Generally speaking, the defensive ends who get the sacks are the ones who get the press and big dollars when free agency comes along. But Seattle Seahawks DE Red Bryant, who re-signed with the team on Tuesday after getting interest from around the NFL, is a different breed of cat. The team announced the signing on Tuesday afternoon, and terms are expected to be for $35 million over five years, with $14.5 million guaranteed.
Bryant has just two sacks in his NFL career, but those who watch tape understand that he's one of the most important and underrated players at his position. The New England Patriots agreed, making a major push for Bryant before he came back to Seattle.
"I'd be lying to say that the Seahawks haven't been extremely good to me," Bryant said in January. "They gave me the opportunity to play a position that, at first I thought they were trying to cut me when they first talked about moving me to defensive end! So, for them to give me the opportunity and to think that much of me when I really didn't think that much of myself in terms of playing defensive end speaks volumes for them. They gave me the opportunity to really flourish at the five-technique position and I feel like I'm one of the best in the game there."
Drafted in the fourth round in 2008 as a defensive tackle out of Texas A&M, Bryant didn't really flourish until Pete Carroll replaced Jim Mora as Seattle's head coach in 2010. Fresh from a decade of coaching championship defenses at USC, Carroll displayed his ability to bring the best out in defenders once again by moving Bryant to five-tech run-stopping end after consulting with his coaching staff. In 2010, the Seahawks' defense dominated whenever Bryant was in the lineup, and it sputtered when he was out due to injury.
In 2011, Bryant added to his repertoire by developing a knack for blocking kicks -- he blocked three field goals and a point after touchdown last season -- and he also picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown, in some very creative zone blitz packages.
The Seahawks also resigned linebacker Heath Farwell, who led the NFL in special teams tackles last season.