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Seattle Seahawks' free agents seem ready to give Dynasty Discount

Golden Tate celebrates Seattle's 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2
Golden Tate celebrates Seattle's 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Call it the Dynasty Discount. It's Seattle's version of the Discount Double-Check.

Pete Carroll expects it and some of his players appear ready to oblige.

Wide receiver Golden Tate is one of Seattle's top pending free agents, and he made it clear the past couple of days that he wants to stay and is willing to take "a little less" money to do so.

On Tuesday, he told KJR: "I probably shouldn't even say this right now, but I'm going to say it anyway just because I love Seattle. Honestly, I would rather take a little less to be happy and win ballgames than to take way more and go to a crappy city where the fans don't give a crap about the team. You win a game once a month or something like that. I'd much rather stay in the situation that I have now for a little less than to go and try to break the bank somewhere else."

On Wednesday, he reiterated that, adding that he does not want to have to play against the Seahawks' Legion of Boom and that he also has a target figure for a contract.

“I kind of have a number in mind," Tate said after the Super Bowl parade. "I haven’t talked to my agent yet. I’ve been trying to enjoy the Super Bowl for now and then take that next step in the next week or two once things settle down.

“I’d rather stay and play in a great organization in a great city around great people, around great teammates for a little less than go to a crappy city and win a ballgame every now and then and be miserable for six months and have a fan base who doesn’t care about the sport. You’ve got to give a little to take a little. We’ll see how it works out. Hopefully it works out."

The tune Tate is singing might be music to the ears of general manager John Schneider and Carroll, who a year ago said, "We'll need some cooperation from guys who want to be part of our team to really give us the chance to stay really strong as we move forward."

Tate finished with career highs of 64 catches and 898 yards last season, and he has scored 12 touchdowns over the past two years.

The wide receiver market has long been overvalued, and the Seahawks have fallen prey to it as much as anyone (e.g., Deion Branch, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin).

The way Tate's numbers stack up against other receivers (see below), he could command $8 million per year. If that's what he and his agent think he is worth and he is willing to take "a little less" to stay in Seattle, it means he might be thinking something like $6 million or $7 million per year.

And that still might be too much for a team that already has invested huge money into Rice (who is very likely to be cut) and Harvin (who will be back at a $13.4 million cap number).

The Hawks also figure to pay Doug Baldwin about $3 million (the first-round tender for restricted free agents) in 2014. They will save $7.3 million if they cut Rice, so the Hawks probably hope they can keep Tate and Baldwin for about that price combined.

It's hard to see the team wanting to pay Tate much more than Baldwin, who was probably more clutch last season even though his overall numbers were a little lighter (50 catches for 778 yards and five TDs).

And don't think they will let themselves be held hostage by the idea that they have no receivers. At a minimum, they will have Baldwin, Harvin (hopefully healthy), Jermaine Kearse and Ricardo Lockette back. And you can bet they will draft a receiver as well.

Meanwhile, Michael Bennett, the team's top defensive lineman in 2013 and top free agent in 2014, said he would like to finish his career as a Seahawk. He said he took less money -- $5 million -- to come to the Super Bowl contender last year.

He figures to get a fair bit more than that after he led the team with 8.5 sacks. The Hawks certainly will offer the 28-year-old a multi-year deal with a raise, but the question is: Will another team blow their offer out of the water? He had nine sacks in 2012 and still chose Seattle, but Super Bowl free agents always command more money.

The Hawks probably can afford up to $8 million a year (they can use money they get from cutting Chris Clemons and his $7.5 million salary), and that might be good enough since it appears Bennett might be willing to give them a Dynasty Discount.

"I want to be back here 100 percent," Bennett said. "I love the team. I love my teammates. I mean Pete does a great job of letting us play. So I want to be a part of that. I know we can go back and win the Super Bowl again with all of these guys.

"I’m going to be here and have multiple years playing with this team and Russell Wilson," Bennett added. "This is only his second year. He already won the Super Bowl. I can only imagine what’s going to happen next. And this is only (Richard) Sherman’s third year.

"Of course, I want to get all of the free agents back, including Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, all of those guys. You want to see all of those guys make plays and be here for the long haul.”

If they all give a little Dynasty Discount, they might be.

HOW TATE COMPARES

Here's a look at other receivers who have signed long-term deals recently:

**Last year, Miami gave Mike Wallace $13 million per year and $30 million guaranteed, and he had 73 catches for 930 yards and five scores – not much better than Tate.

**Kansas City is paying Dwayne Bowe $11 million per year, with $26 million guaranteed, and he had 57 catches for 673 yards and five touchdowns -- inferior numbers to Tate.

**Minnesota is giving Greg Jennings more than $9 million per year, with $18 million guaranteed, and he caught 68 passes for 804 yards and four scores – about the same numbers as Tate.

**Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and New Orleans' Marques Colston each got deals worth $8 million per year. Brown caught 110 passes for 1,499 yards and eight scores, but Colston had 75 receptions for 943 yards and five TDs.

**Buffalo's Steve Johnson got $19.5 million guaranteed and $7 million a year – he caught 52 balls for 597 yards and three TDs.

**Brian Hartline (Miami) got about $6 million a year and finished with 76 catches for 1,016 yards and four scores.