Seattle Seahawks: Latest Free-Agency News and Rumors

Marlon Maloney@@marlonmaloneyCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2015

Seattle Seahawks: Latest Free-Agency News and Rumors

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    USA TODAY Sports

    It's that time of the year again...when optimism runs rampant among every fanbase and coaching staff in the NFL. Around optimism season, as I like to call it, is perhaps the busiest time of the year for general managers.

    They are given the loathsome task of cutting players, re-signing players, restructuring contracts and filling team needs via the draft and free agency. For the most part there's no way of knowing how things will workout for the players who join and depart from the franchise, but the goal is obviously to bring about growth or improvement on your team.

    While fans would like to believe their team is the "it" destination for all the top free agents, I'm here to deliver a dose of pessimism and reality into their lives. Still, strange things have happened before, with the Seattle Seahawks signing Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to cheap deals before the 2013 season.

    Let's take a look at some of the players expected to hit free agency who could mozy on over to Seattle this offseason.

TE Jordan Cameron

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The Seahawks will be looking to add some offensive weapons after they reach a contract extension with Russell Wilson. Once Zach Miller went down early in the season, the team's top tight ends became a combination of Tony Moeaki, Cooper Helfet and Luke Willson.

    Miller is a solid all-around tight end, but he's never had more than 400 receiving yards in a season since joining the franchise in 2011. Jordan Cameron, however, missed six games last season yet still managed to haul in 24 receptions for 424 yards, per NFL.com.

    While there is still the possibility the Cleveland Browns will re-sign Cameron or even use the franchise tag on him for $8.8 million, the AFC team has veteran TE James Casey coming to visit its facilities. The fact that Cleveland feels the need to begin covering the bases by talking to alternative options bodes well for the talented tight end to hit free agency.

    Adding Cameron to the Seahawks lineup would introduce an intriguing receiving option capable of stretching opposing defenses on seam routes down the middle of the field.

WR Torrey Smith

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Jermaine Kearse's rookie contract is up, making him eligible to be an unrestricted free agent on March 10. While Kearse has a penchant for making big catches on deep passes, he's also prone to making costly drops and is often taken out of games for long stretches by opposing defenses. 

    Last season was Kearse's first as a regular starter following the offseason departures Golden Tate and Sidney Rice. The third-year receiver totaled just 38 catches for 537 yards and one touchdown, according to ESPN. Perhaps he could be brought back on another inexpensive deal with a lesser role, but the team needs to improve it's receiving corps.

    Torrey Smith of the Baltimore Ravens is headed toward free agency after a bit of a down year, with 2014 free-agent signing Steve Smith taking a chunk out of his production. Last season, Torrey Smith made 49 grabs for 767 yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns.

    His rare speed remains a serious threat to opposing defense that Russell Wilson could take advantage of, and he could be a Seattle target. Wilson has proven himself to be one of the league's better deep-ball throwers, completing more than 46 percent of his 52 pass longer than 20 yards last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

    Smith's addition would force opposing defenses to back away from the line of scrimmage a bit, providing more room for Marshawn Lynch and Wilson to run the ball, as well.

DL Ricky Jean-Francois

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Given the bevy of defensive linemen the Seattle Seahawks are set to allow to hit the free-agent market, the team is looking into an old talent pool that it has consistently dug into during recent years.

    Following in the footsteps of Demarcus Dobbs, Perrish Cox, B.J. Daniels and Will Tukuafu; former San Francisco 49er DL Ricky Jean-Francois is set to visit the Seahawks in the coming days.

    Jean-Francois spent the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts but was with the rival 49ers for the first three years of his career. Having been cut by the Colts, Seattle could sign Jean-Francois prior to the March 10 start of free agency.

    The five-year veteran is a quality rotational player who would give Seattle a solid group in the middle of its defensive line with Jordan Hill, Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel. Kevin Williams would be 35 years old by the time next season started, and McDaniel was subpar last season. Bringing in some new blood would do the Seahawks some good.

    Jean-Francois is also scheduled to visit with the 49ers and Washington Redskins, as well, so he is far from a sure thing for Seattle.

WR Cecil Shorts III

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Cecil Shorts III isn't a well-known commodity, but he is a decent talent who would fit in nicely with the Seahawks receiving corps. While some might be happy to hand over the starting-receiver reigns to Chris Matthews (following his Super Bowl performance), it seems like a major risk to base your roster makeup on a one-game performance.

    Shorts doesn't have the speed of a Torrey Smith or Golden Tate, but he does play similarly to Tate, utilizing precise route-running and agility to get open often. The four-year vet has never had a showcase year. He's never finished with more than 1,000 yards in a season—or played a full year, for that matter.

    Still his production has been impressive having caught passes from the likes of Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne and Blake Bortles throughout his career.

    Playing with a quarterback like Russell Wilson should do Shorts wonders. His ability to scramble and ad-lib when a play breaks down would make him a top target of Wilson's in the same way Tate was.

    While his injury history is a bit concerning, it seems probable for Seattle to show some interest on the still-young receiving talent.

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