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Seattle Seahawks: 5 Players Who Deserve Long-Term Extensions

Darin PikeContributor IApril 11, 2012

Seattle Seahawks: 5 Players Who Deserve Long-Term Extensions

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    The Seattle Seahawks have done an amazing job of churning their roster, going from one of the oldest rosters in the NFL to the third-youngest in just two years. Most of their young talent will be getting big contract offers when they are nearing free agency, but five players should be given extensions this offseason.

    The tricky part with extensions is that they tend to come with less than a year left on their existing contract. While Seattle has a slew of players that are scheduled to be free agents in 2013 (next page), very few of them have put in the work with Seattle to earn a new deal.

    Several players who have proven their worth in Seattle are a bit long in the tooth, which makes an extension less likely. For example, Raheem Brock was a sack machine in 2010, but the Seahawks were hesitant to extend a contract to him last July because of his age. His drop in performance in 2011 validated the front office's concerns.

    There are a few players the Seahawks should be calling into the office, though.

2012 and 2013 Free Agents

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    Seattle has some talent that will require new contracts in two seasons, but they will have the advantage of countering the offers from other teams looking to sign the players. With the potential for injury or drop in play, it could be difficult for the team to fork over significant dollars for any of these players.

    Two that might be worth considering a long-term extension are Browner and Baldwin. They both had solid first seasons in the NFL and look like they could be vital components of their units for the next decade.

    Don't expect the Seahawks to jump on either of these players this season, but they will have the opportunity in 2013 to offer their future stars a nice inducement to keep them wrapped up for the next six seasons.

     

    Seattle Seahawks Free Agents:

     

    2012 Free Agents

    POS.

    STATUS


    2013 Free Agents

    POS.

    STATUS

    Phillip Adams

    CB

    RFA

     

    Doug Baldwin

    WR

    RFA

    Tressor Baptiste

    LB

    RFA

     

    Brandon Browner

    CB

    RFA

    Allen Barbre

    G

    UFA

     

    Kam Chancellor

    S

    UFA

    Allen Bradford

    RB

    RFA

     

    Dexter Davis

    DE

    UFA

    Alan Branch

    DE

    UFA

     

    Breno Giacomini

    T

    UFA

    Deon Butler

    WR

    UFA

     

    Lemuel Jeanpierre

    G

    UFA

    Chris Clemons

    DE

    UFA

     

    Jeron Johnson

    S

    RFA

    Paul Fanaika

    G

    UFA

     

    Jameson Konz

    WR

    RFA

    John Graves

    DE

    RFA

     

    Ricardo Lockette

    WR

    RFA

    Clint Gresham

    LS

    RFA

     

    Anthony McCoy

    TE

    UFA

    Jesse Hoffman

    CB

    RFA

     

    Paul McQuistan

    G

    UFA

    Tarvaris Jackson

    QB

    UFA

     

    Ben Obomanu

    WR

    UFA

    Jason Jones

    DT

    UFA

     

    Ron Parker

    CB

    RFA

    Roy Lewis

    CB

    RFA

     

    Michael Robinson

    RB

    UFA

    Taitusi Lutui

    G

    UFA

     

    Golden Tate

    WR

    UFA

    Chris Maragos

    CB

    RFA

     

    Walter Thurmond

    CB

    UFA

    Charly Martin

    WR

    UFA

     

    Mike Williams

    WR

    UFA

    Cameron Morrah

    TE

    UFA

     

     

     

     

    John Nalbone

    TE

    RFA

     

     

     

     

    Frank Omiyale

    T

    UFA

     

     

     

     

    Brent Osborne

    G

    RFA

     

     

     

     

    Barrett Ruud

    LB

    UFA

     

     

     

     

    Tyrell Sutton

    RB

    UFA

     

     

     

     

    Vai Taua

    RB

    RFA

     

     

     

     

    Adrian Taylor

    DT

    RFA

     

     

     

     

    Marcus Trufant

    CB

    UFA

     

     

     

     

    Max Unger

    C

    UFA

     

     

     

     

Alan Branch, DT

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    Alan Branch finally showed the Arizona Cardinals what they were hoping to see from him. The only problem is that he did it playing against them, not for them.

