that, receiver Golden Tate is scheduled to visit the Detroit Lions, while cornerback Walter Thurmond is taking a visit to Jacksonville.
The Seahawks are trying to keep defensive tackle Tony McDaniel according to this report:
#Seahawks are negotiating with DT Tony McDaniel for him to return to Seattle, per source.And Seattle also has a visit set up with tight end Jermichael Finley. The Seahawks are also scheduled to meet with Jason Hatcher, who had 11 sacks for the Dallas Cowboys last season. Hatcher, who reportedly has visits set up with five teams, would provide a boost to an interior pass rush that lost McDonald Tuesday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2014
Then there’s a rather interesting piece news that came down late Tuesday, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting that defensive end Jared Allen is considering Seattle and Chicago as landing spots. Allen was thought to be a target of Denver, but as Schefter notes, the Broncos have shifted their focus to DeMarcus Ware, who was released by the Cowboys Tuesday.
While Denver focuses on DeMarcus Ware…Vikings free-agent DE Jared Allen is talking with the Bears and Seattle Seahawks, per league source.Allen had 11.5 sacks for the Vikings last year, and has produced 11 or more sacks in seven straight seasons. He turns 32 next month and plays a position that isn’t known for aging well, but if the Seahawks could get Allen at a bargain now that Ware and Julius Peppers, who was also released Tuesday, are diluting the market for veteran pass rushers, then it’s a move that could make sense for Seattle. The Seahawks love to stockpile pass rushers, and if they could save money by cutting Chris Clemons and signing Allen for less, Seattle could be a good landing spot for a veteran who might be able to thrive in a rotational role that lessens his work load.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2014
With both Hatcher and Allen, the price will have to be right for the Seahawks to make a move with either. Because while Pete Carroll and John Schneider would love to add more pass rushers to an already strong group, they won’t do so if it means they can’t afford to keep some of their young core players.
And that brings us to a move that doesn’t directly affect the Seahawks but could have financial implications for Seattle in the near future is the contract signed by safety Jairus Byrd. Byrd, considered the top safety on the market, got a deal from New Orleans reportedly worth $56 million over six years, including $28 in guaranteed money. That could very well serve as a starting point in negotiations between the Seahawks and Earl Thomas, who is scheduled to become a free agent a year from now, but who the Seahawks would prefer to lock up this offseason. Thomas will almost certainly command more than the $9 million average given to Byrd, it’s just a matter of how much more he is looking for and what Seattle is wiling to spend.