BY Adam Lewis 01:13PM 02/24/2014

Report: Seahawks to release DE Red Bryant

Multiple reports indicate the Seahawks plan to cut defensive end Red Bryant so they can re-sign wide receiver Golden Tate and defensive lineman Michael Bennett.

Seahawks DE Red Bryant helped Seattle become the league’s seventh-best rush defense in 2013. / Seattle Seahawks

In a move to free up money under the salary cap entering the 2014 offseason, the Seahawks will release defensive end Red Bryant, according to reports Sunday from Fox Sports senior NFL reporter Alex Marvez and NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.

Bryant, 29, made 31 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks for Seattle in 2013 while serving primarily as a run-stopper on first and second downs.

The club’s decision doesn’t come as a surprise.

Bryant was expected to make $8.5 million in 2014, including a $3 million bonus in March. Last week, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said he plans to make a push to re-sign WR Golden Tate and DT Michael Bennett, both of whom are free agents.

By releasing Bryant, the Seahawks will save approximately $5.5 million against the NFL’s $130 million salary cap.

Popular inside and outside the locker room for his drawl and friendly demeanor, Bryant, 6-foot-4 and 323 pounds, was selected by Seattle out of Texas A&M in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL draft. He spent his first two years in the league as an ineffective defensive tackle before coach Pete Carroll and Schneider decided to make him a specialized end that would play almost exclusively on rushing downs.

Like so many of the Schneider/Carroll personnel decisions, the maneuver worked. Bryant started all but one regular season game from 2011-2013 and helped anchor a rushing defense that tied with the Broncos for seventh-best in the NFL  in 2013 (101.6 yards per game).

However, Bryant’s playing time diminished slightly when the Seahawks started to rotate defensive end Cliff Avril and Bennett along with defensive end Chris Clemons. Bryant averaged 29 snaps per game, which makes his pending salary harder to justify.

Bennett, who finished the regular season with 31 tackles, a forced fumble and 8.5 sacks, said two weeks ago that he wasn’t willing to give the Seahawks the “hometown discount” that was more agreeable to wide receiver Golden Tate.

Bryant isn’t the first casualty of the Seahawks’ roster trimming.

Wide receiver Sidney Rice, who missed half of 2013 with a torn ACL, acknowledged he was released after spending the past three seasons in Seattle, although the club has yet to announce it.

 


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YourThoughts

  • poulsbogary

    Can’t believe they are doing this. Red, as much as anyother defensive player, had the ability to singlehandedly change the course of a game. He is the only defender that I know of for which kicking teams had to plan for and take into account. I am talking extra points, field goals. Teams could not even take an extra point for granted when he was lined up.

    • Edgar Martinez

      He could still re-sign with the team at a reduced rate after being cut. By how he talks about loving it up here, I would say there’s a pretty good shot of it happening.

  • http://www.twitter.com/samjfinley Sam Finley

    He’s a good guy and he tries hard…but if you make me choose between him and Bennett, I’m smartly taking the latter.

  • RadioGuy

    I like Bryant, too, but $8.5 million is an awful lot to pay a guy who gives you two tackles a game and 1.5 sacks for the season. Bennett had much more impact last year with all those sacks and as many tackles as a reserve.

  • ll9956

    This is just another example of the fact that pro football is a hard-boiled business. The qualities that Red brought to the table won’t be easy to replace. It would be nice if they could re-sign him at a lower salary, but I’d bet that another team will grab him quickly. There is just no such thing as team loyalty in the NFL. Sad.

  • jafabian

    I question if this move will be like when the Hawks released Mike Robinson. ThE Real Rob Reports locker room presence was missed, especially by Marshawn Lynch. Big Red is the leader of the D-Line as far as I can tell. I hope the club can bring him back. He’s a great Seahawk. This is the part of pro sports that’s very difficult to accept.

    • Chris Allen

      They had to release Mike Robinson at the beginning of the year he was dangerously ill and nobody knew a time frame for his possible return.

      • jafabian

        Why not put him on the PUP list then?