Report: Seahawks will release defensive end Bryant

  • Sun Feb 23rd, 2014 7:22pm
  • Sports

By John Boyle Herald Writer

Defensive end Red Bryant, one of the Seahawks’ longest-tenured players and a leader of the league’s best defense will be released, according to Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported the Seahawks are “strongly considering” releasing Bryant.

Marvez’s report also notes that the Seahawks hope to use that cap space to re-sign free agent defensive lineman Michael Bennett.

The Seahawks need to create cap space not only for Bennett, but also if they want to keep free agent receiver Golden Tate, or to extend contracts of players like safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman who are entering the final year of their rookie contracts.

Bryant, 29, was one of only four remaining players from the pre-Pete Carroll/John Schneider era on the Super Bowl champion team, along with defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, center Max Unger and punter Jon Ryan. Bryant was a little-used defensive tackle when Carroll took over in 2010, but Carroll and Dan Quinn, then the team’s defensive line coach and current defensive coordinator, suggested a move to end, and Bryant thrived there as a run-stuffing specialist. Bryant said that when the move to end was first proposed, he thought he was on his way to being released, but later he credited it with saving his career.

Prior to the 2012 season, Bryant signed a five-year extension worth $35 million, including $14.5 million in guaranteed money. He was due $7.5 million in 2014, $3 million of which was in the form of a roster bonus that would have kicked in next month, meaning if the Seahawks were going to release Bryant, they wouldn’t want to wait long to do so. Releasing Bryant would free up $5.5 million in cap space for next season.

While Bryant was a starter in Seattle’s base defense, he played fewer snaps this year as the Seahawks rotated linemen frequently, particularly against pass-heavy offenses. In the Super Bowl, Bryant played just 26 percent of the snaps as the Seahawks spent much of the game in their nickel defense. Bryant’s impact, as a leader—he was elected the team’s defensive captain by his teammates in 2013—was noteworthy even as his playing time decreased.

While neither move is official yet, Bryant is reportedly the second cap casualty of the offseason for Seattle, which will also release receiver Sidney Rice according to multiple reports Friday. The team has not confirmed either move, but Rice said his goodbyes on Twitter. Bryant’s agent did not return a phone call from the Herald Sunday evening.

RB leaves combine because God told him he’d end up a Seahawk

In a rather unusual turn of events, Adam Muema, a former San Diego State running back, unexpectedly left the NFL scouting combine Sunday without working out, citing religious reasons for his surprise departure. Muema told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was his dream to play for Seattle, and told the paper he was “following God,” who told him he would end up a Seahawk if he skipped his workouts.

“Can’t go wrong with God,” Muema told the Union-Tribune.

He also said, “(God) told me to sit down, be quiet, and enjoy the peace.”

According to the Union-Tribune story, Muema projects as a fourth to seventh-round pick.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.