Brandon Mebane has signed with the San Diego Chargers, meaning the longest-tenured Seahawk will now continue his career elsewhere.
Brandon Mebane has signed with the San Diego Chargers, according to a release from the team.
Mebane had been the longest-tenured Seahawk, drafted in the third round in 2007 and was one of just two players on the roster in 2015 who pre-dated Pete Carroll — the other is punter Jon Ryan, also an unrestricted free agent.
The Chargers reported that Mebane signed a three-year contract. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Mebane’s deal is worth up to $13.5 million with $5.5 million guaranteed, which is almost identical to the deal the Seahawks gave to defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (three years, $12 million total, with $5.5 million guaranteed).
Mebane said an interview with the Mighty 1090 in San Diego that the Chargers were “the team that was the most aggressive as far as wanting me. There were several teams that waned me, but at the time the Chargers were the most aggressive team that wanted me and they pretty much showed me that they wanted me and I didn’t want to leave that on the table.”
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Mebane turned 31 in January and finished a five-year contract worth $25 million last season that he had originally signed in 2011. The Seahawks approached Mebane last March about restructuring his contract and taking a two-year deal that would have covered the 2015 and 2016 seasons, thereby assuring he would be with the team next year, at a rumored $6 million total. But Mebane did not take that deal, wanting the one year and the salary he had remaining on his old contract instead, and then became an unrestricted free agent.
The Seahawks will likely be on the lookout for some tackles to replace Mebane, who played the nose tackle position primarily. Seattle has been said interested in Philadelphia’s Cedric Thornton, and also re-signed A.J. Francis. Seattle also still has Jordan Hill, a third-round pick who was Mebane’s official backup last season.
A couple of free agents with Seahawks ties who could come cheaply — Tony McDaniel and Sealver Siliga — could also be options.
Mebane was approached last off-season about restructuring his contract, adding a year to lessen the salary cap hit for the Seahawks in 2015 of $5.7 million. That didn’t work out, leaving Mebane an unrestricted free agent.
Late last season, Mebane was asked about his future and almost literally danced around the topic, breaking into a song when asked about it with a question that referenced his age.
“Age ain’t nothing but a number,’’ Mebane sang with a smile, breaking into the Aaliyah tune of a few years ago.
“If you can play football you can play football,’’ he then said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are.’’
Mebane played in 131 games for the Seahawks with 125 starts, just outside the team’s top 10 list for career games started (Keith Butler is 10th with 132).
Linebacker Bruce Irvin has also been reported set to sign with the Raiders, meaning Seattle appears ready to lose two starters off a defense that led the NFL in fewest points allowed for the fourth straight season in 2015.
One other defensive player who could be considered a starter, cornerback Jeremy Lane, is also an unrestricted free agent.