The Seahawks enter the free-agency signing period Thursday at 1 p.m. when 16 of their players officially hit the market as unrestricted free agents, and five more as restricted free agents. The number of UFAs increased by two earlier this week when the team opted to not make qualifying offers to CB Deshawn Shead and LB Brock Coyle, both of whom had been RFAs (when they were non-tendered, they automatically became UFAs).
Had the Seahawks made qualifying offers to Shead and Coyle, they would have been due $1.8 million each in 2017. After they test free agency, the Seahawks might bring back both at a lower figure.
A starting corner, Shead had surgery to repair an ACL torn during the playoff loss to the Falcons. The Seahawks are uncertain that he will be ready to play when the season begins. Seattle GM John Schneider said at the NFL combine last week that Shead might not be ready to play until deep into the season.
Seattle’s most expensive UFA, kicker Stephen Hauschka, is probably a goner given that the Seahawks have already signed former Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh in a move that is expected to save the franchise $2 million. But it’s possible the Seahawks could seek out Hauschka again if Walsh doesn’t pan out.
Another of the 16 UFAs, kick returner Devin Hester, is also not expected back. He’s expected to retire. That leaves the Seahawks with 14 UFAs.
Coach Pete Carroll said at the combine the Seahawks would be “aggressive” in free agency in seeking help for their 32nd-ranked offensive line, a huge area of need. But he seemed to contradict himself when he also said the club was committed to LT George Fant and RT Garry Gilliam, the line’s weakest links.
Since then, the Seahawks reportedly made a qualifying offer to Gilliam, a restricted free agent. Clubs must make qualifying offers to RFAs by 1 p.m. Thursday or they automatically become UFAs.
Unrestricted free agents
|Date||Player||Pos.||’16 AAV||2015 Season/Skinny|
|—–||Stephen Hauschka||K||2.85M||Seahawks signed FA Blair Walsh|
|—–||Bradley Sowell||T||1.0M||Signed last year, flopped|
|—–||Michael Morgan||LB||1.0M||Started 6 games, 10 tackles, 1 INT|
|—–||Tony McDaniel||DT||985K||Started 10 games, 41 tackles|
|—–||Marcel Reese||FB||885K||Played in 4 late-season games|
|—–||Deshawn Shead||CB||760K||Original RFA non-tendered|
|—–||Will Tukuafu||FB||760K||Played in 7 games, made 1 start|
|—–||Jeron Johnson||SS||760K||Played in 3 games, 3 tackles|
|—–||Kelcie McCray||SS||717K||Started 7 games, 37 tackles|
|—–||Brandon Williams||TE||675K||Played in 16 games, 1 start|
|—–||Neiko Thorpe||CB||675K||Played in 15 games, special teams|
|—–||Damontre Moore||DE||675K||Played in 4 games, 7 tackles|
|—–||John Jenkins||DT||675K||Played in 2 games, 3 tackles|
|—–||Luke Willson||TE||584K||6 starts, caught 2 TDs|
|—–||Brock Coyle||ILB||511K||Original RFA non-tendered|
|—–||Devin Hester||WR||—-||Announced retirement|
Restricted free agents
|Date||Player||Pos.||’16 AAV||New Deal|
|—–||Garry Gilliam||T||1.79M||Played in 14 games with 13 starts|
|Steven Terrell||CB||600K||Started 5 games, 23 tackles|
|—–||Ronald Powell||OLB||600K||Spent year on practice squad|
|—–||Dewey McDonald||SS||555K||Played in 14 games, special teams|
|—–||M. Seisay||CB||525K||Has not played since 2014 season|
Exclusive rights free agents
|—–||Tavaris Barnes||DE||525K||Has not played since 2015|
|—–||S.J.-Baptiste||CB||525K||Added to practice squad Dec. 17|
|—–||Terrence Magee||RB||525K||Played in 2 games, 2 carries|
|—–||Nolan Frese||LS||450K||Played all 16 in regular season|
|—–||Brandon Cottom||RB||450K||Did not appear in a game|
|—–||Troy. Pope||RB||450K||Carried 12 times for 32 yards|
|—–||Kasen Williams||WR||450K||Played in 1 game, no catches|
|—–||Tyler Ott||LS||N/A||Snapped vs. Atl. in playoffs|