Seahawks hope Brandon Browner, Chris Clemons can replicate success

Chris Clemons comes back to Seattle after helping the Seahawks to a Super Bowl title three seasons ago. Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks aren't expecting cornerback Brandon Browner or defensive end Chris Clemons to be the same players they were in their first stints with the team. That much has been apparent based on the contracts Seattle gave them.

But the Seahawks believe they can replicate at least some of the production they once gave Seattle while providing something off the field as well.

"Both guys are really special competitors and they're really tough-minded guys and we loved them when we had them, we hated when we had to lose them," coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday as he and general manager John Schneider met with reporters during the team's annual pre-draft press conference, which was their first media availability since re-signing Clemons and Browner earlier this month.

"So the opportunity arose and John figured it out and jumped at it. Both guys come back, and they bring something special to us."

Schneider said Seattle plans to give Clemons some of the pass-rushing opportunities that used to belong to Bruce Irvin, who rushed from the right edge in nickel situations but left in free agency. Schneider said Jacksonville planned to use Clemons situationally last season but ended up having to play him more than they had intended.

According to Pro Football Reference, Clemons' 662 defensive snaps last season were third most among Jaguars defensive linemen.

Clemons, 34, recorded three sacks last season and eight the year before. He combined for 38 during his four seasons with the Seahawks.

"Clemons is a really adept rusher, and he'll be good to help our young guys learn, too," Carroll said. "If we can keep it in the mode that we want to and the numbers of plays we want to, we think we can really keep him effective."

Seattle's plan for Browner, 31, is less clear. He struggled with New Orleans last season -- which he called the worst of his career -- and joins a crowded cornerback mix. Schneider said the Seahawks haven't determined how they'll use Browner, but Carroll hinted at a situational role.

"Brandon's got some special skills as we know, and he's very aggressive coverage-wise and makes things happen," Carroll said. "So we're going to do some different things with him you'll see in the future. We have a nice plan for it."

Clemons and Browner were both starters on the defense that led Seattle to its first Super Bowl title in franchise history. The Seahawks parted ways with both of them after that 2013 season, releasing Clemons in a salary-cap move and not re-signing Browner in free agency.

Both returned earlier this month on modest, one-year deals. Clemons' is reportedly worth a maximum of $1.5 million and includes only $150,000 guaranteed. Browner's is reportedly for the veteran minimum of $760,000, none of which is guaranteed.

"When you have to make those decisions to move on from a guy because you can't afford him and then yet they still want to come back to your family, your team, your organization, that's big for us," Schneider said.