Will Brian Russel Return?

by: Michael Steffes

This report from ProFootballWeekly seems to indicate that he will, saying…

While other observers in Seattle might have a hard time agreeing with its line of thinking after Brian Russell’s shaky ’08 campaign, we hear the Seahawks’ brain trust still thinks their starting free safety’s savvy and steadiness are assets worth keeping.

Lets take a look at the situation….

In the end, my instincts tell me that this correct. Russell will be back. The money doesn’t lie. I am not sure that I would pencil him in as the starter again just yet though. Having veteran savvy and steadiness (hes appeared steadily on the decline to me) are not necessarily the traits I would want the team making playing time decisions based on. However, that doesn’t mean they have no value. Russell seems like a perfect candidate to be a special teams captain to me. He would also, of course, be mentoring a younger safety and could be a important part of the defensive back meetings.

It will be interesting to watch how the team approaches this situation. They used free agency to sure up the position after 06′, but the returns quickly diminished. Because of that, they have money tied in the position. They haven’t used draft picks in recent years to address it though. Most expect they will this year with a pretty deep talent pool to choose from.

Back to the money. Russell is scheduled to count 2.4 million against the cap. Cutting him would cause a bonus acceleration that would make his cap hit 2.4 million anyway. In other words, it costs the same to keep him, so the team might as well try to get something from him. Cutting Grant would help save real money (5 mil roster bonus due) and about 4 mil in cap space (3.6 vs 7.6), but he is the steadier of the two and should be rewarded for gutting it out through a sprained knee for most of the year.

Cue the newest renditions of the Taylor Mays debates now…..END

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