Tagging along Wednesday at Safeco Field with Cliff Avril, who was there to throw out the first pitch, was Brandon Mebane.
Mebane said his offseason hasn’t been normal, but that nothing too crazy has happened since winning the Super Bowl.
But, there have been two large events for him: His daughter was born April 24, and his best friend, Red Bryant, was released by the Seahawks.
Mebane and Bryant did everything together. They roamed around the lockerroom together, had lockers next to each other, lounged in the recliners together. There’s Mebane, there’s Bryant. There’s Bryant, there’s Mebane.
“Red is my best friend,” Mebane said Wednesday.
So, when the Seahawks cut Bryant Feb. 28, it made for a phone call between the two friends often filled with silence.
“We were just kind of like on the phone, like, ‘Man is that real? Is that for real?’” Mebane said. “You know how this business is. That’s just how it is. Like I said, we’re always going to be friends.”
The Seahawks’ underrated nose tackle said the jolt that made him realize how the NFL worked came when Seattle cut Rocky Bernard, who served as something of a mentor to Mebane (Mebane picked up his angled pre-snap stance from Bernard and Chuck Darby).
“When I see it happen with him, it was kind of like, whoa, this is for real,” Mebane said. “I wasn’t really close with anybody like Red. I’m close with a lot of the guys on the team, but me and Red was like brothers. It’s all good. We’re always going to be friends.”
A couple upsides from Mebane’s point of view: Bryant signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars puts Bryant close to Disney World, which he and Mebane both enjoy. Mebane said Bryant’s house is big enough to have Mebane, his wife and daughter in for a visit.
Second, signing with Jacksonville kept Bryant in the league.
“He’s not out of football, didn’t have to retire,” Mebane said. “The good thing is he’s still playing, he’s still around.”