The focus of my story today is Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jason Jones. The 26-year-old pass rusher is one of 10 Seattle players expected to be unrestricted free agent ins 2013.
Others include fellow defensive tackle Alan Branch, receiver Braylon Edwards, kicker Steven Hauschka, linebacker Leroy Hill, tight end Evan Moore, offensive lineman Frank Omiyale, tight end Cameron Morrah and cornerback Marcus Trufant.
Projected restricted free agents for Seattle in 2013 include defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, long snapper Clint Gresham and safety Chris Maragos.
Jones signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Seahawks during the offseason because he wanted to re-establish his market value after playing out of position and dealing with injuries while with Tennessee.
Jones has played in eight games, totaling 2.5 sacks and two pass deflections this season. He missed two games because of an ankle issue.
“I think overall I’ve played pretty well,” Jones said. “You can always play better. I’m mad I sat out those two games with the ankle, so I just want to finish out these last six games strong.”
The Seahawks may be better off getting a deal done with Jones or Branch instead of franchising them next season. Based on a leaguewide salary cap of $121 million next year, Brian McIntyre, an NFL cap specialist who works for Yahoo Sports, projects the franchise tag number for defensive tackles in 2013 to be a little more than $8 million.
McIntyre said that the Seahawks currently have $13.5 million in salary cap space that they can roll over to 2013. So general manager John Schneider and Carroll could look to re-sign players they don’t want hitting next year’s free-agent market before this season comes to a close, similar to deals the Seahawks made to reward receivers Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu at the end of the 2010 season.
The Seahawks are ranked No. 10 in the AP Pro32. Most panelists ask a similar question – can the Seahawks win on the road?
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports pushes the Seahawks up to No. 9 in his power rankings.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says that Golden Tate finally is having the breakthrough season he’s been waiting for.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com delves in Seattle’s expanded use of the zone read option in the past month.
More Farnsworth: Former NBA player Chris Herron talked about his addiction to drugs and alcohol that derailed his promising career with Seattle players on Tuesday.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated takes a look at important games down the stretch that will likely factor into which teams makes the playoffs. He points to Seattle’s game at Chicago and the team’s Week 16 game at home against San Francisco as important games for the Seahawks.