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February 9, 2015 at 1:18 PM

A look at Seattle’s pending free agents

With the off-season now upon us, the focus shifts to the Combine, the Draft and free agency.

We’ll have lots of coverage of all of those as we get into the heart of the off-season, including live coverage from the NFL Combine Feb. 18-21.

As for free agency, here are a few quick notes and thoughts on that:

— Remember that players don’t become free agents until March 10. Teams can re-sign their own players prior to then, but players cannot sign with other teams until that date, or after.

— Seattle had 14 players who were on the active roster for the Super Bowl who are now unrestricted free agents. They are:

OL James Carpenter

CB Byron Maxwell

DT Kevin Williams

LS Clint Gresham

DL Demarcus Dobbs

LB Malcolm Smith

LB Mike Morgan

DE O’Brien Schofield

FB/DL Will Tukuafu

TE Tony Moeaki

WR Bryan Walters

DT Landon Cohen

DB Jeron Johnson

OL Lemuel Jeanpierre

A few others who ended the season on IR are also free agents, notably: TE Anthony McCoy, LB Heath Farwell, OL Steve Schilling, DT D’Anthony Smith and DL Greg Scruggs.

— Two other players are exclusive rights free agents, meaning the Seahawks must make a contract offer by March 10 or they become unrestricted free agents. Those players are WR Ricardo Lockette and DB DeShawn Shead.

— WR Jermaine Kearse is a restricted free agent, meaning he may sign an offer sheet with another team but the Seahawks would have seven days to match. If the Seahawks don’t match they would get a draft pick as compensation based on the qualifying offer made by the Seahawks. Basically, the exact same deal as last year with Doug Baldwin, on whom the team placed a second-round tender and then signed to an extension.

— As we’ve noted on here a few times, Seattle GM John Schneider has already said that extending Russell Wilson (and other things the team will want to do with its current players such as Marshawn Lynch and Bobby Wagner) could mean that the Seahawks are again not major players on the free agency market. That was the thought going into last off-season and turned out to be true when the most significant outside free agent the team signed was Kevin Williams, a deal not done until June. You never know, and the dynamic could change greatly if for some reason negotiations with one of the players above were to go haywire and a deal not get done (which you’d think could most likely happen in the case of Lynch). But in general, it would be going against that this team has usually done, and what it appears its stated goals are, for the Seahawks to suddenly start throwing major cash around on the free agent market.

— Here’s a good list (also on the Tweet at the bottom) of the top free agents. And one thing that’s telling is that Seattle doesn’t have many of its own that rank highly, a sign of how well the Seahawks have been able to keep their top-tier guys and also a reason for the optimism that the window is hardly losing on the Seahawks. All rankings are subjective, etc. But as a general guide I found this one interesting — it lists Maxwell 17th, Carpenter 54th, Schofield 57th and Smith 100th. Contrast that to a year ago when rated Seattle as having three of the top 38 free agents (Michael Bennett, Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond), as well as having already released Red Bryant and Sidney Rice (each on the list) and also eventually losing two others on the list in Brandon Browner and Clinton McDonald. The upshot is that Seattle shouldn’t take as much of a hit in free agency losses this year as last season.


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