Christine Michael, Alvin Bailey becomes UFAs as Seahawks decline to make qualifying offers

Mar 9, 2016, 8:57 PM | Updated: 9:03 pm
Seattle’s plan for Christine Michael is unclear after the team did not tender him a contract....
Seattle's plan for Christine Michael is unclear after the team did not tender him a contract. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks had until Wednesday afternoon to tender contracts to their restricted free agents. They only did so with center Patrick Lewis, which means five others became unrestricted free agents.

Running back Christine Michael, offensive lineman Alvin Bailey, fullback Derrick Coleman, wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and linebacker Nick Moody Ricardo Lockette are all free to sign with any team as Seattle did not submit a qualifying offer to any of them by the 1 p.m. deadline.

O’Neil: Bruce Irvin’s departure brings Seahawks’ challenge into focus

That doesn’t preclude any of those players from re-signing with Seattle, and in the case of Michael, it’s entirely possible that he returns given the team’s need for running-back depth after Marshawn Lynch’s retirement and the improvement he showed after returning to the team late last season. But it exposes those players to every other team, which indicates that it wasn’t a priority for the Seahawks to bring any of them back.

Bailey had an inside track to replace James Carpenter as Seattle’s starting left guard, which seemed even more likely after he dropped a significant amount of weight over the offseason. But he couldn’t secure that job and remained a backup, starting three games at left tackle as an injury replacement.

Coleman’s unresolved legal case is likely a factor in his situation. Bellevue Police in January recommended felony charges of vehicular assault and hit-and-run. The King County Prosecutor’s Office has yet to make a decision.

The Seahawks were not expected to tender Lockette as he’s recovering from a serious neck injury that ended his season and required surgery.

Moody joined Seattle last season and appeared in three games on special teams before he was placed on injured reserve.

With Michael, it may be a matter of Seattle wanting to re-sign him for cheaper than what it would have cost to give him the lowest of the three tender offers, which is worth $1.617 million. Then again, Seattle could have given him that tender then re-negotiated a lower price, which the team has done with restricted free agents in the past.

Lewis has started 13 games over the past two seasons for the Seahawks. He replaced Drew Nowak midway through last season, which coincided with — and was among the reasons for — the improvement along Seattle’s offensive line.

He reportedly received the $1.617 million tender. He can negotiate with other teams, and if he were to sign an offer sheet worth more money, the Seahawks would have the opportunity to match it. They wouldn’t receive any draft-pick compensation if they declined to do so, however. Any team that signs away a restricted free agent who was given the low tender has to give away its pick in the round in which that player was drafted. Lewis was not drafted, which means Seattle wouldn’t get anything if another team made a bigger offer and the Seahawks didn’t match it.

The Seahawks also confirmed on Wednesday that they tendered contracts to their seven exclusive-rights free agents, which secures their rights for next season. Those players are defensive back DeShawn Shead, cornerbacks Marcus Burley and Mohammed Seisay, free safety Steven Terrell, tight end Cooper Helfet, defensive tackle A.J. Francis and linebacker Eric Pinkins.

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Shead’s tender is worth $760,000.

Defensive tackle Jesse Williams was Seattle’s other exclusive-rights free agent, but the team waived him on Tuesday.

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Pete Carroll Geno Smith...
Brandon Gustafson

FOX’s Cowherd: Geno is a ‘great story’ but not Seahawks’ future at QB

FOX Sports' Colin Cowherd joined Brock and Salk to share his thoughts on the Seahawks' season and QB Geno Smith's success.
1 day ago
Seahawks Kenneth Walker III...
The Associated Press

Seahawks’ backfield depth getting tested entering stretch run

Pete Carroll had only vague updates about the status of the Seahawks' backfield, which was left thin in the second half of last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams.
2 days ago
Seahawks Rams...
Brent Stecker

K.J. Wright: How Seahawks fixed early run D issue vs Rams

Former Seahawks Pro Bowl linebacker K.J. Wright breaks down the change Seattle made after a shaky first defensive series in their win over the Rams.
2 days ago
Seahawks draft Will Anderson...
Joe Fann

Fann: Seahawks Draft — bowl guide for their potential 1st-round picks

Joe Fann breaks down the list of top players at three positions that could be Seahawks first-round picks, and which bowl games you can see them in.
3 days ago
Seahawks Pete Carroll...
Brent Stecker

ESPN’s Riddick thinks Seahawks’ Carroll knew all along they were good

ESPN analyst and former NFL safety Louis Riddick was around the Seahawks in the preseason, and he saw a "twinkle in the eye" of Pete Carroll at the time.
3 days ago
Seahawks Geno Smith...
Brent Stecker

Seahawks Game-Changing Plays: Breaking down Geno’s winning drive

The Seahawks beat the Rams 27-23 on Sunday, and it wouldn't have happened without Geno Smith leading a late TD drive. Michael Bumpus breaks down the biggest plays from that drive.
3 days ago
Christine Michael, Alvin Bailey becomes UFAs as Seahawks decline to make qualifying offers