The Seattle Seahawks have been quiet more than a week into free agency, but could they be on the verge of making a big splash?
Defensive end Jared Allen, a five-time Pro Bowler and one of the top free agents still available, was in town for a visit with the Seahawks, and will spend the weekend mulling over Seattle’s offer, according to reports.
For a while Thursday afternoon, it appeared a deal between Allen and the Seahawks was imminent with ESPN’s Ed Werder reporting on Twitter, “Jared Allen is working on final details of a contract with the SB champion Seattle Seahawks. Barring unforeseen issues, he could sign today.”
Not long after, Allen’s agent was telling reporters that Allen and the Seahawks were indeed talking, but that nothing was done, and later in the afternoon Werder wrote, “Jared Allen is leaving second visit with the Seahawks without signing, promises team to further consider offer and decide over the weekend.”
So no, Allen isn’t a Seahawk yet, but his decision to leave without signing doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t happen. Thursday’s visit to Seattle was Allen’s second in less than a week, something that doesn’t often happen in free agency unless there is serious mutual interest. And Allen, who turns 32 next month, has made no secret of the fact that he wants to go somewhere where he can compete for his first Super Bowl title, something he’d have as good of a chance doing in Seattle as he would anywhere in the NFL.
Allen, who has spent the past six seasons in Minnesota after beginning his career in Kansas City, has registered double-digit sack totals in seven straight seasons, and even if his age has started to catch up to him a bit, Seattle’s system of rotating defensive linemen would help keep him fresh should he decide on the Seahawks. And while there is always concern that a pass rusher in his 30s could lose a step, durability should not be a problem with Allen, who has started all 16 games for six straight seasons.
By retaining Michael Bennett in free agency, and potentially adding Allen, the Seahawks could end up improving a pass rush that was already very good last year despite releasing Chris Clemons in a salary cap saving move.
The Seahawks signed guard Stephen Schilling, adding a local product to their offensive line depth.
Schilling, once one of the state’s top recruits out of Bellevue High School, played at Michigan and was a sixth-round pick of San Diego.
He opened his rookie season on San Diego’s practice squad and was signed to the active roster midway through the 2011 season. Schilling started two games that year, his only two career starts.