Is Browner an option to replace Maxwell? Plus, other free-agency notes

Browner and refWith Byron Maxwell headed to Philadelphia, the Seahawks are looking around for cornerbacks.

They could end up basically swapping cornerbacks with the Eagles — already having visited with former Philly corner Cary Williams. They could sign a Green Bay cornerback. And they could bring back an old friend.

That latter is not a reference to Walter Thurmond, whom many want the Hawks to re-sign. It is a takeaway from a Boston Herald report that the Patriots might let Brandon Browner go. They are allowing him to “explore his value around the league” before a $2 million roster bonus is due Tuesday.

Would the Seahawks want the 30-year-old corner back? They would have to be comfortable with the idea that he is in the league’s drug program and is still among the most penalized players in the NFL.

We’d pass, but it’s worth mentioning.

The Hawks reportedly are one of three teams in the hunt to sign Cary Williams, who was released by the Eagles last week and visited Seattle. The Jets and the Titans are the other contenders.

Williams had signed with Philly in March 2013 — a three-year deal worth $17 million. The Seahawks are unlikely to pay the 30-year-old journeyman $5 million a year — maybe more like $3.5 million.

And that’s if they don’t work out something with a Green Bay cornerback. They reportedly are interested in both Tramon Williams and Davon House. Williams, who turns 32 on March 16, was drafted by the Packers in 2007, when John Schneider was in Green Bay. He’s still playing well, with 71 tackles, three picks and a fumble recovery last year.

House is a riser. A fourth-round pick in 2011, he has played 29 games the past two seasons and seems ready for a starting role somewhere. The Hawks reportedly are among at least six teams interested in the 25-year-old.

The Hawks also are looking for pass rushers. They called about Trent Cole and reportedly are interested in Tampa Bay’s Adrian Clayborn and Cleveland’s Jabaal Sheard.

Dallas, Atlanta, Minnesota and the New York Giants also reportedly are high on Clayborn, a 2011 first-round pick who has had trouble with injuries (missed the final 15 games last season with a torn biceps) but has shown promise when healthy (7.5 sacks as a rookie and 5.5 in 2013).

The Hawks also reportedly are among four top suitors for Sheard — along with Tampa Bay, Cincinnati and New England. The Hawks were high on Sheard in 2011, when the Browns drafted him in the second round.

Sheard (6-3, 264) seems like a perfect LEO option. He had 21 sacks in his first three years with the Browns and then fell off to two in 2014 while playing outside linebacker in the Browns’ 3-4.

The Hawks have sniffed around a bunch of veteran defensive linemen but apparently are not interested in paying a young free agent such as Stephen Paea. He reportedly is close to a contract with Washington after being pursued by Washington, Dallas and Arizona.

The Hawks could be one of the six teams reportedly in on Henry Melton. They nearly signed the defensive tackle last year but he went to Dallas on a $2 million prove-it deal. He didn’t prove it enough to merit $9 million this year, so Dallas opted out of the deal.

The 28-year-old (6-3, 290) is a similar player to Paea (6-1, 300). Melton had five sacks for Dallas last season and has 18 in his last three full seasons (he missed most of 2013 with a torn ACL).

The Hawks still seem to be in the hunt for tight ends Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron. Seattle has re-signed Anthony McCoy, who has missed the past two seasons with injuries, and now has McCoy, Luke Willson and Cooper Helfet as its top tight ends.


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