The NFL is not a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. It’s a what-will-you-do-for-me-next business. NFL rosters churn in excess of 20% every year. The 2014 Seattle Seahawks will be no different, which is to say they will look significantly different this September.
Here are five current Seahawks that have played their last downs for the home team in Seattle. They won’t be around for a chance at a repeat Super Bowl season. Not included on this list is current Seahawk defensive end Michael Bennett, who may have only a 50-50 shot at returning. While his production warrants an extended stay in Seattle, the free agent-to-be has indicated he does not plan to give the Seahawks a hometown discount after his single season in Seattle. Bennett wants Super Bowl money.
The seventh-year pro out of South Carolina has almost certainly played his last down for the Seahawks. Despite being the team’s highest-profile receiver, Sidney Rice has never been the team’s highest profile producer in his three seasons in Seattle, save for his mediocre 2012 season of 50 catches and seven touchdowns. Felled all-too-frequently by injuries, Rice’s productivity and availability do not warrant keeping him on the roster at a team-high $8.5 million in 2014. With no guarantees that Rice can return to form from his October ACL tear, he’s the surest of off-season releases.
Without question, the Seattle Seahawks’ offensive line functioned better when Breno Giacomini was in the lineup. Giacomini is a free agent in 2014. Unfortunately for Giacomini, his 2013 season was cut down by injuries that kept him out of seven regular season games. With a $3 million base salary in 2013, Giacomini did not live up to his pay and will be hard-pressed to command as much from Seattle again in 2014. While he did earn his way into the starting lineup, he remains a player that a team will always be looking to upgrade. A new, more durable and less expensive right tackle with more upside will likely be available in the 2014 draft.
The Seahawks tried to get rid of Michael Robinson last year. In fact, they did. They were able to bring him back onto the roster mid-season when Derrick Coleman (hamstring) and Spencer Ware (ankle) were sidelined with injuries. Robinson is a free agent in 2014. With the younger Coleman and Ware both healthy and available for fullback duty, the Seahawks won’t have any room for the elder Robinson.
Cornerback Brandon Browner’s Seattle days are done and his NFL career may very well be over. Suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, in addition to being a restricted free agent and 30 years old, Browner won’t find it easy to make any NFL roster. Browner will not be able to apply for reinstatement until mid-December.
Former Seahawk sack master Chris Clemons has been displaced by the swarming army of Seahawks pass rushers. Having produced only 4.5 sacks in 2013, by far the worst of his four-year tenure in Seattle, the 10th year player may be beyond his peak. At a nearly Rice-esque salary of $7.5 million in 2014, the Seahawks will be forced to get Clemons’ 4.5 sacks from somewhere else on the roster for a lot less money. If Bennett manages to re-sign with Seattle, Clemons’ departure will be almost a guarantee.
Age, injury, policy woes and hefty contracts will spell the end for these five players. While Rice and Browner were not able to finish the season, all five are owed a hearty and fond farewell, for their admirable service in the Seattle Seahawks’ first championship season.
I can only hope that with Clemons departure, the Seahawks have the cap space to sign Bennett to a multi-year contract. Having him, Cliff Avril, Red Bryant, and maybe moving Bruce Irvin back to DE could create the same level of pass rush the Hawks got in 2013. Irvin was not a success at OLB and from what I saw the second half of the season, I'd much prefer a LB core of Wagner, Wright, and Malcolm Smith. Giacomini was never that good, Rice was also not very apart of the success, but I will definitely be sad to see the veteran leadership of Michael Robinson go. No matter where he goes, he'll always be a Hawk!
It's not about the players>>>>>it's about the run of the mill,blue collar 12th MAN.
Millionaire players come & go,but the 12th man always is here.
I hate to see these players go! But this writer makes total sense, most of them didn't play on a regular basis. The Hawks will be fine!! I trust Pete and John to make the best decisions! Go Hawks!!
@sasquatchin1 Great idea. Whatever it takes to keep one of the best Defenses in NFL history together for another Super Bowl run!
@JetMoore Good comments. Thanks for reading. Robinson has to be the toughest cut. He's very versatile, but no team can justify three fullbacks. I wonder about Irvin's future at LB. I think it's too soon to call him unsuccessful.
@DanGaschler Fall in love with the players Dan?
There are like SIX remaining players ( I think) from the 22 starters remaining from the wild card win over NO in Seattle. Not counting the kicker & punter of which have been released also.
Players come & go...it's all about bringing home the metal.
@DanGaschler Why's that, did you plan on asking John to the prom?
@Truehawkslove Thanks very much for reading and for your comments. I'm not often accused of making sense. Will be interesting to see how much the new contracts for Thomas, Sherman and Tate or Baldwin take out of cap space. Plus, they have to keep an eye on a new mega contract for Wilson after the next season.
I expect that whatever we do to sign players this off season, those contracts may be heavily front loaded to limit the impact on the cap two years from now when Russell's new deal goes into effect. Smaller signing bonuses and higher first year salary. If they cut the right players and get a couple others to take a hefty pay cut they could pull it off.
@spudland Makes sense. It's the hefty salaries in the latter years of NFL contracts that gets players bounced off of teams, a la Rice and Clemons.