Dec 9, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant (79) reacts during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Cardinals 58-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
The addition of 2 great pass rushing defensive ends in the past 2 days has many Seahawk fans openly questioning the future of both returning starters: Chris Clemons and Red Byant. Let me just say, don’t. I don’t think either are going anywhere.
I know I said yesterday that Clemons might be on the chopping block, but that was before I took a very close look at his contract. His salary for 2013 is $6M (with an $8.16M cap number). There’s also a report that $1M of that base salary is guaranteed. If cut, he would count as $5.32M against the cap. That’s a lot of dead money, and the upside of getting him back in time for the playoffs is worth forgoing the tiny cap savings.
On the other side of the line, the salary numbers don’t even matter. Let me just say that Red Bryant isn’t going anywhere. Period.
The signing of the 2 DEs the last 2 days do nothing to undermine Bryant’s spot in the roster or his playing time. Everything about Seattle’s base scheme is based on the ability of the 5-tech DE to do the things that Bryant does. There isn’t another player on the roster, that is capable of 2-gapping an OT like he does.
Let me put it another way, cutting Red Bryant would mean the Seahawks would be switching to a completely different defensive scheme. That just isn’t going to happen.
Oh, and even though I said the salary numbers didn’t matter, they actually make a compelling argument on their own. Bryant would actually cost more against the cap if he was cut than he does on the roster. So, ya, he’s not going anywhere.
Chris Clemons on the other hand has no such scheme specific protection. There is nothing that he does that Bennett and Avril cannot do, even though I think he’s better than those other 2 when he’s healthy. So it is possible that he’s let go. I simply don’t believe there just isn’t a big enough financial benefit in doing so for it to happen.