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Seahawks decline on franchise tag

With Tuesday’s deadline coming and going, the Seattle Seahawks once again declined to designate a player with either the franchise or transition tag ahead of the 2016 NFL free agency period. It marked the sixth consecutive offseason here the Seahawks have not used either tag.

Placekicker Olindo Mare was the last Seahawk designated with either tag, with the franchise tag being placed on him in 2010.

Throughout the NFL, 10 players were designated with the franchise tag, including Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson. Joining Johnson were Muhammad Wilkerson (New York Jets), Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens), Cordy Glenn (Buffalo Bills), Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears), Josh Norman (Caroline Panthers), Olivier Vernon (Miami Dolphins), Von Miller (Denver Broncos), Kirk Cousins (Washington Redskins) and Eric Berry (Kansas City Chiefs). As a result of the tags, those players will not hit the open market when the free agency period begins March 9.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider has been able to avoid franchise and transition tags by signing the team’s key players before free agency has hit, including the likes of Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and others.

The Seahawks still have many free agency-related decisions ahead of them, as 31 Seahawks have expiring contracts, with 18 of them entering unrestricted free agency. Some of the biggest names headed into UFA include tackle Russell Okung, defensive tackles Brandon Mebane and Ahtyba Rubin, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, guard J.R. Sweezy and cornerback Jeremy Lane.

While NFL teams are allowed to contact pending free agents and begin negotiations on Monday, March 7, teams are not permitted to formally agree to contracts with players until Wednesday, March 9, 1:00 pm PST. The salary cap for the 2016 season has been set at $155.27 million.

Stay tuned to www.sportsoutwest.com next week for full updates on the Seahawks’ free agency moves.

Photo Credit: Darron Cummings/AP Photo

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Ray Hartjen

A Public Relations pro by day, by night @RayHartjen follows parallel - yet somehow still often conflicting - paths searching for hair metal guitar legend status, a career as a journeyman 4th line center in the NHL, and the treasured laminates to be a hanger-on in the circus that is Formula 1.
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