SEATTLE — Just two hours after the 2012 NFL free agency gun went off the Seattle Seahawks have retained the services of defensive end Red Bryant. The two sides have agreed to a five-year $35 million dollar deal with $15 million guaranteed. Bryant, 27, was a fourth round pick in the 2008 NFL draft out of Texas A&M and has excelled under Pete Carroll’s defense.
In 2011 Bryant had a career year starting all sixteen games and recording 32 tackles, one sack and two interceptions. The numbers don’t tell even half the story with Bryant, who battled through several injuries early in his career that limited his playing time and as a result his productivity.
When Pete Carroll was hired as the head coach in 2010 his first move was shifting Bryant from defensive tackle to defensive end in their 4-3 defense. At 6-foot-4, 323-pounds Bryant wouldn’t be considered the prototypical defensive end given his interior style size. However, in Carroll’s run-stopping defense Bryant was the perfect fit and since then has led the Seahawks from worst in the league to top fifteen.
Bryant has also excelled on special teams blocking four field goals, a franchise record along with receiving the Steve Largent Award. Which is given out annually to the Seahawks player who best represents integrity, dedication and class on and of the field.
Seattle declined to franchise tag Bryant which would have cost the team $10.6 million on a one-year tender. Bryant will make seven million annually over the five years which is a more suitable number.
The signing removes Seattle from the Mario Williams sweepstakes who is currently in Buffalo visiting the Bills. Seattle could bring in another defensive end/tack with Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jason Jones visiting late tonight.
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