No surprise here as ESPN’s John Clayton is reporting that Paul McQuistan has signed with the Cleveland Browns:
Former Seahwks G Paul McQuistan is joining the #Browns according to ESPN's John Clayton.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 24, 2014
McQuistan’s signing has since been officially announced by the Browns.
McQuistan visited the Browns last week and it was long assumed he would not be back with the Seahawks. The signing last week of Stephen Schilling further indicated the team was filling out its OL depth in other ways.
McQuistan started 14 games for the Seahawks in 2013, including eight at left tackle when Russell Okung was injured and six at left guard. But as with the decision not to re-sign Breno Giacomini, the Seahawks appear content to go with y0unger, cheaper players — specifically Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey — for some roles in 2014.
McQuistan, who started 40 games for Seattle after signing as a free agent prior to the 2011 season (he spent a few weeks with Cleveland in 2010, his last time before coming to Seattle) becomes the seventh Seahawk free agent to sign with another team. Here’s the list:
WR Golden Tate, Detroit (5 years, $31 million, $10.5 million guaranteed)
DT Clinton McDonald, Tampa Bay (4 years, $12 million, $4.75 million guaranteed)
S Chris Maragos, Philadelphia (3 years, $4.05 million, $1.5 million guaranteed)
OT Breno Giacomini, New York Jets (4 years, $18 million, $7 million guaranteed)
CB Brandon Browner, New England (3 years, $17 million, $1 million guarantee, the base salary for 2014)
CB Walter Thurmond, New York Giants (1 year, $3.5 million, $2 million guaranteed, which included a $1 million signing bonus)
As for Seattle’s offensive line in 2014, the Seahawks will return four of the starters from the Super Bowl in Okung, LG James Carpenter, center Max Unger and RT J.R. Sweezy. Assume Bailey and Bowie to contend for the RT spot, as well as the being the utility guy backing up at guard and tackle. Schilling will also contend for playing time at guard, as will Caylin Hauptmann, an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013 who was elevated to the team’s 53-man roster in September (signed after being released by Cleveland), though he never played and was usually inactive.
It also will be no surprise to see the Seahawks take an OL early in the draft.
McQuistan’s signing means only three of Seattle’s free agents remain unsigned. Here is the list:
TE Kellen Davis (no rumored activity with him yet, unlikely to be back with Seahawks)
FB Michael Robinson (at this point, probably a longshot to be back with Seahawks)
LB O’Brien Schofield (initially signed with Giants but deal now dead because of concerns Giants had about his knee after his physical)