A month ago, the NFLPA called out the Raiders and Jaguars for falling behind the CBA’s minimum-spend requirement; so, with a combined $140 million in cap space, it was obvious those teams were going to come out spending this week.
While that is good news for Bruce Irvin, who reportedly will sign a big deal with the Raiders, it might not be a great development for the relationship between Michael Bennett and the Seahawks.
Bennett obviously will take notice of Malik Jackson’s $90 million deal with Jacksonville and feel even more underpaid than he already does. At $15 million a year, Jackson is blowing away the market for defensive ends. And you have to wonder if that will scuttle any chance of Seattle working something out with Bennett.
Seattle’s Pro Bowl lineman is under contract for two more years, due a mere $5 million this season, and the Seahawks were expected to make some minor moves to beef up his deal this offseason before talking extension next year. But there’s no way the Seahawks are going to pay him more than $10 million a year in any new deal.
Bennett’s future in Seattle will depend on whether his new agent, Doug Hendrickson, understands that Jackson’s deal was inflated by the Jaguars’ need to spend a lot of money this year.
At this point, it seems a very good bet that Bennett will not be as accommodating as he was last year. And that means we could be looking at a Kam Chancellor-esque holdout.
Ahtyba Rubin got exactly the deal we projected: three years at $4 million a year. It reportedly includes a $4.5 million signing bonus and $6 million in pay for 2016. That means a $3 million cap hit, leaving Seattle with about $19 million to spend on players (with $5 million in reserve, per usual).
Seattle also reportedly has made an offer to Rubin’s linemate, Brandon Mebane — although it surely is for less than $4 million a year. Mebane apparently has interest from three other teams; but, unless some team really trumps Seattle’s offer, the 31-year-old seems likely to return.
Before the Raiders reached a deal with Irvin, they agreed to pay Kelechi Osemele, a guard who can play left tackle, about $12 million per year. That’s good news for Russell Okung, assuming he can find a team willing to pay him as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
If Okung does leave, Ryan Clady apparently would not be an option to replace him. Clady reportedly is staying in Denver on a reduced salary.
Meanwhile, J.R. Sweezy seems certain to leave. Richie Incognito stayed in Buffalo for $5 million a year, meaning Sweezy — who has at least half a dozen suitors — figures to get more than that.
The Hawks could look to replace Sweezy with Louis Vasquez, who was cut by Denver. He joins a growing list of OL cuts the Seahawks could consider: RG Jahri Evans (NO), LT Will Beatty (NYG), LT Jermon Bushrod (CHI), OG Zane Beadles (JAX).
There was a lot of consternation over the fact that Marcus Burley was not included in the ERFA report over the weekend. But it clearly was just a paperwork thing, as the cornerback was tendered Tuesday.
Even without Jeremy Lane, the Seahawks have a deep group of young corners behind Richard Sherman: Burley, DeShawn Shead, Mohammed Seisay, Tye Smith, George Farmer, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Tharold Simon.