We all knew this day would come eventually. We just sort of hoped that it wouldn’t come so soon.
As a fan, you can’t help but get attached to certain players. I find the majority of the Seattle Seahawks to be particularly likable, for a variety of different reasons. If I had to pick a top three most likable, in some order I’d go with Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, and Red Bryant. And, when you get into the territory of your favorite players, it’s hard being a fan when there’s talk about the team cutting one of them for salary cap purposes. Ideally, you want your favorite players to retire with the team you root for. This is especially true if they’ve only played for that team their whole careers. But, you have to be realistic and look at it from the team’s perspective: is this player worth the money he’s making? Will this player be able to live up to the standard he’s set? And, is there another player out there (either on the roster, in the draft, or via free agency) who would be better?
What it all boils down to is: are you a fan of the players or the team? It’s easy to be a fan of the player when he’s ON your team, but it’s at times like these where you’re torn. Red Bryant can still play football at a high level. It’s not like we’re cutting him because he’s been injured a bunch. Essentially, we’re cutting him because he’s set to get a $3 million roster bonus (with an overall cap number of $8.5 million). Which, to be fair, is a lot of money for a guy who plays a relatively small percentage of all defensive snaps. And, it’s not really a matter of could he play MORE snaps – because I’m sure he could – but rather, how comfortable the team is playing him in more snaps.
If I’m being objective, I’m looking at a guy who doesn’t rush the passer. He does one thing well and that’s run defense out of the 5-technique defensive end spot. Now, when we extended him in 2012, he was an integral part of our run defense. I don’t think a whole lot has changed in that regard. The main difference between now and two years ago is that we had a lot more money to burn two years ago. Now, money’s tight, and we’ve got more pressing concerns to attend to.
I’m still of the opinion that Red Bryant brings something to the table that you can’t get out of just anybody off the street. His size and relative durability makes him a force on that line. You can’t run his way! Not if your goal is succeeding in picking up positive yards.
I was hoping that the team could find a way to keep him, but unfortunately, that’s the nature of the business. All I can do now, as a fan, is hope that both he and the team are willing to make a lesser deal work. I don’t want to see Red Bryant playing for someone else.
My guess is, though, if there’s a significant offer out there, he’ll take it. You just have to wonder what the Seahawks would be willing to bring him back at. Maybe $3 million a year? Less?
If he is gone, then you have to wonder who we’ve got to replace him. Our hope is we get Michael Bennett back, but if we want a real jumbo line package out there, is Jesse Williams the answer?
Regardless, before this move I felt the Seahawks needed to look somewhat high in the draft for a bigger defensive lineman, and this move only reinforces that position. If Bryant is gone, the only tried and true big man we’ve got left is Brandon Mebane, and he’s getting up there in years. Granted, he’s been as healthy as an ox in his career, but can you count on that continuing?
Anyway, can’t say I didn’t see this move coming. Just hoped that I was wrong. Now, I’ve just got to cross my fingers and hope our paths cross again.