|National Football League|
Seattle locks up DE Bryant with multi-year deal
By TIM BOOTH
RENTON, Wash. (AP) The biggest target - literally - of all the Seattle Seahawks free agents is staying put. Big Red Bryant will be back as the outside anchor of Seattle's defensive line.
Bryant, who seemed on his way out of the NFL until Pete Carroll arrived in Seattle, agreed to terms on a new contract with the Seahawks on Tuesday, keeping their unique, 325-pound defensive end from bolting out of the Pacific Northwest.
Terms of Bryant's deal, which came on the first day of free agency, were not announced by the team. ESPN.com reported Bryant agreed to a $35 million deal over five years with $14.5 million in guarantees.
Bryant transformed into one of Seattle's most valuable defensive players after appearing on his way out of the NFL after the 2009 season. It was after that season that Carroll arrived in Seattle and decided to implement a slightly different defensive scheme where Bryant was shifted from defensive tackle to defensive end. Bryant quickly flourished playing the "5" technique on Seattle's defensive line, where his main responsibility was to be a space-eating run stuffer and hold the point of attack on the defensive edge.
His 2010 season was cut short by a serious knee injury, but he rebounded last season by recording 32 tackles, blocking three field goals and an extra point, and intercepting two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown against Chicago.
After the season, Bryant said he couldn't see himself playing anywhere else after finding success with the Seahawks. He had additional pull to stay in Seattle as his father-in-law is former Seahawks great Jacob Green.
"I'd be lying to say that the Seahawks haven't been extremely good to me. 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," Bryant said at the end of the season. "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."
Seattle also agreed to terms with special teams standout Heath Farwell on Tuesday. Farwell led Seattle in special teams tackles after joining the team in early October. Seattle has now locked up four of its own free agents and its two biggest targets in Bryant and running back Marshawn Lynch, who signed a five-year, $31 million deal on March 4. Seattle previously signed offensive lineman Breno Giacomini.
Updated March 13, 2012