The Seahawks announced the signing of defensive end David Bass on Tuesday and released eight players, including veteran cornerback Perrish Cox.
The others are tight end Chris Briggs, center Ross Burbank, defensive tackle Rodney Coe, running backs George Farmer and Terrence Magee, receiver Jamel Johnson and kicker John Lunsford.
Releasing those players clears the way for the Seahawks to sign the undrafted free agents with whom they’ve agreed to terms. Those will likely be announced sometime before the start of the team’s rookie minicamp, which runs from Friday to Sunday. NFL rosters expand to 90 during the offseason; Seattle’s now has 82 players, which leaves eight open spots for UDFAs.
Bass, 26, has 5.5 sacks in 49 games since entering the league in 2013 as a seventh-round pick by Oakland out of Missouri Western State. He didn’t stick with the Raiders as a rookie and spent two years apiece with Chicago and more recently Tennessee.
Bass is listed as 6 feet 4 and 263 pounds. He was an outside linebacker in the Titans’ 3-4 defense, but the Seahawks refer to him as a defensive end. His primary competition for a roster spot there will be Cassius Marsh, Dion Jordan and Tylor Harris. The other defensive ends on Seattle’s roster are Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark.
Bass announced his deal with Seattle on Monday night but it didn’t become official until Tuesday. The timing is significant as any unrestricted free agents – i.e. those whose contracts expired in March as opposed to those who were released – that are signed from Tuesday on no longer count against their new team’s compensatory-pick total for next year.
Cox was the most notable of the eight players Seattle released. The Seahawks signed him at the end of last season to a low-cost, one-year deal. His starting experience had appeal to Seattle, which knew it would likely be without DeShawn Shead for the start of next season as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn ACL. But the Seahawks drafted Shaquill Griffin in the third round and then used a sixth-round pick on Mike Tyson, a safety whom Seattle plans to try out at cornerback. They had previously re-signed Neiko Thorpe to a two-year deal during free agency. All of those moves helped squeeze Cox out of Seattle’s cornerback mix.
The release of Lunsford, who was signed in March, is also significant as it leaves Blair Walsh as the only placekicker on Seattle’s roster. The Seahawks have said they want Walsh to have competition for that job, so they may bring in another kicker.
Seattle now has nine tailbacks on its roster after releasing Magee and Farmer. That total includes seventh-round pick Chris Carson as well as Mike Davis, who was claimed off waivers from San Francisco on Monday. The others are Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise, Alex Collins, Troymaine Pope, J.D. McKissic and Tre Madden.