As the Seahawks said goodbye to receiver Sidney Rice and defensive lineman Red Bryant, they said hello to approximately $12.8MM in savings, freeing the defending Super Bowl champions to be active participants in upcoming free agency.
Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reached out to cap expert Jason Fitzgerald of OvertheCap.com, and Fitzgerald offered a plethora of knowledge, shining light on the possible plans of GM John Schneider in the coming months.
- According to Fitzgerald, the team will have about $17.8MM in cap room. He predicts a safe spending level between $10-10.5MM after setting aside $1.5MM for rookie draft picks and a minimum $6MM cushion.
- Fitzgerald views tight end Zach Miller and defensive end Chris Clemons as “too expensive” on their current deals, set to earn $7.5MM and $6MM in 2014, respectively.
- With a cap number hovering around $76MM in 2015, Fitzgerald does not envision Seattle having any problems taking care of quarterback Russell Wilson, left tackle Russell Okung, cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas going forward. With the exception of Okung, who has two years left on his current deal, each player is eligible for free agency next offseason.
- Free agent Golden Tate should not be that expensive to re-sign, says Fitzgerald, likening him to Eagles receiver Riley Cooper, who just received a five-year, $25MM contract with $10MM guaranteed.
- Defensive lineman Michael Bennett, however, “is a trickier one” because he excelled at a premium position last season in a contract year. Fitzgerald doesn’t know if the Seahawks can retain Bennett’s services if the former Texas A&M Aggie goes for a $9-10MM/year contract.