The return of DE Chris Clemons, one of the heroes of the 2013 season that produced the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl triumph, is no more. The club confirmed an NFL Network report Thursday that Clemons, 34, who signed a one-year, free agent deal in April, has decided to retire.
The decision came on the eve of reporting day Friday, ahead of the start of training camp Saturday. Clemons’ deal was worth a maximum of $1.5 million, but only 10 percent was guaranteed, suggesting that the Seahawks had an idea Clemons may not want a 12th season, even if it was with the franchise where he had his greatest success.
After four years with Seattle, Clemons became a free agent after Super Bowl and signed with Jacksonville for four years and $17.5 million.
Clemons would have returned as a situational backup behind Michael Bennett, who backed up Clemons in 2013. He was expected to help compensate for the departure of pass-rushing LB Bruce Irvin, who left in free agency for Oakland.
Coach Pete Carroll said Clemons and CB Brandon Browner, another Super Bowl vet who also signed as a free agent, would fit well a system they knew.
“We loved them when we had them, we hated when we had to lose them,” Carroll said in April. “Clemons is a really adept rusher, and he’ll be good to help our young guys learn, too. If we can keep it in the mode that we want to and the numbers of plays we want to, we think we can really keep him effective.”