Here is a look at all of Seattle's free agents in 2015 with the free agent signing period beginning a week from Tuesday.
Next on the seemingly non-stop NFL calendar is the free agency signing period.
To review how it works, players whose contracts ended with the 2014 season officially become free agents on March 10 at 1 p.m. Seattle time. Teams can begin officially negotiating with those players (specifically, offering contracts) on March 7 at 1 p.m. Seattle time (but players cannot sign until March 10 at 1 p.m.).
Seattle has 16 players set to become unrestricted free agents (here’s a list from Pro Football Focus).
Another four are restricted free agents, meaning the Seahawks can give them tender offers which will allow them to match any contract the player would get from another team and get a draft pick back as compensation.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Mariners could be gearing up for historic 10-game stretch of baseball
- Boys are back in town: Seahawks ready for Super Bowl reunion this weekend
- After playing side by side against Michigan State, UW's Hatchett brothers are here to stay
- Commentary: Why Pac-12 football's success highlights George Kliavkoff’s flawed strategy
- Pac-12 picks of the week: Will WSU upset OSU? And Colorado gets toughest test yet
Two more are exclusive rights free agents, meaning the Seahawks can keep them by giving them a minimum qualifying offer by March 10. If not, then they become free agents (and to answer one question, teams can at any time sign players who have already been released).
Here’s a look at each Seattle player in each classification in order of snaps played last season (from the above Pro Football link) with a comment.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:
G James Carpenter, 864 snaps played: Carpenter has started 39 games since being taken in the first round in 2011. But only once has he started more than 10 in a season — last year when he had 13 starts at left guard. He was a key part of the Seahawks setting a team record in rushing last season, and it appears the team would like to keep him at the right price. But that’s the rub — there are rumblings that Carpenter wants $4 million or so a year and the Seahawks don’t want to go quite that high. The Jets have been said a likely pursuer of Carpenter and if the money gets too high, the Seahawks might say goodbye. Alvin Bailey could take over or Seattle could try to find a replacement in free agency or the draft.
CB Byron Maxwell, 717 snaps: Maxwell emerged as a starter late in the 2013 season and is regarded as one of the hotter names in free agency this season. Few expect him back in Seattle with teams like the Eagles, Jaguars and Falcons all known to have interest and likely to make the kind of offer that doesn’t make sense for the Seahawks to match.
DT Kevin Williams, 455 snaps: Williams signed a one-year deal last season hoping to get a ring. He came close and the question is whether he wants to make another run at it at age 35. Indications are that the Seahawks would be interested in having him back but likely on the same sort of cheap, one-year deal.
DE O’Brien Schofield, 341 snaps: Schofield came back on a cheap, one-year deal last season after a two-year, $8 million contract with the Giants fell through when he failed a knee physical. Schofield was pretty open this season about hoping to parlay his Seattle success this year into a big contract this off-season. So he might be a tough one for the Seahawks to keep.
LB Malcolm Smith, 286 snaps: The Super Bowl MVP a year ago had a tough encore season, battling nagging injuries all year and finding playing time hard to come by working behind K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin. He’ll probably get better offers elsewhere with both Oakland and Atlanta — where former Seahawks coaches now reside — each already mentioned as possible suitors.
C Lemuel Jeanpierre, 227: Brought back at mid-season when the center spot got hit hard by injuries, he was the third-team center at the end of the year behind Max Unger and Patrick Lewis. He’s been a trusted player for Seattle since 2010. But Lewis’ emergence might mean the Seahawks will move on. Seattle also recently signed free agent center Jared Wheeler.
TE Tony Moeaki, 206: Moeaki had some good moments early after being signed as a free agent at mid-season when injuries hit the tight end spot. But he got hurt late in the year and had just one catch in the final five games, including playoffs. He might be back but Seattle also figures to add some new bodies at tight end.
DL/FB Will Tukuafu, 160: Tukuafu played both ways in the Super Bowl and was the team’s starting fullback the second half of the season after being signed when Derrick Coleman was lost for the year at St. Louis with a broken foot. There’s not a huge market for fullbacks, so he seems like a player that if Seattle wants him back, he probably will be.
LS Clint Gresham, 142: Gresham has been an ultra-dependable long snapper for Seattle since 2010. As a six-year vet in 2015, he’d be due at least $745,000. Seattle recently signed free agent Luke Ingram for $435,000. But you’d expect they’d re-sign Gresham and worry about saving a little money at that spot later.
DE Demarcus Dobbs, 188:Picked up late in the year, Dobbs played some valuable snaps down the stretch — tough that fact that he had to pointed to the difference in the team’s depth on the line this year compared to 2013. Seattle has lots of young players up front coming off injuries and how it feels those players will respond figures to dictate what it does in free agency. Dobbs did enough to make one think Seattle would want him back.
S Jeron Johnson, 98: A backup at both safety spots but mainly behind Kam Chancellor — he got the first start of his four-year career this season when Chancellor sat out against the Giants. He’s battled injuries the past two seasons and Seattle might want to get younger at the backup safety spots.
QB Tarvaris Jackson, 3: Jackson was never needed this season, playing just three snaps in mop-up duty at Arizona. But he remains a trusted and popular player in the locker room and turns 32 in April and like last season, likely won’t have a lot of options. So it’ll be mostly up to whether Seattle wants him back or decides to turn the backup QB job over to B.J. Daniels or someone else.
DL Landon Cohen, 0: Cohen, signed late in the season, saw action in the final two payoff games. Seattle needs depth up front so maybe he’s back.
TE Anthony McCoy, 0: McCoy missed a second consecutive season with an Achilles injury and hasn’t played since 2012. But Seattle needs tight end depth and the fact he was on IR indicates team wants to keep him around.
LB Heath Farwell, 0: Farwell was on IR all of last season after suffering groin injury in pre-season and spent the year helping coach. He said at the Super Bowl he’d like to play again.
DL D’Anthony Smith, 0: Was on IR all season. Like McCoy, fact he was on IR indicates he remains in team’s plans.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
WR Jermaine Kearse: 821 snaps: Given what he has meant to the team and Seattle’s needs at WR, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be back. Seattle may proceed as it did last season with Doug Baldwin, placing a tender on him to have ability to match any offer and then working out an extension later.
C Steve Schilling, 205: Ended season on IR with knee injury after which Lewis emerged as the apparent backup of the future at center.
WR Bryan Walters, 108: Reserve receiver also doubled as team’s punt returner. Seattle, though, will surely want to add some competition at the return spots as well as receiver so we’ll see if there is still room for Walters, as well.
DL Greg Scruggs, 68: Scruggs is coming off another knee injury that ended his 2014 season after playing just three games after he missed all of 2013. Where he is health-wise figures to determine Seattle’s interest.
LB Mike Morgan, 27: While he hasn’t played much at LB, Morgan has been one of the team’s more trusted special teams players the last few seasons and that might be enough for Seattle to want him back.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
WR Ricardo Lockette, 273: Lockette emerged as a valuable special teams player and reserve receiver this season, the last play of the Super Bowl aside. You’d assume he’d be back.
DB DeShawn Shead, 93: A backup at corner and safety — he started in place of Chancellor and Johnson against the Raiders — as well as a key special teams player, Shead seems a good candidate to return.