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Seahawks standing steady through free agency

The Seattle Seahawks have gone through the first week of the NFL free agency period standing relatively steady, having suffered a few key defections but re-signing some key players and picking up additional players to fill roster holes. With the NFL Draft still another six weeks away, a few more deals will undoubtedly be struck.

Below is a quick overview of who’s staying, who’s leaving, and who’s arriving.

Re-signings

The two biggest free agent re-signings came on the defensive side of the ball, as the Seahawks re-signed DT Ahtyba Rubin (reported three-year, $12 million contract with $5.5 million guaranteed) and CB Jeremy Lane (reported four-year, $23 million contract with $11 million guaranteed). Rubin was a necessity with fellow DT Brandon Mebane a fellow free agent who eventually signed with San Diego. Lane surely got interest from other NFL team, but the Seahawks deemed him worthy of of a big raise to play opposite of Richard Sherman.

Two other re-signings were WR Jermaine Kearse to a three-year, $13.5 million deal and punter Jon Ryan to a four-year, $10 million contract. Kearse’s deal might be ont eh high-end for a receiver who would be a fourth option on many teams, but he’s a proven downfield blocker who has a reputation for coming up with big receptions. Ryan has been a steady performer over his ten seasons, and is a proven pressure punter and a holder for PATs and field goal attempts.

Key losses

With the success the Seahawks have enjoyed the past four seasons, it’s expected that players will want to get paid. It’s an economic reality that the club can’t afford to keep all its stars while still abiding by the NFL’s salary cap.

The biggest loss in free agency has been the loss of edge rushing linebacker Bruce Irvin, who signed a four-year $37 million deal with the Oakland Raiders. Irvin was a complete linebacker who the Seahawks will look to replace with the coming draft.

The Seahawks also lost guard J.R. Sweezy (five-years, $32.5 million with Tampa Bay) and offensive lineman Alvin Bailey. The Seahawks are expected to lose left tackle Russell Okung, leaving several spots open on the offensive line.

New additions

Two offensive linemen were added to the roster, with tackle J’Marcus Webb likely penciled in as a starter. Webb moved over from the Oakland Raiders with a two-year, $6.25 million contract. Joining Webb will be Bradley Sowell, arriving from division rival Arizona.

Newcomer Sealver Siliga comes from the New England Patriots on a one-year, $1.05 million deal, and will look to fill – at least partially – the spot vacated by Mebane.

More to come

More movement is surely to come, as the Seahawks entered free agency with 17 expiring player contracts. While the biggest deals were signed in the first week, the next month will see teams scramble to fill depth spots on the roster, looking to get value for moderate investments. Then, of course, comes a draft rich in interior defensive linemen and defensive backs.

Photo Credit: Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

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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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