The Seahawks are in the running for a few of the free agents who remain unsigned during what commonly is referred to as the “second wave’’ --- players who can be expected to take cheaper deals than those who sign early. The most notable is former Oakland center Stefen Wisniewski.

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Tuesday marks the end of the first week of the NFL’s unrestricted-free-agent signing period.

It was a week that began with the Seahawks making perhaps the biggest splash of all — the trade of center Max Unger and a first-round pick for New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-rounder — and barely a ripple since.

The last step in making the Graham-Unger trade official came Monday when the former Seattle center passed his physical in New Orleans.


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Other than that trade, Seattle’s only additions have been two players who already had been released by their former teams — cornerbacks Cary Williams and Will Blackmon.

The Seahawks still are in the running for a few of the free agents who remain unsigned during what commonly is referred to as the “second wave’’ — players who can be expected to take cheaper deals than those who sign early, and who may need to wait longer to receive an offer.

The most notable is former Oakland center Stefen Wisniewski, who visited Seattle last week. Wisniewski also has visited Tampa Bay and St. Louis and reportedly has interest from Chicago.

Joel Corry, a former agent who now writes for, said it’s common for deals to take longer to get done during the second wave and speculated Monday that’s what is happening with Wisniewski as each side tries to get the best deal.

Wisniewski made just over $1 million last year with the Raiders on the final season of his initial four-year rookie contract. Unger is scheduled to make $6.4 million.

Corry noted the average price for a center in the NFL last year was about $3.75 million a year and figures the Seahawks might want to try to replace Unger with someone with a salary in that range, though Wisniewski might want more.

“Players just don’t get paid the same in the second wave of free agency,’’ Corry said.

Seattle, meanwhile, saw another one of its unrestricted free agents sign elsewhere Monday — backup safety Jeron Johnson, who agreed to a two-year deal worth a reported $3.75 million with Washington.

Johnson had been regarded all along as likely to leave while searching for a shot at a starting job, which wasn’t going to happen in Seattle with Kam Chancellor at strong safety, Johnson’s primary position, and Earl Thomas at free safety. Washington has lost both its strong safeties, having not re-signed Brandon Meriweather and with Ryan Clark retiring.

Johnson is the sixth Seahawk who became an unrestricted free agent last Tuesday to sign with another team. The others are WR Bryan Walters (Jacksonville), DE O’Brien Schofield (Atlanta), CB Byron Maxwell (Philadelphia), LB Malcolm Smith (Oakland) and OL James Carpenter (New York Jets).

Teams can earn draft picks as compensation for losing unrestricted free agents, and Seattle’s losses so far could put it in position to get the maximum four in 2016, though that would change if the Seahawks sign any unrestricted free agents.

Seattle’s moves so far leave it with about $14.2 million in cap space (the Graham trade cost Seattle about $4.6 million in cap space).

Corry said that still has the Seahawks in good shape to extend the contracts of quarterback Russell Wilson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Corry said he’d expect Seattle to try the same strategy it has in the past for extensions, signing the players to sizable bonuses with the cap hit spread over the life of the deal while playing next season with the same base salary as called for in their current contract — Wilson and Wagner are each entering the final season of their original four-year rookie deals.

That’s what Seattle did last year with cornerback Richard Sherman, who received an $11 million signing bonus but played last season for a salary of $1.4 million.

“They can still do both guys,’’ Corry said, estimating that each reasonably could be signed for what would be about a combined $7 million cap hit in 2015, with the big numbers kicking in for 2016.

Still, that means the Seahawks “are not really in the position to make a bunch of other moves,’’ Corry said, unless they restructure the contracts of some of their other current players or release them.

Hence, playing the waiting game with the second wave of free agents.


• Defensive tackle Jesse Williams, a fifth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Alabama who missed his first two seasons with Seattle because of knee injuries, reportedly will return to the team after being released this month. Williams, a native of Brisbane, Australia, told The Courier-Mail in his hometown that he had agreed to a restructured contract and will re-sign with the Seahawks. “The club has restructured my contract and I’ll be heading back in two to three weeks,” Williams was quoted as saying.