By Brent Stecker
The Seahawks have made a habit out of surprising the NFL with their moves this offseason. So with defensive end Dwight Freeney and defensive back Charles Woodson still available as free agents, could there be more surprises up the sleeves of Seattle general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll?
ESPN football analyst John Clayton said on “Cold Hard Facts” on “Afternoons with the Go 2 Guy” Friday that adding either or both players is still a possibility for the Seahawks — as long as the price is right.
Charles Woodson’s age (36) has kept him from being signed by a team. (AP)
The Denver Broncos have been linked to the 33-year-old Freeney throughout the offseason, but that doesn’t mean the Seahawks can be ruled out.
“If Freeney wants to come (to Seattle) and add one more pass rusher, you can always take another pass rusher on as long as the cost is right,” Clayton said. “But I can’t imagine that there’s going to be an offer from Seattle that’s going to be better from Denver.”
Freeney is coming off a five-sack season (his lowest since 2007), and the Broncos appear to be waiting for him to lower his asking price — which could help the Seahawks.
“Denver’s waiting it out trying to get him to at least come off the clouds and think he’s going to get a big contract. Denver has more urgency than Seattle, but it wouldn’t be out of the question if the right price is there, Seattle could sign him.”
Woodson is regarded as one of the best secondary players in NFL players, but at 36, the former Heisman Trophy winner isn’t receiving contract offers anywhere near his previous $11 million salary. He admitted as much on the NFL Network this week.
“I’m 36, so of course I’m considered ancient in the game right now, and teams are looking for younger players and trying to make their rosters younger,” Woodson said. “If you’re an older guy, they kind of push you to the side, and they’ll maybe look at you much later on down the road, when I guess they figure they can get you much cheaper.”
There is still interest around Woodson, who had 38 tackles in 2012 for Green Bay, but he’s in a situation similar to Jerry Rice’s final years, when the Hall of Fame wide receiver took a pay cut to be a role player for the Raiders and Seahawks.
“You’re a veteran, you’re 36 years old … everybody kind of waits you out,” Clayton said. “Are you ready to come into the locker and play close to the minimum salary? That’s a big problem for a player that’s been as proud of him and as good as him, and not a lot of players want to do it. It’s just a waiting game. He’s already had interest from Seattle, San Francisco’s brought him in for at least a visit, and now it’s a matter of trying to see if he can fit in somebody’s team.”