The 30-year-old running back and returner revitalized his career in Seattle following a devastating knee injury suffered with the New York Jets. He set a career high by averaging 29.0 yards per kickoff return last season.
But with Percy Harvin's impending arrival via trade this week, the Seahawks were unlikely to pay the $2.5 million in salary and bonus money earmarked for Washington in 2013. That is why it came as no surprise Tuesday when Washington's verified Twitter account bid farewell to Seattle with a message reading:
— Leon Washington (@Leon_Washington) March 12, 2013
The Seahawks have not announced Washington's release. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the team was planning to make the move.
Releasing Washington would reduce his contract's salary-cap footprint from $2.875 million to $750,000 for the coming season.
The $2.875 million figure represented $1.5 million in base salary plus $1 million in upcoming roster bonus plus one-fourth share of the $1.5 million signing bonus Washington received when he signed the four-year deal. The team already counted $375,000 of the signing bonus against each of the 2011 and 2012 caps. The scheduled $375,000 hits for 2013 and 2014 both count this year if Washington leaves the roster by release or trade, producing $750,000 in "dead" money, defined as cap charges for players no longer on the roster.