By Danny O’Neil
The Seahawks are expected to release defensive end Red Bryant, according to a report on Sunday night from Alex Marvez of FOX Sports.
The Seahawks would clear at least $5.5 million of salary-cap space if they released defensive end Red Bryant, which the team is reportedly expected to do. (AP)
Bryant, a team captain last season, is the Seahawks’ second-longest tenured player behind only Brandon Mebane. A fourth-round draft pick in 2008, he was buried on the depth chart at defensive tackle his first two years before moving to defensive end when coach Pete Carroll arrived in 2010. There, he became a cornerstone for a team that set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in each of the past two years.
Bryant is 29, and he was scheduled to be paid a roster bonus of $3 million that was believed to be due next month. He was going to count $8.5 million against Seattle’s salary cap in 2014, and releasing him would allow the Seahawks to save at least $5.5 million against the cap, potentially more depending on the way Bryant’s release is designated if that is indeed the path the team is going to go.
Fellow defensive lineman Michael Bennett is scheduled to be a free agent, and the release of Bryant would free up money for Seattle to pursue re-signing Bennett. However, Bennett wouldn’t necessarily take Bryant’s place given that he weighs about 50 pounds less than Bryant.
Bryant started all but one game for the Seahawks over the past three seasons, serving as the run-stuffing defensive end on early downs. This season, however, Seattle rotated its defensive line more frequently, no one playing so much as 70 percent of the snaps. Bryant did not take the field until the second quarter of the Super Bowl as Seattle used its pass-rush package to start the game against the Broncos.
Bryant drew heavy interest from the Patriots two years ago, and was scheduled to visit New England before re-signing with Seattle.