I've been getting a lot of free agency questions on Twitter, so let me respond to all that discussion with a quick blog post.
LIST OF UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
The Seahawks' two key Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) are DL Michael Bennett and WR Golden Tate. Other "names" include: CB Brandon Browner, CB Walter Thurmond, K Steven Hauschka, DT Clinton McDonald, DT Tony McDaniel, QB Tarvaris Jackson, OG Paul Mcquistan, OT Breno Giacomini, and TE Anthony McCoy.
Other lesser known players are: S Chris Maragos, TE Kellen Davis, OC Lemuel Jeanpierre, OLB O'Brien Schofield.
LIST OF RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
These three players are under club control, but will require tenders: WR Doug Baldwin, S Jeron Johnson and OLB Mike Morgan.
I believe Baldwin will require a "2nd Round Tender" because original round tender would not apply to him, as he was not drafted. He should make somewhere around $2.1M on a 2nd round tender in 2014. If Jeron and Mike Morgan play under a basic tender, they would get about $1.4M as an estimate. They could get cut and restructured, or simply re-negotiated. The Seahawks did this to Maragos and Clint Gresham last year under similar circumstances, and in a round-about-way, did this to Clint McDonald last year.
THE IAN RAPOPORT REPORT
A month ago I outlined the 2014 cap situation in detail, and I proposed that Seattle would re-sign Tate, Bennett and McDaniel. I proposed three cap casualties (guys under contract that would be cut):
Sidney Rice, has cap number of $9.7M in 2014, dead money of $2.4M, for a net cap savings of $7.3M if cut.
Chris Clemons, has a cap number of $9.667M in 2014, dead money of $2.167M, for a net cap savings of $7.5M if cut.
I would book both of these now, I am confident both will happen, and Rapoport is reporting that Rice will be cut. Rapoport does not mention Clemons, but with Avril at a 2014 cap number of $9.25M (and balling) and the mutual desire to keep Michael Bennett, the Clemons cut is very likely in my view.
I proposed the final cut would be Red Bryant. While he didn't play very much in the Super Bowl because of the passing offense of Denver, in the rugged NFC West, he probably has more value. He has a cap hit of $8.5M in 2014, with $3.0M in dead money, for a net cap savings of $5.5M if cut.
It sounds like, at this moment, it may not be Red -- instead, the cap victim may be Zach Miller, according to that Rapoport report. Zach Miller could save the Seahawks a similar savings as Red. He has a cap hit of $7.0M in 2014, with dead money of $2.0, for a net cap savings of $5.0M.
I have had questions on restructuring Percy in a similar fashion to Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona. I think this is highly unlikely and unwise.
With a player with injury history like Percy, I would not double down (or triple down) on him. Fitzgerald is more of an icon in Arizona. Percy is not that. Percy has a huge cap number in 2014, $13.4M. He has huge dead money as well- $9.6M, meaning that cutting him would only save $3.8M. There is no way they cut Percy, but I also don't think they would convert his $11.0M in base salary into bonus. If they did do that -- and pro-rated that bonus over 5 years -- it would create $8.8M in room today (but would burden your future with the weight of that $8.8M pushed into future years).
I do not see John Scheider do this type of restructure -- which was the same type of stuff that the Steelers began doing a few years ago - and now look what that once model franchise has become (8-8).