Good thing for the Seahawks they signed Chris Clemons to a no-risk, veteran-minimum deal this spring.
The 34-year-old Clemons has informed the team he intends to retire after 13 seasons in the NFL, Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo reported Thursday night.
Seahawks players are due to report to training camp at team headquarters in Renton on Friday.
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Clemons played on Seattle’s Super Bowl-winning team in the 2013 season. The Seahawks re-signed him April 1 after he made just one start in his final eight games last season with Jacksonville, in hopes his familiarity with the defense could provide pass-rush depth in specific situations in 2016.
Seattle’s contract for him showed the team wasn’t counting on Clemons to be a big contributor this season. He got a $1 million non-guaranteed salary, with a salary-cap charge of $1.5 million counting bonuses, according to overthecap.com. The Seahawks would save $1.35 million against this year’s cap if and when Clemons does indeed retire.
Clemons missed most Seahawks workouts and practices that weren’t mandatory this offseason. At one point coach Pete Carroll didn’t sound thrilled while saying Clemons obviously knew the meaning of the word “voluntary.”
Clemons had eight sacks in 2014 and three last season, both years with Jacksonville. His three sacks in 2015 was his lowest total in six years. He was playing for former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, now the Jaguars’ head coach. Clemons made just one start with five tackles and one sack in the final eight games last season for Jacksonville. The Jaguars released him rather than pay him a $4 million salary in 2016. He had two years left on his deal with Jacksonville when he got cut in March.
Clemons had 4½ sacks in 2013 as part of the deepest and most effective defensive front in Seahawks’ history. Seattle released him in March 2014 as his contract was about to balloon, a move that saved the team $7.5 million against that year’s salary cap.
The Seahawks first acquired him from Philadelphia in 2010 by trading fellow defensive end Darryl Tapp to the Eagles. Clemons had 11, 11 and his career high of 11 1/2 sacks in 2010-12 with Seattle.