A move that seemed inevitable happened Wednesday with the Seahawks releasing defensive end Chris Clemons in a cost-saving move.
The Seahawks acquired Clemons along with a fourth-round pick in a 2010 trade that sent Darryl Tapp to Philadelphia. A relative unknown at the time, Clemons became a starting defensive end in Seattle and led the Seahawks in sacks for three straight seasons, piling up 33.5 sacks from 2010-2012.
Clemons tore an ACL in a playoff win at Washington in January of 2013, and while he returned for the 2013 season, his production decreased, with him collecting just 4.5 sacks. Pete Carroll said that was a function of newly added pass rushers taking sacks that Clemons might have gotten in the past, and not a sign Clemons had lost a step.
And Clemons’ standout play in the Super Bowl showed he indeed can be an effective pass rusher, but with the Seahawks already spending big on defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, it has been assumed for a while that Clemons could be the odd man out if Bennett re-signed, which he did Monday. Releasing Clemons creates $7.5 million cap space.
The Seahawks reportedly are meeting with veteran defensive end Jared Allen, and could perhaps be looking at him as a more cost-effective replacement for Clemons depending on how hot the market is for the 32-year-old, who was released by the Vikings Tuesday.