Seahawks' big contracts will force tough decisions

Seahawks' big contracts will force tough decisions
January 31, 2014, 7:00 am
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The Seahawks have 45 players under contract for 2014 at a total cap cost over $127 million. (USATSI)

We can’t take a look at the 49ers’ salary-cap situation, like we did Thursday, without also examining their chief competitor.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers is scheduled to be the 49ers’ highest-paid player at $6.6 million in 2014. Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks have six players who are scheduled to exceed that amount with their contracts for next season.

The Seahawks have 45 players under contract for 2014 at a total cap cost of a little more than $127 million, a source tells So, clearly, the Seahawks must make some adjustments -- either restructurings or cuts -- in the offseason.

Seattle has two highly paid wide receivers who made virtually no contributions due to injuries (Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice), while their top-producing wide receivers Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are scheduled for free agency. Baldwin will be a restricted free agent.

The Seahawks’ top pass-rusher, Michael Bennett, is also a scheduled free agent. At 28, he likely earned a large, multi-year contract. Cornerbacks Brandon Browner, currently serving an indefinite suspension for violating the NFL's policy on substances of abuse, and Walter Thurmond are also scheduled free agents.

Like the 49ers, the Seahawks are not paying much for their quarterback. Russell Wilson will make $662,000 in salary with a 2014 cap figure of $817,000. The Seahawks will be allowed to begin negotiating a long-term deal with him after the end of the 2014 regular season.

Here’s a look at the Seahawks’ biggest scheduled contracts for next season:

Cash value (cap number)
WR Percy Harvin $11 million ($13.4 million)
LT Russell Okung $8.96 million ($11.24 million)
WR Sidney Rice $8.5 million ($9.7 million)
DE Chris Clemons $7.5 million ($9.67 million)
DE Red Bryant $7.5 million ($8.5 million)
DE Cliff Avril $7 million ($9.25 million)
TE Zach Miller $6 million ($7 million)
RB Marshawn Lynch $5.5 million ($7 million)
DT Brandon Mebane $5.5 million ($5.7 million)
C Max Unger $5 million ($6.1 million)
S Kam Chancellor $4.725 million ($5.825 million)
S Earl Thomas $4.725 million ($5.47 million)