RENTON — The cost associated with winning a Super Bowl became apparent to the Seattle Seahawks when free agency began. Many wanted a piece of what made the Seahawks so successful.
After watching a handful of players leave, the Seahawks made additions on Wednesday by agreeing to terms with former Jacksonville wide receiver Taylor Price and bringing back defensive tackle Tony McDaniel.
Price’s representatives confirmed a one-year deal for the league minimum. He has not played since 2011, spending the last two seasons on injured reserve with foot injuries. The team later confirmed an agreement with McDaniel, a reported two-year deal to return to Seattle.
The additions came after the Seahawks released defensive end Chris Clemons earlier on Wednesday and saw unrestricted free agents Golden Tate (Detroit), Clinton McDonald (Tampa Bay) and Chris Maragos (Philadelphia) leave for new destinations.
Seattle had already landed its biggest target in free agency after re-signing defensive end Michael Bennett to a four-year deal Monday.
Retaining McDaniel was important after McDonald signed with Tampa Bay on Tuesday. McDaniel came to Seattle on a one-year deal last offseason and became an important part of a Seahawks run defense that was among the league leaders. McDaniel played mostly on first and second downs as part of Seattle’s rotation on the defensive line. He finished with a career-best 53 total tackles and two sacks.
Price will be added to an interesting wide receiver mix. Seattle expects to have Percy Harvin healthy for next season and restricted free agent Doug Baldwin has been given a second-round tender worth about $2.1 million. Seattle also has Jermaine Kearse and Ricardo Lockette back from last season, and wide receiver could be a focus in the draft. Price was a third-round selection of New England in 2010 but has played in only five NFL games.
Seattle was hopeful of retaining Tate after he led the team in receiving last season with 64 receptions and five touchdowns. But Detroit made a massive offer and Tate agreed to a five-year deal worth $31 million with $13.25 million guaranteed. It was likely more than the Seahawks were ever going to offer the former second-round pick.
“I had a great four years in Seattle,” Tate told reporters in Detroit. “I’m going to miss that place to death. Great city, great people, great fans. But for me, it just made more sense to come here.”
The move with Clemons was not unexpected as he became the third player released because of a huge salary cap number. Seattle officially let go of wide receiver Sidney Rice and defensive end Red Bryant last week to free even more cap space. Bryant was quickly scooped up by Jacksonville, where former Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is beginning his second season.
Clemons was set to make $7.5 million in base salary in 2014, the final year of an extension he signed with the Seahawks before the start of the 2012 season. The cap space saved should help Seattle in its attempts to extend All-Pros Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman.
Clemons turned around his career when he arrived in Seattle via trade before the 2010 season and will be regarded as one of the top moves made by general manager John Schneider. After failing to find success in Oakland and Philadelphia, Clemons thrived in Seattle. Clemons became Seattle’s top pass rusher for his first three seasons with the Seahawks with a combined 33½ sacks from 2010 to 2012 and at least 11 sacks in each of those seasons.
Last season, Clemons had only 4½ sacks with the emergence of Bennett and Cliff Avril. Clemons suffered a torn ACL in the 2012 playoffs but worked his way back to where he was on the field by Week 3.
Clemons did have Seattle’s only sack of Peyton Manning in its Super Bowl blowout victory.