By Brady Henderson

After losing several defensive players from their championship roster over the first two days of free agency, the Seahawks retained one of them.

The Seahawks have reportedly reached a two-year deal with defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, who had 53 tackles and two sacks as a starter in Seattle's base defense last season. McDaniel, 29, had been a backup over his first seven seasons before coming to Seattle on a one-year deal.

McDaniel's deal, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, is worth as much as $6.3 million.

By re-signing McDaniel, the Seahawks maintain some continuity along a defensive line that has lost three members this offseason, including two in the last 24 hours. Having already parted ways with Red Bryant, the Seahawks did the same with their other starting defensive end on Wednesday, releasing Chris Clemons in a cost-saving move. Clinton McDonald, a backup nose tackle and a key member of Seattle's nickel defense, signed with Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Safety Chris Maragos and linebacker O'Brien Schofield – both backups – have also reached deals elsewhere in free agency, though Schofield's is reportedly on hold because of health concerns. Seattle re-signed defensive lineman Michael Bennett before the start of free agency.

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By Brady Henderson

The first day of free agency brought reports that the Seahawks were speaking with defensive end Jared Allen. A day later, he reportedly hasn't.

Welcome to NFL free agency, where news comes fast and can change just as quickly.

The latest with Allen and the Seahawks comes from Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, who reported Monday that there has yet to be any communication between the two sides. Florio stressed the word "yet", an indication that it could happen, possibly if Allen's asking price comes down.

Allen, who turns 32 next month, is one of the best pass rushers of his era. He's recorded at least 11 sacks in each of his past seven seasons, including a career-high 22 in 2011. Allen had 11.5 sacks in his final season with Minnesota, which is an indication that he's still a productive player even though he's turning 32 next month.

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By Brady Henderson

The Seahawks have released defensive end Chris Clemons, which saves the team $7.5 million in salary-cap space in 2014 and potentially opens the door for another move.

Super Bowl Football
Chris Clemons' release was predictable given the defensive end's salary and age and the interest Seattle has shown in other pass rushers during the start of free agency. (AP)
The timing of the release – which was confirmed by the team Wednesday afternoon – is significant. It comes two days after Seattle re-signed fellow defensive lineman Michael Bennett to a four-year, $28.5 million contract and a day after the team was linked to a pair of free-agent pass rushers, Jared Allen and Jason Hatcher.

Clemons' release comes as no surprise in that regard. He's 32 years old, entering the final year of his contract and coming off a season in which his production decreased. After posting 33.5 sacks from 2010-2012, Clemons had 4.5 in 2013 and missed the first two games as he was being eased back into action following offseason reconstructive knee surgery.

But while it was a down season for Clemons – and understandably so given his recovery from surgery – he ended it with a bang by recording a sack, a pass defensed and two forced fumbles in Seattle's Super Bowl victory over Denver.

His contract included a $7.5 million base salary in 2014 and roughly $2.167 million remaining from his signing bonus. By releasing Clemons, Seattle saves the money he would have been owed in salary, while the remaining signing-bonus proration still counts against the team's salary cap.

According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, Clemons is close to a deal with the Jaguars, who are coached by former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

As Clemons' career with the Seahawks comes to an end, it's worth reflecting on the shrewdness of his acquisition.

Undrafted in 2003, he had 20 sacks and three career starts when Seattle acquired him in a trade with Philadelphia in 2010, general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll seeing him as an ideal fit for the weakside defensive end spot known as the Leo in Seattle's defense. They sent defensive end Darryl Tapp to the Eagles in exchange for a fourth-round pick and Clemons, who went on to post 38 sacks in his four seasons with Seattle.

It was one of the first moves Seattle made by Schneider and Carroll, and four years later it still stands as one of the best.

By Brady Henderson

Anthony McCoy was coming off his best season when he sustained an Achilles injury that sidelined him in 2013. He's ready to pick up where he left off, and he felt that returning to the Seahawks gave him the best shot to do so.

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Tight end Anthony McCoy showed promise in 2012 after two injury-plagued and inconsistent seasons. (AP)
McCoy signed a one-year deal with Seattle on Tuesday, hours before the start of free agency.

"Everyone always I think has an interest in going into free agency and seeing what they're worth on the market," McCoy said during a conference call with Seattle-area reporters, "but Seattle came at me tough and they were the team that drafted me and at the end of the day I felt that this was the best place for me to continue my career in the NFL, and I feel I made the right choice."

Signing McCoy, 26, gives the Seahawks another option at tight end, one who appeared to be turning the corner after two forgettable seasons.

A sixth-round pick in 2010, McCoy landed on injured reserve after two games as a rookie then struggled with drops and penalties the following year. But he caught 18 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns in 2012 while serving as Zach Miller's backup, a role he was expected to fill again last season before tearing his Achilles during an OTA in May.

