No. 6 in our Seahawks free agent countdown is the longest-tenured player on the team, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.
We continue our Seahawks free agent countdown with a look at the longest-tenured Seattle player, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.
Mebane has been with the team since being taken in the third round in 2007 out of Cal, playing in 131 games since then, with 125 starts.
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane
2015 salary: $5.5 million and a $200,000 bonus, finishing a five-year, $25 million deal signed in 2011.
Role with Seahawks in 2015: Mebane was the team’s starter at nose tackle, starting and playing all but one game (he missed the win over Detroit) and seeing action on 489 snaps, 49 percent.
Free agent outlook: Mebane’s role on the team (as well as his belly roll) might have been secured for the 2016 season had he accepted an entreaty from the Seahawks last spring to redo his do, and turn the one year and $5.5 million he had left on his contract into two years and $6 million or so. But Mebane didn’t want to do that and he is now set to be a free agent on Wednesday.
Mebane is one of two defensive tackles for the Seahawks who are free agent, with Athyba Rubin being the other.
A conventional wisdom has arisen as free agency has neared that the Seahawks have to sign one of the two but may not be able to secure both. If so, the team could lean toward Rubin, who is a year-and-a-half younger than Mebane, who turned 31 in January.
Free agent lists such as this from Pro Football Talk typically have Rubin ahead of Mebane. But the market will tell a lot and if Rubin gets priced out the Seahawks could easily come back to Mebane at what would be a shorter and much cheaper deal than he just finished.
The Seahawks are a little unsettled at defensive tackle behind Mebane and Rubin — Jordan Hill and A.J.Francis were the backups at the end of the season. Hill will be back but has to show he can stay healthy through a season. Francis is an exclusive rights free agent, so he’ll be back if the Seahawks want him.
It’s also regarded as a really good year for defensive tackles in the draft and someone who some years might have been a top 15 pick or so could fall to Seattle (Robert Nkemdiche anyone?) The knowledge that there is a deep and talented group of tackles available in the draft could play into Seattle’s decisions with Mebane and Rubin.