BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 03/09/2017

Seahawks already active in FA signing period

The Seahawks enter the free-agent signing period at 1 p.m. Thursday with 16 players hitting the open market as unrestricted free agents.

Seahawks corner Deshawn Shead grapples with Mohamed Sanu of the Atlanta Falcons. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

The Seahawks enter the free-agency signing period Thursday at 1 p.m. when 16 of their players officially hit the market as unrestricted free agents, and five more as restricted free agents. The number of UFAs increased by two earlier this week when the team opted to not make qualifying offers to CB Deshawn Shead and LB Brock Coyle, both of whom had been RFAs (when they were non-tendered, they automatically became UFAs).

Had the Seahawks made qualifying offers to Shead and Coyle, they would have been due $1.8 million each in 2017. After they test free agency, the Seahawks might bring back both at a lower figure.

A starting corner, Shead had surgery to repair an ACL torn during the playoff loss to the Falcons. The Seahawks are uncertain that he will be ready to play when the season begins. Seattle GM John Schneider said at the NFL combine last week that Shead might not be ready to play until deep into the season.

Seattle’s most expensive UFA, kicker Stephen Hauschka, is probably a goner given that the Seahawks have already signed former Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh in a move that is expected to save the franchise $2 million. But it’s possible the Seahawks could seek out Hauschka again if Walsh doesn’t pan out.

Another of the 16 UFAs, kick returner Devin Hester, is also not expected back. He’s expected to retire. That leaves the Seahawks with 14 UFAs.

Coach Pete Carroll said at the combine the Seahawks would be “aggressive” in free agency in seeking help for their 32nd-ranked offensive line, a huge area of need. But he seemed to contradict himself when he also said the club was committed to LT George Fant and RT Garry Gilliam, the line’s weakest links.

Since then, the Seahawks reportedly made a qualifying offer to Gilliam, a restricted free agent. Clubs must make qualifying offers to RFAs by 1 p.m. Thursday or they automatically become UFAs.

Unrestricted free agents

Date Player Pos. ’16 AAV 2015 Season/Skinny
—– Stephen Hauschka K 2.85M Seahawks signed FA Blair Walsh
—– Bradley Sowell T 1.0M Signed last year, flopped
—– Michael Morgan LB 1.0M Started 6 games, 10 tackles, 1 INT
—– Tony McDaniel DT 985K Started 10 games, 41 tackles
—– Marcel Reese FB 885K Played in 4 late-season games
—– Deshawn Shead CB 760K Original RFA non-tendered
—– Will Tukuafu FB 760K Played in 7 games, made 1 start
—– Jeron Johnson SS 760K Played in 3 games, 3 tackles
—– Kelcie McCray SS 717K Started 7 games, 37 tackles
—– Brandon Williams TE 675K Played in 16 games, 1 start
—– Neiko Thorpe CB 675K Played in 15 games, special teams
—– Damontre Moore DE 675K Played in 4 games, 7 tackles
—– John Jenkins DT 675K Played in 2 games, 3 tackles
—– Luke Willson TE 584K 6 starts, caught 2 TDs
—– Brock Coyle ILB 511K Original RFA non-tendered
—– Devin Hester WR —- Announced retirement

Restricted free agents

Date Player Pos. ’16 AAV New Deal
—– Garry Gilliam T 1.79M Played in 14 games with 13 starts
Steven Terrell CB 600K Started 5 games, 23 tackles
—– Ronald Powell OLB 600K Spent year on practice squad
—– Dewey McDonald SS 555K Played in 14 games, special teams
—– M. Seisay CB 525K Has not played since 2014 season

Exclusive rights free agents

Date Player Pos. ’16 AAV Skinny
—– Tavaris Barnes DE 525K Has not played since 2015
—– S.J.-Baptiste CB 525K Added to practice squad Dec. 17
—– Terrence Magee RB 525K Played in 2 games, 2 carries
—– Nolan Frese LS 450K Played all 16 in regular season
—– Brandon Cottom RB 450K Did not appear in a game
—– Troy. Pope RB 450K Carried 12 times for 32 yards
—– Kasen Williams WR 450K Played in 1 game, no catches
—– Tyler Ott LS N/A Snapped vs. Atl. in playoffs

YourThoughts

  • John M

    No offer to Morgan, Reese and Willson plus several others. I don’t get it . . .

    • art thiel

      Still plenty of time. These are second-and third-tier guys who may not get offers for days or weeks.

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        I don’t know the subtleties of the biz, certainly, but those 3 guys are the type that contribute in every game and often make outstanding plays. In two words: Reliable, Trustworthy . . .

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