With that, the Seahawks lost their backup tight end and McCoy lost his contract season, what would have been his chance to position himself for a nice deal with a strong year. Instead, he spent 2013 on injured reserve, which undoubtedly tempered any interest he had elsewhere.

Nearly 10 months removed from the injury, McCoy said he expects to be ready by the start of offseason workouts in late April.

"At this point in my rehabilitation process I feel like I'm just about there, about ready to go hit the field," he said. "Still got a lot more work to do to get it to where I want it to be. Like I said, I'm dealing with some of the best trainers in the league right now and I know that they're going to have me right come September."

Seattle's tight-end group could look different once McCoy returns to the field. Miller's $7 million cap figure in 2014 has led to speculation he could be released, and the Seahawks are reportedly interested in free agent Jermichael Finley. The other tight ends on Seattle's roster are Luke Willson, Travis Beckum and Cooper Helfet.

"I feel that I can compete with all the guys here," McCoy said. "It's going to be a great competition between all of us, and I think we're going to do really well with all the guys we've got coming back and the guys I know the coaches are going to bring in."

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By Brady Henderson

The Seahawks lost a pass-rushing defensive tackle within the first hour of free agency when Clinton McDonald agreed to terms with Tampa Bay. They've apparently identified a potential replacement.

Former Cowboy Jason Hatcher is reportedly meeting with Seattle Tuesday.

Acording to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News, it's the first of five free-agent visits Hatcher has scheduled. That sizable market is understandable given his career-best 2013 season. It included his first career Pro-Bowl selection and 11 sacks, which is a considerable amount for a defensive tackle.

Hatcher, 31, was a third-round pick by the Cowboys in 2006. He was a backup during his first five seasons and has 19.5 sacks since becoming a starter in 2011.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 299 pounds, Hatcher has also played some defensive end during his eight seasons in Dallas. Seattle has an opening at that position as well after releasing Red Bryant.

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By Brady Henderson

The Seahawks are set to kick the tires on a free-agent tight end with a nice career resume, a connection to Seattle's front office and a great deal of uncertainty about his health.

Jermichael Finley is reportedly visiting the Seahawks on Wednesday, and according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, team doctors will examine his surgically-repaired neck to help determine his readiness to return from a career-threatening injury.

Finley, who turns 27 later this month, was a third-round pick by the Packers in 2008, when Seahawks general manager John Schneider was still in Green Bay's front office. He averaged roughly 50 catches, 600 yards receiving and four touchdowns from 2009-2012, but his 2013 season ended in October when he sustained a spinal-cord contusion during a collision.

Finley underwent fusion surgery in November and has yet to be medically cleared.

If he is, Finley could be another option for the Seahawks given their uncertain tight-end situation. Starter Zach Miller has a $7 million cap figure in 2014, which has led to speculation that he could be asked to take a pay cut or released. The team signed Anthony McCoy to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Luke Willson, Travis Beckum and Cooper Helfet are the other tight ends on Seattle's roster.

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By Brady Henderson

O'Brien Schofield has reportedly agreed to terms with the Giants on a two-year, $8 million contract, ending his tenure with the Seahawks after one season.

Schofield, claimed off waivers by Seattle in July, started two of the first four games while Bruce Irvin was suspended. But his playing time waned once Irvin returned, and Schofield was even inactive during the NFC title game. He finished with eight tackles in 15 games.

The Giants are paying starting money to a player who was buried on Seattle's depth chart for much of last season. So while the move isn't a blow to the Seahawks' defense, it's certainly a statement about where it stands.

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By Brady Henderson

Golden Tate wanted to test the market before signing his next deal, and his first suitor has emerged.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the free-agent wide receiver is visiting the Lions Tuesday night.

The mutual interest makes sense. Detroit is in the market for a No. 2 wide receiver to pair with Calvin Johnson after releasing Nate Burleson. And the fact that the Lions attempted more passes than all but four teams last season would be appealing to any receiver, especially one like Tate who has spent his four NFL seasons in a run-first offense.

Riley Cooper's five-year, $22.5 million deal with Philadelphia established what could be viewed as a baseline for Tate, who has positioned himself for something greater after finishing out his rookie contract with the best season of his career. Tate was Seattle's leading receiver in 2013, catching 64 passes for 898 yards and five touchdowns as Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice spent most of the season on the sideline.

Tate has expressed a strong desire to return to Seattle, where he began his career as a second-round pick in 2010. But the deal the Seahawks just gave Michael Bennett and the money they must set aside to extend other key players could temper Seattle's offer to Tate, especially with another receiver, Harvin, already making an average of $11 million a season.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.

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Brady Henderson

Brady Henderson became the editor of 710Sports.com in June of 2010 after covering high school sports for The Seattle Times. A Seattle native, he graduated from Western Washington University in 2008 with a degree in journalism.



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