I would say Sidney Rice‘s ouster became evident after he went down with a torn ACL in the Monday night game against Rams last October, but that would be underselling the time frame. Really, when the Seahawks signed Percy Harvin last offseason, the writing was on the wall for Rice, and it said, “Thanks for the game-winning catch against the Bears. Best of luck to you. Love, Seattle.” This move was as predictable as Ole Einar Bjoerndalen winning a medal in the biathlon in Sochi. And I’m assuming that was very predictable; I didn’t actually watch any of the Winter Olympics.
The Red Bryant cut wasn’t a foregone conclusion, but it was still pretty likely. Bryant is a really good run stuffer*, but he doesn’t get to the quarterback. And as the game evolves to being more pass-happy this type of guy is a luxury — a luxury a team that just won the Super Bowl can’t afford. Too many other guys need to get paid. To me, the most noteworthy thing about this transaction is that it wasn’t Chris Clemons. I believe both cuts would’ve saved roughly the same amount of cap space (about $5.5 million), so it stands to reason that Carrol & Co. like Clemons better. Although perhaps his day of reckoning with the ‘Hawks is coming as well.
In total, the Seahawks recoup about $12 million towards the cap in making these two cuts. They currently have about $18 million to spend this offseason. Other than releasing Clemons, there isn’t a whole lot else they can do to free up more money. They could cut Zach Miller, but that would only yield $2.8 million. My guess is that Clemons leaves and Miller stays. That would give the ‘Hawks about $24 million of cap space — an OK chunk of loot, but with unrestricted free agents like Golden Tate, Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel, Clinton McDonald, and Walter Thurmond (oh, and don’t forget Steven Hauschka) some more “difficult decisions” are surely on the horizon.
*Supposedly. I’m not going pretend like I’ve charted plays or anything like that. I’m going completely by reputation. As I’ve said before, I judge defensive linemen by two criteria: Is he fat? Does he get to the quarterback? So my personal evaluation of Red Braynt is yes and no.