With veteran free agency now just a few days away, the Seahawks are tying up a bevy of loose ends in preparation, starting with re-signing star running back Marshawn Lynch to an extension.
The specifics of the deal have not been released by the club but it is expected to be a multi-year deal averaging about 10 million per season for the 28-year old back, who has led the NFL in rushing yardage, touchdowns and yards-after-contact since joining the Seahawks.
Keeping Lynch as the centerpiece of Seattle's run-heavy offense is certainly an important first step towards the Seahawks defending their NFC crown. It isn't the only one, however, and the Seahawks made plenty of other news on Friday, including releasing veteran tight end Zach Miller and defensive tackle Jesse Williams, each of whom were placed on Injured Reserve a year ago.
The decision to release Miller could have Seattle looking to free agency (Julius Thomas?) or the draft for help at tight end, as fellow veterans Anthony McCoy and Tony Moeaki are also without contracts. Thomas, along with Green Bay Packers' cornerback Tramon Williams , is one of a handful of veteran free agents who might be good fits in Seattle.
Wideout Jermaine Kearse has yet to sign a new contract with the Seahawks but the restricted free agent isn't likely to be going anywhere after Seattle gave him a second round tender. Another team could elect to sign Kearse but the Seahawks would have an opportunity to match the deal. If John Schneider elected not to do so, the Seahawks would receive a second round pick for losing the playmaking former University of Washington wideout. The tender assures that Kearse will receive at least a one-year deal worth $2.356 million in 2015.
While pass-catcher is a little steadier, the Seahawks could need help at defensive tackle with Williams released. Another Williams - Kevin Williams - played well in his first season in Seattle but is currently a free agent, himself, and turns 35 in August.
The Seahawks addressed their defensive line this week by re-signing Greg Scruggs to a one-year deal.
The moves could allow Schneider, Pete Carroll and Co. to be surprisingly active in free agency and during the draft. The club expects to get three or four extra draft picks as compensation for lost free agents from a year ago. With as many as 11 draft picks in yet another solid collegiate draft, the Seahawks appear to be in good position to maintain one of the league's deepest and most talented rosters.
Lynch, Kearse will be back, Miller won't be
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