BY SPNW Staff 06:58PM 03/10/2016

Switcheroo: WR Kearse returns to Seahawks

WR Jermaine Kearse, a University of Washington product, returns to the team after signing a three-year deal worth $13.5 million that will double his previous salary.

Jermaine Kearse will return to the Seahawks for the next three years. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Jermaine Kearse will not be leaving the Seahawks after all. The fifth-year wide receiver from Tacoma’s Lakes High, who vowed he would not give Seattle a “hometown discount,” agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the team Thursday only hours after he had been linked to potential deals with the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears.

Kearse reportedly signed for $13.5 million, doubling his previous average salary of $2.3 million per year.

Kearse becomes the third unrestricted free agent to re-sign with Seattle, following DL Ahtyba Rubin and CB Jeremy Lane. The Seahawks have lost LB Bruce Irvin (Oakland), DT Brandon Mebane (San Diego) and OG J.R. Sweezy (Tampa Bay) since the free-agency signing period began Wednesday afternoon.

Kearse said he would not give the Seahawks a hometown discount. He re-signed with the team. Irvin said he would give the Seahawks the discount, but signed instead with Oakland.

The Seahawks signed Kearse as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He developed steadily into a reliable secondary target in the passing game in the four seasons that followed. The 2015 season was his most productive with 49 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns.


In four regular seasons, Kearse has caught 112 passes for 1,599 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 14.3 yards per reception.

Kearse has been exceptional in the postseason. The University of Washington product has made 28 catches for 471 yards and six scores in eight playoff games, a franchise record. That includes the game-winning TD against the 49ers in the 2014 NFC Championship, a TD catch in Super Bowl XLVIII as Seattle rolled past the Denver Broncos, and the game-winning, 35-yard TD snag in the 2014 NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers that sent Seattle to Super Bowl XLXIX.

In Seattle’s season-ending loss to the Carolina Panthers, Kearse caught 11 passes on 15 targets for 110 yards and two touchdowns as Seattle stormed back from a 31-0 deficit, only to lose 31-24.

Kearse’s return to Seattle will come as great news for quarterback Russell Wilson, who had a 126.1 passer rating last year when targeting Kearse, the fourth-highest rating in the league between a quarterback and a receiver.

Kearse reportedly had an interest in signing with Atlanta, whose head coach, Dan Quinn, once served as Seattle’s defensive coordinator. But the Falcons Thursday signed former Cincinnati receiver Muhammed Sanu to a five-year, $32.5 million deal, apparently eliminating any interest Atlanta may have had in Kearse.

Alvin Bailey signs with Cleveland

OL Alvin Bailey, who started at both tackles and left guard during injury absences of Seahawks starters but was not tendered as a restricted free agent — he would have received $1.6 million —  was signed Friday by the Cleveland Browns.

An undrafted rookie from Arkansas entering his fourth season, Bailey did not require a compensatory draft pick. He started eight of  42 games, including Super Bowl XLVIII.


Unrestricted free agents retained

Date Player Pos. ’15 Salary New Deal
Mar 9 Ahtyba Rubin DL 2.6M 3 years, $12M, $5.5M guaranteed
Mar 9 Jeremy Lane CB 660K 4 years, $23M, $11M guaranteed
Mar 10 Jermaine Kearse WR 2.3M 3 years, $13.5M, $6.3M guaranteed ’16
Mar 11 Jon Ryan P 1.5M 4 years, $10M (1M annual raise)

Unrestricted free agents lost

Date Player Pos New Team New Deal
Mar 9 Bruce Irvin LB Raiders 5 years, $37M, $19M guaranteed
Mar 9 Brandon Mebane DT Chargers 3 years, $13.5M, $5.5M guaranteed
Mar 9 J.R. Sweezy G Bucs 5 years, $32.5M
Mar 9 Ricardo Lockette WR None Seahawks declined to offer, now FA

Remaining unrestricted free agents

Date Player Pos. ’15 Salary 2015 Season/Skinny
—– Russell Okung T 4.8M 2010 No.1, 15 starts, 2 in playoffs
—– Tarvaris Jackson QB 1.3M 33 in April, mopped up in 4 games
—– Michael Morgan LB 750K 14 games with 2 starts
—– Will Tukuafu FB 745K 14 games, 1 touchdown
—– Demarcus Dobbs DE 745K 11 games, no starts
—– Fred Jackson RB 870K 16 games, 2 rec. TDs

Restricted free agents

Date Player Pos. ’15 Salary New Deal
Mar 7 Patrick Lewis C 585K Tendered $1.67M
Mar 7 Cooper Helfet TE 510K Tendered $600,000
Mar 9 Alvin Bailey G 585K Signed with Browns
Mar 9 Derrick Coleman FB 585K Seahawks declined to offer, now FA
Mar 9 Christine Michael RB 208K Seahawks declined to offer, now FA
—– Nick Moody LB 413K  3 games, no starts

Exclusive rights free agents

Date Player Pos. ’15 Salary Skinny
Mar 6 Eric Pinkins LB 180K Tendered
Mar 7 DeShawn Shead DB 660K Tendered $760,000
Mar 8 Marcus Burley CB 510K Tendered $600,000
Mar 8 A.J. Francis DT 6.6K Tendered $600,000, signed
Mar 8 Jesse Williams DT 393K Waived; never played
Mar 9 Steven Terrell CB 600K Tendered
Mar 9 Moh. Seisay CB 333K Tendered


  • 1coolguy

    Great news! The Dawg is BACK! Good job JS!

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