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Seahawks seem to be favorites for Jared Allen -- if money is right

Jared Allen celebrates a sack against Detroit on Dec. 29, 2013
Jared Allen celebrates a sack against Detroit on Dec. 29, 2013 Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With defensive tackle Henry Melton heading to Dallas, the Seahawks would appear to be the favorites to land defensive end Jared Allen – assuming the sides could come to a financial agreement.

Allen also had visited the Cowboys, but the cap-strapped team reportedly will not pursue Allen now that they have signed Melton.

Now Allen is contemplating his options, which include talking with other teams or retiring.

Assuming the 32-year-old wants to play – and would like to win a Super Bowl before he retires – the Seahawks could be his best option.

Seattle doesn't need Allen, but the prolific pass rusher would add to an already talented defensive line led by Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.

The Hawks have more than $15 million in salary cap space left, but they will be judicious in how they use it. They need to keep about $6 million in reserve for rookie signing bonuses, injury signings during the season and practice squad players.

One report indicated they would offer Allen $4 million for one year, which it sounds like he would decline in favor of retirement.

Allen is still very productive – he had 11.5 sacks in 2013 – and seemingly deserves at least what DeMarcus Ware and Julius Peppers received.

Ware, who had just six sacks in 13 games last season, received $10 million a year from Denver. The Broncos certainly are hoping the 31-year-old is healthier in 2014.

Peppers, 34, had seven sacks for Chicago and received $26 million over three years from Green Bay.

The Seahawks are unlikely to pay Allen more than Bennett, who took a four-year deal worth $28.5 million, with $16 million coming in the first two years.

If they wanted to, the Hawks could match that two-year payout, giving Allen $10 million in 2014 and $6 million in 2015. With a $6 million signing bonus on a three-year deal and a $4 million salary in 2014, his cap hit would be $6 million this year and $8 million in 2015. The third year probably would be irrelevant because he would either retire or be released before then.

Of course, it sounds like the Hawks are thinking just one year for Allen – and not very much money. So it will come down to whether he wants to win a Super Bowl.

At this point, it sounds like he prefers big money to a championship, so Seattle probably will end up bringing in someone such as longtime Saints end Will Smith, who is coming off a knee injury and would be cheap.

TALKING TATE

Golden Tate on Tuesday expressed his disappointment that the Seahawks did not value him as much as Detroit did.

The wide receiver signed a five-year deal worth $31 million with the Lions and told 710 ESPN the Seahawks' offer was "laughable." Tate, who will get $9.5 million this year, said that was as much as the Seahawks were offering for the first two years.

He claimed the Hawks offered 40 percent less, which would put their offer at around $3.6 million a year. That might be a slight exaggeration – the Hawks were thought to have offered around $4.5 million a year – but the fact is the Hawks didn't offer enough for him to return.

"I really had no choice," he said. "I did my very best to stay in Seattle."

He also was upset that some fans criticized him for signing with Detroit, but he said he left on good terms with the organization.

"Seattle still has a place in my heart no matter how much people badmouth me," he said.

Tate's hurt feelings aside, no one is to blame in this case. The Hawks have a budget, and Tate did not fit into it at the price he preferred. Instead, Tate was able to get a good deal in Detroit, where his talents might be put to better use anyway (the Lions were fifth in pass attempts last season and the Seahawks were 31st).

Meanwhile, Tate continues the Sea Lion trend – players going from Seattle to Detroit.

Last year, Cliff Avril and James Jones switched places, with Jones joining the Lions and Avril coming to Seattle.

Nate Burleson, Rob Sims, Lawrence Jackson, Will Heller and Julian Peterson are all former Hawks who have gone to Detroit via trade or free agency over the past decade.