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Marshawn Lynch deal opens up tag for Red Bryant

Red Bryant AP

The Seahawks beat the franchise tag deadline and got a four-year deal done with RB Marshawn Lynch.

That was a big goal for Seattle and accomplishing it does more than just assure them of having a Skittles-loving running back toting the ball for them over the next few years. It also leaves the franchise tag available for use, giving the team a chance to hold onto another one of their own impending free agents. The likeliest suspect for the tag would be defensive end Red Bryant.

Bryant started all 16 games for the Seahawks in 2011 and was a leader of their run defense by using his big body to occupy space and open up room for his teammates to make tackles. They missed that presence terribly when Bryant went down with an injury in 2010. He also picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and displayed a real knack for blocking field goals. The Seahawks coaches raved about him often and Bryant seems like a perfect fit for their defense going forward, which makes you wonder if they might use the tag to keep Bryant in town.

Neither Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times nor Eric Williams of the Tacoma News-Tribune think that they will slap the tag on Bryant. Since the tag comes with a salary in the neighborhood of $10.4 million for a player whose charms don’t include rushing the passer, it isn’t hard to understand why the team might balk at the prospect. That said, losing Bryant would be a big blow to a Seahawks defense that feels like it is pretty close to taking a big step up. Bryant would be very tough to replace, something that changes the valuation a bit.

Probably not to the point where $10.4 million makes sense, but getting a deal done before free agency opens should be a priority for Seattle and for Bryant, who is a perfect fit in the Seahawks defense. With Lynch out of the way, they’ve got a week to get it done.

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8 Responses to “Marshawn Lynch deal opens up tag for Red Bryant”
  1. chc4 says: Mar 5, 2012 9:40 AM

    So signing Lynch opens up the franchise tag to use on Red Bryant which they won’t do? Great article.

  2. hawkforlife says: Mar 5, 2012 10:51 AM

    Outstanding !!! And tag him.

  3. blackfootkiller says: Mar 5, 2012 11:14 AM

    Like the guy that tried to write this piece said…’open up room for his teammates to make tacklers.’
    Red is stout against the run, and has a nose for the ball, but he isn’t a $10 Million a year DE.
    Red already stated that he loves playing in Seattle, and he and his family want to stay.
    It shouldn’t be hard to get a reasonable contract done before the tag deadline.

  4. seatownballers says: Mar 5, 2012 11:16 AM

    Told ya

  5. CJ says: Mar 5, 2012 11:24 AM

    didn’t realize the transition tag left with the new CBA…

  6. thraiderskin says: Mar 5, 2012 11:34 AM

    I just hope Lynch just keeps going beast mode, those have really been some amazing runs, bad tackling or not.

  7. facebookuser111 says: Mar 5, 2012 11:52 AM

    His father in law is classic Seahawk Jacob Green, if he left it would make thanksgiving kind awkward…

  8. trollhammer20 says: Mar 5, 2012 12:03 PM

    I think Bryant is one of those players who is far more valuable to Seattle than he would be to other teams. Maybe he could fit as a 3-4 DE somewhere, but he hasn’t played that exact position before, so there would be some risk.

    Given it’s probably down to Bryant and Hawthorne, I think they tag Bryant, and hope to sign him to a long-term deal before it becomes necessary to pay him the full $10+ million out of this year’s cap. Hate to see Hawthorne leave, but KJ Wright can slide nicely to the middle, and IMO, LBs are the equivalent of RBs in that you can find guys to come in and play right away in the draft. They may even leave Wright outside and use the #12 overall on Luke Kechley, who looks like he could step in and start on day one. I’d rather see a pass-rush specialist at that position, but if one isn’t available, Kechley would be a great choice, especially since if Hawthorne doesn’t return and Hill leaves or is suspended, Seattle will suddenly be exceptionally thin at LB.

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