Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was born in Lakewood, Washington, and played his college ball at the University of Washington, so it makes sense that he’d want to continue playing for his local NFL team as he becomes eligible for free agency this winter. Still, while he has expressed a desire to re-sign with Seattle, Kearse isn’t interested in taking a hometown discount to remain with the team, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com details.
“I love my hometown, but I’ve put in too much hard work to give a discount,” Kearse said in a text message to Schefter. “My number one priority is to take care of my family’s future, so I will consider all opportunities.”
Having been an undrafted free agent back in 2012, Kearse was on a minimum-salary contract for the first three years of his career before getting a bump to $2.356MM in 2015 as a restricted free agent. As such, it’s hard to blame him for wanting to make the most of what might be his best opportunity to secure a multi-year deal that features a chunk of guaranteed money.
Kearse, who turns 26 next month, established new career highs this past season with 49 receptions, 685 yards, and five touchdowns. Those aren’t eye-popping stats, but they should earn him a raise. As Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap recently tweeted, players with similar numbers generally land three-year contracts with salaries in the range of $3.25MM-$3.75MM annually.
With left tackle Russell Okung also eligible for free agency and several core players already locked up to pricey contracts, the Seahawks will likely be careful not to overpay for Kearse or anyone else this offseason. The team’s top 11 highest-paid players currently account for more than $101MM on the 2016 cap.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.