    Branch showed he can perform well under Seattle's defensive scheme. Moving to a 4-3 set was a great move for his career, and he is likely going to further demonstrate his value in 2012.

    In other words, he will only get more expensive as 2012 progresses.

    Not only will he have a full season under his belt, he'll have the full offseason to work with his line. He will also have the luxury of working with Jason Jones and, most likely, an exciting young pass-rusher. 

    All of these factors should boost Branch's production this season. Seattle doesn't want to enter free agency next March with two talented defensive tackles looking for full market value.

Jason Jones, DT

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    Jason Jones doesn't quite meet the parameters set on the front page, as he hasn't done any work for the Seahawks as of yet. But that shouldn't matter. Seattle got a steal with him on a one-year contract. He is going to be highly productive in their defense.

    My logic on Jones is the Marshawn Lynch factor I discussed before last season. Seattle was operating from a position of strength, and Lynch's value would only increase over the season. Further, he didn't have enough history in Seattle to encourage a home-team discount.

    Jones is in the same position.

    Sign him to a contract with enough guaranteed money to make him happy, but not so much to allow him to become complacent. Make the team's cut-bait-and-run option cheap enough that he also knows he has to continue to produce to get the tail dollars in the deal.

Kam Chancellor, SS

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    There are advantages to offering a contract extension to a player with two years left on his contract...particularly one that is playing for around the league minimum. Kam Chancellor signed a four-year contract worth $2 million with a $213,000 signing bonus.

    This is big money for average people, but he's still poor by NFL standards. 

    This is also the stage of a player's career when he will still respond to a big payday.

    Offering a nice extension at today's contract values should save the Seahawks some dollars. The price for a Pro Bowl safety in 2012 is most certainly cheaper than a two- or three-time Pro Bowl safety in 2014.

    Salary for the position as a whole will likely creep up each season, and continued stellar play by Chancellor will validate him as an elite strong safety.

    The new dollars wouldn't start until 2014, but attaching a nice signing bonus would give Kam Chancellor some deserved income now to entice him into signing a long-term deal. A four-year extension with an up-front signing bonus would also help normalize his cap hit in any one season.

    Lower salaries in 2015 and 2016, with higher salary in 2017 and 2018 would also provide the team with an opportunity to restructure or move on at the position should Chancellor stop playing at his 2011 level.

Max Unger, C

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    There is one remaining issue in Max Unger's game. He struggles with snaps in the shotgun.

    Unger grew immensely under Tom Cable last season, and he will only prove to be better in 2012. Every line adjustment he makes with his unit, every hit he saves his quarterback from and every hole he punches open for Marshawn Lynch will cost the team money this season.

    The line will have a bit more familiarity, and a full offseason will help somewhat with continuity. Granted, their two likely starters at guard will be watching from the sidelines and working in the training rooms as they rehab knee injuries.

    At this point Unger is a decent starter who wouldn't command high dollars on the open market. Pay him a bit above his current market and save some dollars next spring.

Chris Clemons, DE

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    Yes, Chris Clemons will be 31 next season. He will also be looking at a reduced role in 2012 or 2013, as the Seahawks will have the opportunity to draft an ideal replacement for his services in a few weeks.

    However, Clemons will be an ideal body to rotate with Red Bryant on passing downs.

    A reduced workflow will be good for the longevity of his career, and he likely knows the market for his services outside of Seattle will be limited. There just aren't many teams that have much use for a 254 lb. defensive end. 

    Evidence of his limited applicability in the NFL can be found with his stint in Philadelphia. His numbers were less than impressive (7.0 sacks, 26 tackles in two seasons), and the Eagles sent him and a fifth-round draft pick to Seattle for an under-performing defensive lineman, Darryl Tapp.

    Give Clemons three more years with a little security. Throw in bonus money based on production, and let him finish his season with the team that allowed him to demonstrate his skill set.

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