Seahawks sign Bellevue lineman, in running for Jared Allen
Defensive end Jared Allen left Seattle on Thursday without agreeing to a deal and will take the weekend to mull over his options, which reportedly include offers from other teams, as well as retiring.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Seahawks signed a free agent Thursday.
It just wasn’t defensive end Jared Allen, who was the focus of much social-media buzz throughout the day after ESPN reported that he was working on the final details of a contract with the Seahawks and that barring “unforeseen developments’’ could sign Thursday.
It was later reported, with a league source confirming to The Seattle Times, that Allen left Seattle without agreeing to a deal and will take the weekend to mull his options, which reportedly include offers from other teams, as well as retiring.
Allen turns 32 next month and it has been reported that if he doesn’t get the kind of deal he wants, he could retire after having played 10 years with the Vikings and Chiefs, during which he has recorded 128.5 sacks, 12th-best in NFL history.
Seattle signed offensive lineman Stephen Schilling, a former Bellevue High star who has spent the past three years with the San Diego Chargers, where he was a sixth-round draft pick in 2011 after playing at Michigan.
Schilling, who played mostly in a reserve role and has two career starts, was not tendered a contract as a restricted free agent earlier this month by the Chargers, making him a free agent.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder has played right and left guard for the Chargers. He will compete for playing time at those spots with the Seahawks, who might not re-sign veteran Paul McQuistan, who shared left guard duties much of last season with James Carpenter while also filling in at right tackle for injured Breno Giacomini. McQuistan, who started all 16 games at guard in 2012, was reported to be visiting the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday.
Schilling was regarded as one of the top recruits in the state as a senior in Bellevue at 2005, but chose to play at Michigan despite a heavy push from the hometown Washington Huskies. He started 49 of a possible 50 games at Michigan, where he was a captain as a senior.
Schilling is just the second free agent from another team signed by the Seahawks since the free-agent signing period began last week.The other was receiver Taylor Price, who sat out the past two years due to injuries while with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Seattle has been conservative with its money during the free-agent period, knowing it needs to have its salary cap in order to extend contracts of Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson in the next year or so.
The Seahawks, though, have made it clear they’d like to beef up their defensive line — though only at the right price — having also brought in free agents Henry Melton and Jason Hatcher, who later signed with Dallas and Washington, respectively.
Allen also visited Seattle last weekend, after which he visited Dallas. When Melton signed with the Cowboys, it looked like the Seahawks might be the best remaining option for Allen.
A source confirmed he visited Wednesday night and Thursday.
After the visit with the Seahawks, Allen was reported to be returning home to Scottsdale, Ariz., along with his wife, Amy, who accompanied him to Seattle.
“We are heading home and will consider their offer and I’ll make my decision this weekend,’’ Allen wrote in a text to ESPN.
ESPN reported that two possible issues are money — whether the salary cap-conscious Seahawks will match the deal he has in mind — and playing time. Seattle had an especially deep defensive line in 2013 in which no player was on the field for more than 57 percent of the plays, and the Seahawks would prefer to be able to continue to rotate players.
ESPN reported that one of the “likely challenges’’ for Seattle in signing Allen was convincing him to be a situational player.
Allen played at Idaho State and was a fourth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2004. In Kansas City, he blossomed into one of the best defensive ends in the NFL. He was traded to the Vikings in 2008 and became an unrestricted free agent earlier this month for the first time in his career.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699
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