Seahawks CB Byron Maxwell ready to test free-agent waters

PHOENIX – Cornerback Byron Maxwell knows Super Bowl XLIX could be his last game as a Seattle Seahawk. Maxwell is a free agent who will be highly sought by other teams.

“I’m the prettiest girl at the dance right now,” Maxwell said. “But yeah, it’s one of those things I’m excited about it. I would love to be here, but I’m ready to see what’s out there and see how things work out.”

Seahawks general manager John Schneider said last week that trying to re-sign Maxwell is a top priority for the team, but it won’t be easy considering the fact that the Seahawks have big-money deals on the horizon for quarterback Russell Wilson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Maxwell admits he has looked ahead to what might happen.

“Yeah, of course it would be hard not to think about your future,” he said. “Especially what’s in my future and how it could help my family? It would be hard not to be like, ‘What could be next?’ But right now, this week, I’m focusing on this game.”

Maxwell, 26, is in his fourth season out of Clemson. He took over as a starter last season while Brandon Browner was injured and later suspended. Maxwell had four interceptions and played so well that the Seahawks decided to let Browner move on. Browner signed with New England and will start against them Sunday in the Super Bowl.

Maxwell has been targeted a lot this season because opposing quarterbacks have elected to avoid Richard Sherman, but Maxwell has two interceptions and 11 passes defensed.

“Coming into the season I already knew teams were going to try me,’’ Maxwell said. “But it was cool. I accept that. That’s more opportunities for me to get the rock and put my name out there.”

Maxwell has a base salary of $673,000 this season and likely will get offers as high as $4 million a year in a long-term deal.

“The league probably knows who I am, but really I don’t think like that,” Maxwell said. “It’s like I’ve got to really show them why they know me. You’ve got to keep going. I’m never proven. They always want to come at me. I always got to prove myself when I’m out there.”