By Brady Henderson
Two veterans who could fill defensive needs for the Seahawks became available Tuesday when defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and outside linebacker Michael Boley were released in moves at least partially related to each player’s salary.
Here are a few thoughts on the two:
Michael Boley had 84 tackles and three interceptions for the Giants in 2012. (AP)
Vanden Bosch: The Lions’ decision to release the three-time Pro Bowl selection doesn’t feel like much of a surprise. The Lions have salary-cap issues and Vanden Bosch’s cap figure was going to be more than $10 million next season, a prohibitive amount for a player whose age and production are going in opposite directions. Vanden Bosch, 34, had 3.5 sacks last season, his lowest total since 2009.
It’s hard to imagine Vanden Bosch commanding a large deal at this stage of his career, so he could be available at a discounted rate. The Seahawks would prefer to find a younger player to fill their need for a pass rusher, whether it’s a draft pick or a free agent coming off his first contract.
But signing an older pass rusher wouldn’t be an unprecedented move for this team. Raheem Brock was 32 years old when he set a career high with nine sacks in 2010, his first season in Seattle.
The question with Vanden Bosch will be how much he has left at 34. He’s only a year removed from an eight-sack season, so perhaps his low sack total in 2012 was partly a product of some larger issues on the Lions’ defense.
Boley: Like Vanden Bosch, Boley’s age, salary and waning production were factors in his release. Boley, 30, was scheduled to make more than $4 million next season, and the Giants have salary-cap issues of their own. Boley’s health was also a factor. He dealt with hamstring, shoulder and hip injuries while starting 11 games and appearing in 16 last season. His playing time decreased late in the season.
The Seahawks’ current administration has shown a preference for players with physical attributes that are uncommon for their position, particularly on defense. Boley, like Seattle’s K.J. Wright, is rangy for a linebacker. He’s listed at 6-feet-3 and 230 pounds.
Most of Boley’s playing time during his four seasons with the Giants came at weakside linebacker, where Leroy Hill and Malcolm Smith shared time last season for the Seahawks.