Seahawks release Deon Grant, re-sign Darryl Tapp
The Seahawks cut safety Deon Grant, keep restricted free agent Darryl Tapp and sign receiver Ruvell Martin.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Seahawks announced a minor addition Monday, the signing of receiver Ruvell Martin.
They also retained a key player as restricted free agent Darryl Tapp signed a one-year qualifying offer in time to participate in any offseason program.
But Seattle's biggest news Monday was the subtraction of safety Deon Grant, who was released.
Grant, 31, was a three-year starter and defensive captain for Seattle after signing one of the largest contracts ever for an NFL safety in 2007. Grant was scheduled to make $4 million this season and $13 million total for 2011 and 2012.
Given Grant's age and the size of his salary, Seattle's decision wasn't a complete shock, but Grant said in a phone interview he wasn't expecting it.
"Not really," Grant said. "I just got the phone call the other day."
Grant just returned from Hawaii, where he attended meetings held by the NFL Players Association on behalf of his teammates. Now, those are former teammates, and Grant was disappointed, mostly he said because he felt the defense would make strides in a second season under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
Instead, Seattle will now look for at least one starting safety. Jordan Babineaux was Seattle's other starter last year.
Grant never missed a game in three seasons with Seattle and intercepted eight passes. Grant expressed no hard feelings.
"Me being in it for a minute, you do know that it's a business," Grant said. "I don't have anything bad to say about them. They gave me the opportunity to come here and continue my career."
Seattle didn't need to be all that worried about losing Tapp, a restricted free agent. The Seahawks would have had the right to match any offer he received or get a second-round pick from the team he signed with.
The Seahawks couldn't be certain they would have Tapp for all offseason activities, though.
They are now. Tapp signed Seattle's qualifying offer of $1.176 million Monday. Tapp is a player coach Pete Carroll has repeatedly talked about featuring in the role of a roving pass rusher, and Tapp's decision to sign the tender indicates the enthusiasm is mutual.
Seattle adds Martin
At 6 feet 4, Ruvell Martin is a big receiver. He's just not a big name.
The Seahawks signed Martin to a one-year contract. Martin played for St. Louis last season, catching six passes in eight games for the receiver-strapped Rams. Martin, 27, was undrafted out of Saginaw Valley State, initially signing with San Diego in 2004. He went to training camp with the Chargers in 2004 and 2005 and played in NFL Europe.
He was signed to Green Bay's practice squad in 2005, and made the Packers the next three seasons. John Schneider, who is now Seattle's general manager, worked in Green Bay's front office while Martin was with the team.
Seattle will host running back Quinton Ganther for a free-agent visit on Wednesday. Ganther, 25, is an unrestricted free agent from Washington who gained 201 yards last season.
The Seahawks' interest in Ganther comes as it appears Mike Bell is headed elsewhere. Bell is a restricted free agent from New Orleans, and he was planning to visit Philadelphia. The Seahawks hosted Bell to a visit early last week, but that initial interest was not followed up with an offer sheet. Now, he may head to Philadelphia.
• Long-snapper Matt Overton, a former Western Washington player, was released. Overton was signed last month before the team added Pat MacDonald, another long-snapper.
• Fullback Tyler Roehl was released by Seattle. Roehl, an undrafted free agent from North Dakota State last year, suffered a torn knee ligament in April.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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