The Seattle Seahawks were eventually going to lose someone to free agency.
Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald is reportedly signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after signing a four-year, $12 million deal. O’Brien Schofield signed with the New York Giants and will receive a two-year, $8 million contract.
This is the business side of sports, and it is not shocking. Winning is about assembling a team of quality players, and in the NFL this is often accomplished by drafting well and maximizing those individuals who are currently being paid smaller salaries.
When those players are up for free agent contracts, other franchises will come knocking with more lucrative deals.
McDonald might have been retained if the Seahawks were willing to pay a bit more. However, the Seahawks apparently decided to let the 27-year-old McDonald walk away. Bennett will be back, Tony McDaniel could be re-signed, and the Seahawks may plug the hole with Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams.
Schofield had his moments in 2013, but $8 million over two years seems a bit steep. That said, the Giants were willing to pay it and players are often going to follow the biggest money when it is offered. Wouldn’t you?
McDonald is the tougher loss and it does hurt the Seahawks. However, if Hill and Williams can step up, the defense may be just as strong going forward.
Free agency has begun. More deals (and rumors) will occur in the coming days. Stay tuned.