Allen put an end to the nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat drama when he signed with the Chicago Bears on Wednesday. He reportedly received a four-year deal worth $32 million, including $15.5 million guaranteed; it can void to three years, $24 million.
The Seahawks reportedly offered Allen about $12 million over two years, but the Bears, who lost Julius Peppers to Green Bay, came up with a better offer for the 31-year-old pass rusher, who made $14 million in 2013 and reportedly was seeking $10 million a year.
General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll did their best to sell Allen, but they were handcuffed by the team's financial situation, which includes the need to get extensions for several young players over the next year or so.
On Tuesday, Schneider told NFL.com, "He's a prideful man. He's accomplished a lot in this league, so anything that we were able to offer was not out of disrespect or anything. It was just trying to fit the pieces together."
Allen, who recorded 11.5 sacks last season, would have been an intriguing addition to the Hawks – akin to the surprise signings of defensive linemen Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett last year. All three were unexpected victims of an inexplicably weak market for pass rushers.
Allen, who ostensibly would have replaced Chris Clemons, would have been a luxury, a la Zach Miller and Percy Harvin when they were acquired.
On Monday, Carroll told SiriusXM NFL Radio: "We’re very restricted in what we can do. We have a lot of work to get done here on our roster, a lot of guys we’ve got to work with. We’re excited about extending (contracts for young stars) and stuff like that."
Smith, 32, is coming off a torn ACL and the longtime New Orleans Saint would be just a one-year, minimum deal. The Hawks reportedly talked to him earlier this month.
Ayers, a first-round pick by Denver in 2009, had a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2013.
Phillips, 32, had 10 sacks for Denver last season after spending his first nine years with San Diego.
Spencer, 30, underwent microfracture surgery last year and is a health question. He probably will be picked up by someone after the draft or even on the eve of training camp – if he can pass a physical.
The Hawks also still might re-sign O'Brien Schofield, who offered a little pass rush help last season.
The Hawks are still in good shape on the D-line with Avril, Bennett, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Greg Scruggs, Jordan Hill, Benson Mayowa, et al., and they could (should) add a pass rusher in the draft. Bruce Irvin, who switched to linebacker in 2013, seems likely to rush the passer more in 2014 – particularly if the Hawks don't find someone in the draft.
The Seahawks also might find a veteran offensive lineman at some point to help replace Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan. They could wait to see what they get in the draft first.
The Hawks have more than $15 million in salary cap space left, with about $9 million of that available for free agents and extensions.
Other players the Seahawks might seek to extend later this offseason include linebacker K.J. Wright, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and Avril.
THE CARPENTER OPTION
A bunch of teams have been announcing their intent or lack thereof to exercise fifth-year options on 2011 first-round picks by the May 3 deadline.
Carroll reportedly said the Seahawks have made a decision on guard James Carpenter's 2015 option. The coach did not say what they would do, but it appears very unlikely they will pick it up. The price tag would be around $5.6 million.
Carpenter is due $2.43 million this year, but there is a very good chance the Hawks will make him cut that salary – particularly if they end up drafting a guard to challenge/replace him.
The 2011 CBA recast rookie contracts. They all sign four-year deals, and teams have the option to retain first-rounders for a fifth season. The value of the fifth-year option for picks No. 11 to 32 equals the average salary of the Nos. 3-25 players at the relevant position. Carpenter was drafted 25th overall in 2011.