When the Seahawks agreed to terms earlier this month with Chris Clemons, the expectation was that they are bringing back the veteran defensive end on a short-term deal that doesn’t include a significant amount of guaranteed money. They weren’t going to take much of a financial risk given Clemons’ age and waning production.
The breakdown: It’s a one-year deal with a maximum value of $1.5 million and no money fully guaranteed beyond a $150,000 signing bonus. The base salary is $1 million. Clemons can make an additional $350,000 in roster bonuses ($12,500 per game) and a workout bonus ($150,000).
What it means: The relatively minimal financial commitment will allow the Seahawks to move on easily if they don’t determine that Clemons is the best option to fill whatever roles they have in mind. He’s a candidate to back up Cliff Avril at the leo defensive-end spot and could also provide some pass rush off the edge in nickel situations, something Seattle needs after losing Bruce Irvin in free agency.
But he’ll have to compete to fill those roles against whomever the Seahawks might draft as well as the young, inexperienced prospects currently on their roster. That group includes Ryan Robinson, who missed last season due to a ruptured Achilles. Former Husky Josh Shirley and Tyson DeAngelo are the other backup defensive ends on Seattle’s roster (though DeAngelo is listed at 315 pounds).
If Clemons earns a roster spot by showing that he still has some pass-rushing production left in the tank at 34, he could end up being a bargain considering what the Seahawks are paying for him. If he doesn’t, it will have not cost Seattle much money to find out.