The release of Zach Miller and double dose of bad news from the Bears-Jets trade Friday was trumped by the great news that Marshawn Lynch is set to return for another season.
After various reports had him making $11 million for one year, $24 million for two years or $31 million for three years, it appears the latter is correct. He will get $12 million in 2015, up from his scheduled $7 million. His cap hit will remain the same, though, at $8.5 million, because he will get $4.5 million in salary and $7.5 million in a signing bonus (he had $1.5 million in bonus proration from his previous deal).
He is signed through 2017, if he chooses to return. He would make $9 million in 2016, counting $11.5 million. He would make $10 million in 2017, including a $3 million roster bonus, and count $12.5 million. If he retires after 2015, the Hawks would take a $5 million cap hit in dead money next year.
Releasing Miller saved the Hawks $2.4 million, which they applied to their second-round tender ($2.36 million) for receiver Jermaine Kearse.
Miller, 29, apparently failed his physical, likely because of the ankle surgeries he has needed since being injured in Week 3 last season. It ends the tenure of a solid all-around football player who was overpaid and underutilized in his four seasons with the team.
Speculation increased that the Seahawks will try to sign Denver tight end Julius Thomas. He likely will command $8 million a year, though. Cleveland’s Jordan Cameron would be cheaper — although concussion issues hover over his head. The Hawks can start talking to their agents on Saturday.
As for Kearse getting the second-round tender, it was expected. The Hawks just don’t have many options at receiver right now, so they needed to do it. Unlike Doug Baldwin, Kearse is not likely to get an extension on top of the tender. In fact, once the Hawks add to their receiving corps, they could make Kearse take a pay cut.
The Hawks figure to explore the veteran receiver market, but the guy who might have been their preferred option was traded Friday — a double whammy as Brandon Marshall displaces Percy Harvin with the Jets, who now will release Harvin and owe the Seahawks only a sixth-round pick.
If he had been on the team March 19, the Jets would have owed the Seahawks a fourth-rounder instead from their October trade.
It’s no sure thing the Hawks would have been interested in Marshall if he had been released, but they had pursued him previously.
Andre Johnson, Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace all could be released in the next few days as well, but none of them seems likely to land in Seattle.
Johnson, 34, wants to play in a passing offense. Bowe, 30, allegedly does not have the mental fortitude the Hawks stress in their players. Wallace, 28, probably will be too expensive due to his youth and deep speed.
With Miller gone and Marshall no longer an option, the Hawks seem very likely to go after Thomas or Cameron.
In other developments Friday …
The Hawks re-signed defensive lineman Greg Scruggs, almost surely to the minimum $660,000. He was slated to be a restricted free agent; but, after two injury-plagued years, the Hawks were not going to tender him at $1.5 million.
The Hawks also released two other injury cases, offensive tackle Garrett Scott and defensive tackle Jesse Williams. Scott sat out his rookie season after a heart defect was discovered shortly after the Hawks drafted him, and Williams has not played in either of his first two seasons because of knee issues.
Tarvaris Jackson apparently is interested in returning to Minnesota to mentor Teddy Bridgewater.
That would leave Seattle looking for a backup quarterback — unless the Hawks think B.J. Daniels can handle the role. Perhaps they would consider using him as a multi-weapon, at receiver, returner and backup QB. It certainly would save some money.