Seattle Seahawks rumors have Jermaine Kearse and Bruce Irvin heading to new teams. Seahawks rumors about Kearse and Irvin leaving in free agency had been muted for a while, but now the reality could soon hit home for fans. A report from King 5 News on Thursday, March 3, states that Kearse does not plan to return to Seattle. He will sign with a new team during the 2016 NFL offseason. It follows a new report from Q13 Fox in Seattle discussing recent tweets from Bruce Irvin that suggest he too is about to leave the Seahawks in free agency.
Jermaine Kearse currently holds the Seattle Seahawks record for postseason touchdowns with six. He signed with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012. In his four seasons with the team, Kearse has caught 112 passes for 1,599 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was never a primary option for Russell Wilson, but saw an increase in targets over the last two NFL seasons. Finding success in the NFL Playoffs will certainly increase the interest level other teams have in him, likely pushing up his price tag. This also likely makes Kearse far too expensive for the Seahawks to re-sign.
The other main Seattle Seahawks rumors are about Bruce Irvin, who has now been linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars as a possible destination in the NFL offseason. Jacksonville can offer him a huge payday, with some NFL experts putting his potential salary around $9-$10 million for next year. That’s much more than the Seahawks can afford to give him this year, suggesting that it is a sure thing Irvin is going to be signing elsewhere. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Irvin did state he could re-sign with Seattle at a discount, but would he really leave millions of dollars on the table?
Irvin has also played four seasons with the Seahawks, posting 22 sacks, three interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, and four forced fumbles in the regular season. He has also appeared in the playoffs in each of his four years, posting 3.5 sacks in 10 games. In a free agent market that is short on pass rushers, Bruce Irvin is going to see additional interest from teams. Irvin had been linked to the Atlanta Falcons, but now has the Jacksonville Jaguars showing interest in offering him a long-term contract.
The NFL salary cap is set to increase by about $12 million this offseason, giving teams some more money to use in free agency, roster raises, and on drafted rookies. It is estimated that the Seattle Seahawks have about $23.3 million in cap space. That number doesn’t include Marshawn Lynch officially retiring or getting cut by the Seahawks, so the salary cap space could increase a bit in the next few weeks. The team will have to use that money to address the offensive line, a backup quarterback, a punter, and several other key areas on the roster.
There are a number of free agents that the Seahawks could either lose or try to re-sign during the NFL offseason. In addition to Jermaine Kearse and Bruce Irvin, Russell Okung, Brandon Mebane, Ahtyba Rubin, J.R. Sweezy, Tarvaris Jackson, Jon Ryan, Jeremy Lane, and Ricardo Lockette are also free agents. Further complicating the situation are possible holdouts coming from Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett, as both Pro Bowl players want pay raises during the offseason.
Losing Jermaine Kearse and Bruce Irvin means replacements are needed in the receiving corps and on the defensive line. Tyler Lockett will likely see an increase in usage by the Seahawks, but the team doesn’t currently have an answer for Irvin’s replacement. While both players could still change their minds and re-sign with the Seattle Seahawks at a hometown discount, the reality is that both players are in line for big paydays in free agency.
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