Ten players who were part of the 2013 team for the Seahawks are gone -- seven free agents and three veterans who were released. Maybe that sounds a little scary until you take a closer look at what it would have cost to keep them.
Had the Seahawks re-signed the seven free agents they lost (receiver Golden Tate, offensive linemen Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond, and safety Chris Maragos) at the same money those players received from their new teams, it would have cost a staggering $88.5 million in total for those contracts.
Of that amount, $30.2 million is guaranteed to those players, who would have counted $17.3 million against the 2014 salary cap. The highest of those is Tate, who received $13.2 million in guaranteed money from the Detroit Lions out of his five-year, $31 million deal.
Seattle also released wide receiver Sidney Rice, along with defensive ends Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. Rice has yet to sign elsewhere, but Bryant and Clemons both signed with Jacksonville in deals that total $36 million.
Those contracts include a lot of stipulations on making the roster, but they still total $6 million in guaranteed money that will count $9.5 million against the 2014 cap. Even if both players had agreed to rework their contracts to stay in Seattle for similar numbers, it still was too much.
The Seahawks only have $14.6 million remaining under the 2014 salary cap, some of which they hope to use to extend the contract of free safety Earl Thomas and/or cornerback Richard Sherman before the 2014 season begins.
So when you look at the actual numbers, it’s clear the Seahawks did what they had to do.