The Seahawks have 16 players eligible for unrestricted free agency, players who can sign with any team when the signing period begins March 2. The Seahawks also have five players...
The Seahawks have 16 players eligible for unrestricted free agency, players who can sign with any team when the signing period begins March 2.
The Seahawks also have five players who will be restricted free agents. Those players, typically heading into their fourth pro seasons, can sign offer sheets from other teams, but the Seahawks will have the right to match those offers.
Last season, Seattle had 10 unrestricted free agents and five restricted free agents. They signed five from the unrestricted pool and all five of the restricted free agents.
Because all of the Seahawks’ restricted free-agents-to-be are lower-round draft picks, they will likely receive the lowest one-year tender, which the NFL will set at about $700,000.
Unrestricted free agents
RB Shaun Alexander
Best season ever for a Seahawks running back means he’ll want top-five-at-his-position money. Has said he would like to be back, but will certainly entertain offers from other teams if allowed to become a free agent. The Seahawks will try to keep him, but will their offer be high enough?
WR Alex Bannister
Spent half the season on injured reserve, and Seahawks missed him a great deal on special teams. Has indicated he wants to stay in Seattle, but the presence of Jerry Rice, whom the Seahawks might want to keep next season if he decides to keep playing, could affect Bannister’s playing time on offense.
FB Heath Evans
Has waited in the wings behind Mack Strong for four years and might jump at chance to go elsewhere for more playing time. Or he could be brought back if Strong opts to retire.
G Chris Gray
With Floyd Womack’s emergence as a dependable lineman, Gray might be expendable. He could also decide to retire after 12 seasons. If front office decides Gray has a lot left, however, he figures to be re-signed.
QB Matt Hasselbeck
Could have been re-signed for less last summer, now might ask for Chad Pennington-type money (seven years, $64 million) that might include a hefty signing bonus, larger than teammate Grant Wistrom’s $14 million last offseason.
QB Brock Huard
Huard has been injured all season, and No. 3 QB Seneca Wallace had a very good exhibition season. Status for the future is uncertain.
LB Orlando Huff
Effort has been there but might not be asked to return, as Seahawks have other possibilities at middle linebacker. Got a vote of confidence from defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes last week.
OT Walter Jones
A must-have, be it via the franchise tag or, at last, a multiyear deal. Should be a top, if not the top, priority.
CB Ken Lucas
Probably earned himself a couple million more with his play, and should be re-signed. But without a lot of big names in the free-agent pool, Lucas will get offers from other teams if the Seahawks don’t take care of him before March.
TE Itula Mili
Ends the regular season as the starter, but all three tight ends can play, and Mili will be in his ninth season next year. Hard to say where he fits in team’s plans.
DE Brandon Mitchell
Versatile player, but Seahawks might look to go younger at his position.
DE Chike Okeafor
Set career high with 8½ sacks this season and played through injury. Complements Wistrom to form good rush end-run defender combination. Should be re-signed.
P Tom Rouen
The best punter on the team when healthy, but his time might be up in Seattle after spending most of this season on injured reserve.
C Robbie Tobeck
As long as he can hold up, is needed because of his leadership and heart. If not, the Seahawks don’t have a proven center to fill his position and will have to either sign a free agent or take one in the draft.
P Ken Walter
Filled in admirably for Rouen and Donnie Jones, but was likely just a temporary fix.
OL Floyd Womack
Held his own as a starter at right tackle when Chris Terry went down, and should move into lineup as full-time starter in 2005. Figures to get a raise.
Restricted free agents
DT Rocky Bernard
When healthy, is a capable backup, and he played well this season. Combines youth and game experience to be part of the future of defensive line. Should be tendered an offer.
S Terreal Bierria
Lost his starting job to the Seahawks’ rookie of the year, Michael Boulware, but now has experience and has proven his worth on special teams. Figures to get low tender.
TE Ryan Hannam
High-effort guy who saw more playing time as season progressed. A favorite among the coaches for his work ethic; should be tendered.
S Marquand Manuel
Playing time increased during season. Seahawks might have to choose between tendering Manuel or Bierria. Damien Robinson, who was injured all season, also factors into the decision at safety.
CB Kris Richard
Got better in third cornerback role throughout season and also is valuable on special teams. This was the season he had to show something, and he did. Seahawks should tender him.
José Miguel Romero