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Grant released; Tapp signs tender
Deon Grant has been a warrior since signing with the Seahawks in free agency in 2007.
The strong safety ranked among the club leaders in tackles in each of his three seasons and also was voted a defensive co-captain three times.
But Grant also is a high-priced veteran, so the Seahawks released him Monday as coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider continue to try and restock the roster with younger players.
Also Monday, defensive end Darryl Tapp signed the tender the club made him when he became a restricted free agent two weeks ago; while long snapper Matt Overton, who had been signed Feb. 12, was released.
Grant, who turned 31 on Sunday, finished his stay in Seattle with 224 tackles, eight interceptions and one fumble recovery. He had 75 tackles last season to rank third on the club, 77 in 2008 to finish fourth and 72 in 2007 to rank fifth.
He also started all 48 games he played for the Seahawks, running his streak to 144 consecutive starts in the league.
It wasn’t easy late last season for Grant, who played the final six games with a damaged ligament in his left wrist that needed postseason surgery.
“I didn’t know it was what it was,” Grant said at the time. “I knew it hurt right after that, and I came to the sideline and told them. They tried to look at it, but I didn’t even want to look at it because I didn’t want to miss any time on that football field.”
Grant, who previously played with the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars, was signed along with free safety Brian Russell as part of a complete makeover of the Seahawks’ last line of defense after they were susceptible to long pass plays in 2006. Their first year together, the Seahawks allowed a league-low 15 touchdown passes.
But Russell was released prior to the start of last season, when Jordan Babineaux was elevated to the starting lineup and finished second on the team with 105 tackles. Now, Grant is gone, too, as the coaches begin their search for a new starter at strong safety.
Tapp, a second-round draft choice in 2006, has started 31 games the past three seasons and played in all 64 games since joining the team. He has 18 sacks among his 177 career tackles, as well as eight forced fumbles. He had career highs in tackles (55) in 2008 and sacks (seven) in 2007.