Seahawks release Quinton Jefferson, Shelby Harris
SEATTLE - The Seattle Seahawks released defensive ends Quinton Jefferson and Shelby Harris in a pair of cuts that saved them just under $13.5 million in salary cap space ahead of the official start of free agency on Wednesday.
Harris was set to count $12.21 million against the cap this season while Jefferson carried a charge of $6.49 million. The Seahawks save $8.94 million by releasing Harris and $4.49 million by releasing Jefferson, per OverTheCap.com.
Harris, 31, was part of the trade package the Seahawks received in exchange for Russell Wilson from the Denver Broncos. He started 15 games and recorded 44 tackles with two sacks and four passes defended.
Jefferson, 29, returned to the Seahawks last year after playing the previous two years for the Buffalo Bills and Las Vegas Raiders, respectively. Jefferson was a fifth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2016 and played his first four years in Seattle.
Jefferson played in all 17 games last year with three starts. He made 29 tackles with 5.5 sacks and was an effective pass rusher from Seattle's defensive interior.
The departures of Harris and Jefferson will be offset by the big addition of former Broncos defensive end Dre'Mont Jones, who is reportedly set to sign a three-year deal with Seattle on Wednesday.
Jones confirmed his intention of signing with Seattle on his Twitter account.
– Running back Rashaad Penny has reached an agreement with the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year contract, per multiple reports.
Penny was a first-round pick of the Seahawks in 2018 and played five seasons in Seattle. When he was healthy, Penny was among the most productive running backs in the NFL. The problem was he missed 39 out of a possible 81 games during his five seasons with the Seahawks.
Penny has rushed for 1,918 yards and 13 touchdowns in his five years in Seattle, averaging 5.7 yards a carry.
– Safety Ryan Neal was given a right of first refusal restricted free agent tender by the Seahawks, per Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.
The tender is worth $2.6 million and will give the Seahawks the chance to match any offer sheet Neal may sign in free agency. Seattle could have elected to use a first- or second-round tender instead, but it would have come with a greater cost. The more expensive tenders would have entitled the Seahawks to a draft pick in return should Neal leave for another team in free agency.
Neal played in 14 games with 10 starts at safety for Seattle last season. He had 66 tackles with an interception and a sack.
Neal was named an All-Pro by Pro Football Focus for his standout season in replacing an injured Jamal Adams at strong safety.