By Todd Dybas The News Tribune
During the first scrambling day of NFL free agency, Seattle Seahawks role players proved just what kind of money grabs can come following a Super Bowl win.
Take backup rush end/linebacker O’Brien Schofield. He made eight total tackles last season. The New York Giants are going to pay him $8 million over two years to play for them. The Seahawks paid him $630,000 last season.
He wasn’t the only one. Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald signed a reported four-year, $12-million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also made $630,000 last season.
McDonald was a solid piece for the Seahawks. He was used to rush the middle on third down and finished with a career-high 5.5 sacks. He also made a career-high 35 tackles last season.
He was one of the Seahawks’ finds. A seventh-round draft pick in 2009 by the Cincinnati Bengals who was traded to the Seahawks in 2011 for cornerback Kelly Jennings, McDonald evolved from a practice squad player to a backup to a player who played 65 percent of the snaps in the Super Bowl. Only two defensive linemen — recently re-signed Michael Bennett and veteran Chris Clemons — were on the field more.
A candidate to replace McDonald is unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Jason Hatcher of the Dallas Cowboys. Hatcher, 31, had a career-high 11 sacks last season for the Cowboys and was expected to meet with the Seahawks on Tuesday night. Hatcher made $2 million last season and is in line for a substantial raise.
For the Seahawks, there were no dramatic incoming moves during the first day of free agency.
Wide receiver Golden Tate became an unrestricted free agent Tuesday at the 1 p.m. deadline. He reportedly visited the Detroit Lions on Tuesday night.
The Seahawks did retain one player, signing backup tight end Anthony McCoy to a one-year deal Tuesday. McCoy tore his Achilles’ tendon last May and missed the season.
He has been rehabilitating and McCoy said he will be ready for fall camp. With third-string tight end Kellen Davis an unrestricted free agent unlikely to be back, it appears McCoy will have a good chance to make the team.
“It’s been a long process,” McCoy said. “It’s been a real difficult process for me. At this point in my rehabilitation process, I feel I am just about there. About ready to go and hit the field. Still have a lot more work to do to get it to where I want it to be.
“I’m dealing with some of the best trainers in the league right now and I know that they are going to have me right come September.”
While McCoy rehabbed, he watched his teammates go on a Super Bowl run. Tuesday, everyone saw just how valuable that can be.