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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

March 5, 2012 at 8:54 AM

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Seahawks still looking to play tag?

The expectation was that if the Seahawks could not reach a long-term agreement with running back Marshawn Lynch, they would apply the franchise tag to him.

Well, they did reach a long-term agreement with Lynch so the question now becomes whether they will affix that franchise tag to anyone.

The only viable candidate would be defensive end Red Bryant, who is as important to Seattle's run defense as Lynch is to the rushing offense.

But he also plays defensive end, a position that is often measured by sacks, and Big Red does a lot of things well, but he's not a quick-twitch pass rusher.

Applying the tag to him would be expensive. More than $10 million and as much as $11 million by some projections. My initial reaction was that sum was prohibitive for a one-year deal for Bryant. That he's someone whose situation will end up resembling more what happened with Brandon Mebane last year when he hit the open market and found that Seattle's deal was the best one for him.

Don't get me wrong, Bryant is very valuable to what Seattle does, but he doesn't fit every scheme. He's simply not a conventional defensive end. He's more akin to an end in a 3-4 scheme and almost a tackle who lines up on the edge.

Now, after saying all that comes a very interesting Tweet from Pat Kirwan, a long-time NFL analyst, former Jets employee and noted Pete Carroll confidant. He implies pretty strongly that Bryant is going to be tagged:

Carroll and Kirwan worked together with the New York Jets, and when Carroll was hired in Seattle, many expected Kirwan to wind up in the front office. Now, that's not to say that Kirwan has the inside scoop on everything the Seahawks are planning. In fact, that hasn't proven to be the case in previous drafts, but his insight does carry more credence in my view, and if nothing else, it caught my attention.

The deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag is Monday. I don't think the Seahawks will use the tag on Bryant, but we'll have to see if they do.

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Halleluiah brother! Red is very valuable for this team but not 10 million plus valuable... MORE
No tag for Red. He wants to be here and we can get a deal done. Save the cap space... MORE

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