Hawks on the hunt for veteran corner

Hawks vs Packers MaxwellThe Seahawks apparently are willing to spend some money on a second starting cornerback this year.

It’s not a surprise considering their injuries and lack of depth at the position.

According to 710 ESPN, the Hawks are willing to pay Byron Maxwell up to $6.5 million — not that it will be enough, but it might indicate what they are willing to pay in general.

They reportedly are showing interest in veteran corners Cary Williams and Tramon Williams.

Both Williams are over 30 and would be short-term fixes, which is pretty much what the Seahawks need, considering their lack of depth and need for a veteran who can push Tharold Simon for the starting spot.

Cary Williams, 30, reportedly will visit the Seahawks on Thursday, and they can begin courting Tramon Williams, 32, on Saturday, with the ability to sign him Tuesday when free agency starts.

The Hawks probably will try to get one of them for two years and about $4 million a year (Cary Williams was due $6.5 million in 2015 before the Eagles released him this week, and Tramon Williams apparently wants $5 million a year for three years).

Tramon Williams is rated the No. 5 free-agent corner, right behind Maxwell, by Scout.com.

It still wouldn’t be surprising to see the Hawks bring back Will Blackmon or Perrish Cox for even cheaper.

Plenty of Seahawks fans seem to be salivating over the prospect of signing wide receiver Andre Johnson, who is expected to be released by Houston.

It wouldn’t be a terrible short-term deal — probably two years — but Johnson will be 34 next season and apparently wants to play for a team that throws the ball and probably wants something close to the $10.5 million he was due to make.

Johnson had no QB in Houston last year, yet still caught 84 passes for 936 yards and three touchdowns. With two QBs in 2013, he caught 109 for 1,407 yards. He obviously still can play.

But, for Seattle to be an option, he would have to be interested in winning a Super Bowl on a running team, meaning accepting a lower salary and fewer passes.

It would not be surprising if Johnson signed with the Colts so he could light up his former team twice next season.

Julius Thomas is another name being bandied about by Seattle fans who think the Hawks need to find an explosive tight end. But the odds do not seem good that he will land in Seattle.

One, he figures to command $8 million a year — the Hawks have been burned every time they spent that kind of money on a receiver (e.g., T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin).

Two, there are rumblings that Thomas’ heart is not entirely into playing football. Obviously the Hawks would measure that themselves if they really wanted to sign him, but some other team seems likely to pay more than the Hawks would.

There is a thought that the Hawks might shake up their defensive line, cutting either Brandon Mebane or Tony McDaniel. But, considering they have no other veterans for the middle of the line, it would make no sense to gut the heart of the run defense unless the Hawks had ready replacements.

The Hawks could afford Ndamukong Suh, but they would have to mortgage part of their roster in the next few years to do it, so it won’t happen.

Stephen Paea has been mentioned as well. He seemed like a great fit for Seattle before the 2011 draft, when the Bears picked him in the second round. He would have been a better pick for Seattle at No. 25 than James Carpenter was.

It will be interesting to see what kind of market Paea draws. The guess is some team will offer him upwards of $8 million a year — which would be too much for Seattle. But if the price is more like $6 million, perhaps the Hawks would be interested in adding him to Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Mebane. The Hawks could make some room for Paea by extending Mebane’s contract at a lower rate (e.g., three years at $3 million per year).

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