For the second time in less than a week the Seahawks have made a move that brought in a high profile player who was perceived to be available, but that also comes at a position of relative depth. Earlier in the week it was Percy Harvin, and today, apparently, it is Cliff Avril.
Of course, Chris Clemons knee reconstruction leaves a murky picture at the LEO spot, and while the team was expected to complement their pass-rush in some way, signing Cliff Avril didn’t seem like a likely scenario.
All of these situations are very fluid, and I’m sure by the time I’m done writing this post this story will have evolved three-fold, as we presently don’t have contract terms.
— Kevin Seifert (@espn_nfcnblog) March 14, 2013
Avril has apparently signed for two years, $15 million, which is about as ideal a scenario as one could ask for as Avril is an great-ish talent, and this gives the Seahawks time to groom his replacement.
For Avril’s part, he’s got 39.5 career sacks in five years, 73 games, and 59 starts in Detroit. 20.5 of those have come in the past two years, and Avril was arguably the top free agent defensive end on the market.
Earlier this offseason we looked at Chris Clemons future in Seattle, and determined that it wouldn’t be efficient for the team to cut Clemons and then attempt to sign his replacement with the money saved, as the money they’d save cutting Clemons is relatively small at $2.3 million. Now that they’ve signed his essential replacement, though, Clemons may be a surplus part that doesn’t have playing time available to justify much of a salary at all, especially considering the pick they spent on Bruce Irvin last year.
Right now the Seahawks are a team that is deep at most positions, and have added to talent to two spots that are almost certain to improve the 2013 team’s chances of winning the Super Bowl. Considering how close the Seahawks were to the NFC Championship game, and what a unique situation they’re in with a plethora of young talent, making near-certain improvements is difficult, and the marginal cost of Avril or Harvin compared to cheaper, less-good options is well-justified by the marginal-gain they’ll receive.
Unless, of course, they handed over the rest of their cap space to Avril. I almost struck-through that sentence before I wrote it. They didn’t give him all their cap room.