Red Bryant is a large man, and large men who are surprisingly athletic for their size aren’t the kind of commodity you treat haphazardly in the NFL.
That’s why the Seahawks took extra care in the early hours of free agency to secure their large man, and he’s now staying in Seattle for the next five years. Bryant’s new contract is valued at $35 million, $14.5 million of which is guaranteed, according to league oracle Adam Schefter.
At an annual cap hit of about $7 million, the value is a touch high, but that’s a sacrifice Seattle was easily willing to pay given their nearly $30 million in cap room entering free agency. The alternative that Seattle chose not to pursue was more expensive, as a franchise tag for a defensive lineman would have cost $10.6 million.
The risk was worth the reward, and now Bryant is locked in at a price that’s still affordable. The 27-year-old is a crucial defensive piece who’s far too valuable to lose on the open market after he anchored a rushing defense that allowed just 3.8 yards per carry.
With Marshawn Lynch signed to a long-term deal, the optimism is brimming in Seattle. The Seahawks won five games in the second half of their 2011 season after winning just two over their first eight games.
Optimism leads to high spirits, and high spirits make talented players want to stick around and win.