Hawks wait on Allen
Seattle won’t apply pressure as free agent DE weighs options
Monday came and went with the Seattle Seahawks still waiting on word from Jared Allen.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, though, indicated no angst over the lingering decision from Allen, who visited Seattle twice last week before reportedly saying he wanted to take the weekend to think about where he will play in 2014 – or if he will play at all.
Allen, a free-agent defensive end who spent the last six years with the Minnesota Vikings and ranks 12th all-time in the NFL in sacks with 128.5, is also reportedly considering other offers. He could even decide to just hang it up if he doesn’t get an offer he likes; he turns 32 next month.
Carroll, in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio from the NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla., said “we don’t have any date” for when the Seahawks want a decision, adding that “it’s a big business decision for him.”
ESPN.com reported that Seattle’s offer for Allen is believed to be two years at $6 million a season, a marked comedown from the six-year, $72 million deal he just completed with Minnesota before entering free agency.
Despite Allen’s pedigree, the Seahawks are adhering to their offseason plan of not getting involved in bidding wars for free agents – their own or others – as they try to manage their salary cap to extend the likes of Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Russell Wilson over the next year.
Carroll again confirmed that strategy in his SiriusXM interview.
“We’re very restricted in what we can do,” Carroll said. “We’ve got a lot of work on our roster, a lot of guys we’ve got to work with and we are excited about extending. So we have a lot of concerns, and everything is not really easy and we can’t move as swiftly as everyone would like.”
Seattle is reported to have a little more more than $15 million left on its 2014 salary cap, but can carry over some money into the future.
While the Seahawks continued to wait on Allen, they saw another of their own free agents sign elsewhere.
Offensive lineman Paul McQuistan finalized a contract with the Cleveland Browns that will pay him a reported $3 million over two years with a maximum of $5 million if he reaches all incentives.
McQuistan started 14 games in 2013 at left guard and left tackle, filling in at the latter spot when Russell Okung missed eight games with a toe injury. He rotated at left guard with James Carpenter, though Carpenter got the start in the Super Bowl.
But Seattle apparently did not have a real interest in bringing back McQuistan with younger, cheaper players in line to assume bigger roles in 2014, notably Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey, each rookies in 2013 who saw increased playing time as the season wore on.
Seattle earlier lost starting right tackle Breno Giacomini, who signed with the Jets, but returns four of the starters from the Super Bowl in Okung, Carpenter, center Max Unger and right tackle J.R. Sweezy.
Also, Seattle last week signed former Bellevue (Wash.) High guard Stephen Schilling as a free agent to add depth up front.
Bailey and Bowie are likely to be part of the Seattle rotation up front, with Schilling and Caylin Hauptmann, who spent most of last season on the 53-man roster (though usually inactive), also in the competition. Many pundits also expect the Seahawks to look to draft an offensive lineman early in the draft.
McQuistan is now the seventh of Seattle’s free agents to sign elsewhere, joining Giacomini, receiver Golden Tate (Detroit), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (Tampa Bay), safety Chris Maragos (Philadelphia) and cornerbacks Walter Thurmond (New York Giants) and Brandon Browner (New England).
Seattle also released defensive ends Chris Clemons and Red Bryant, who each signed with Jacksonville.
Three of Seattle’s free agents remain unsigned: fullback Michael Robinson, linebacker O’Brien Schofield and tight end Kellen Davis.
Seahawks get no compensatory picks
The NFL announced compensatory picks for the 2014 NFL draft for free agents lost a year ago, but Seattle did not receive any after having signed the likes of Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett.
However, this year’s likely net loss of free agents means the Seahawks could get as many as four compensatory picks for the 2015 draft.