Photos of the Seahawks' 2015 offensive free agents to-be. NFL free agency opens on Tuesday, March 10.
It may be the offseason, but when free agency opens at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 10, you can count on it being one of the busiest - and most important - dates on the never-ending NFL calendar.
Players whose contracts were up at the end of the 2014 season will officially be able to sign new deals, either with their old team or one of the League's 31 other clubs. Another important date comes three days prior - March 7, when teams can officially begin negotiating with pending free agents.
The Seahawks have 16 players set to become unrestricted free agents, four that will become restricted free agents, and two that will become exclusive rights free agents.
Unrestricted free agents are able to sign wherever they please when the signing period opens. Restricted free agents can be offered tenders from their old club that would allow the old club to match any offer that player may receive from another team, or not match the offer and possibly reap a draft pick as compensation. Exclusive rights free agents can be kept by the player's old club if the club makes a minimum qualifying offer by March 10.
Below, check out how Seattle's offensive free agents to-be will classify when NFL free agency opens, followed by a note on how that player performed this past year. On Friday, we'll do the same with the Seahawks' defense.
Unrestricted Free Agents
G James Carpenter
The team's 2011 first-round draft pick (No. 25 overall) helped the Seahawks set a franchise-record 2,762 rushing yards last season, the third-highest total in the League since 1985. He's started 44 games (including playoffs) through the past four seasons, including 13 starts at left guard this past year - the most games he's started in a single season for Seattle. Carpenter has battled knee and ankle injuries since entering the NFL. When he's been out of the lineup, the team has turned to Alvin Bailey to fill the void.
QB Tarvaris Jackson
Jackson wasn't forced into significant action last season thanks to the durability and know-when-to-get-down mentality of starting signal caller Russell Wilson. But Jackson has been the Seahawks' backup for each of the past two seasons and started 14 games for Seattle in 2011, the first year the plays were called by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who worked with Jackson during their days at the Minnesota Vikings. Jackson has a firm grasp of the playbook and is a respected individual within the Seahawks locker room. Outside of Wilson and Jackson, the Seahawks have third-stringer B.J. Daniels and R.J. Archer, who signed last month.
C Lemuel Jeanpierre
This past year, the team released Jeanpierre with an injury settlement in early September. He was re-signed in mid-November when starting center Max Unger and backup Stephen Schilling were out with injuries. He started three games at the spot last year and has been a quality player for the Seahawks since 2010, but Jeanpierre saw his playing time go to Patrick Lewis as 2014 came to a close.
TE Anthony McCoy
This past year saw McCoy spend his second consecutive season on injured reserve with a torn Achilles. The 6-foot-5, 259 pound 27-year-old USC product last played in 2012, when he appeared in 16 games with five starts, hauling in 18 balls for 291 yards and three touchdowns during Wilson's rookie season.
Update (3/9 at 5:20 p.m. PT): The Seahawks signed McCoy to a contract extension.
TE Tony Moeaki
He was signed in November 2014 when injuries plagued the tight end spot and excelled almost immediately, collecting a touchdown in his first game as a Seahawk and recording a 63-yard catch - the team's longest of the season - during a Thanksgiving night win at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Shoulder and calf injuries slowed Moeaki's pace toward the end of the year and he didn't have a catch in the team's postseason run at Super Bowl XLIX.
FB Will Tukuafu
Another late-season add by Executive VP/General Manager John Schneider & Co. who also played defensive line for the Seahawks. He took over the team's primary duties at fullback after Derrick Coleman broke a bone in his foot during pregame warmups on the road against the St. Louis Rams.
Restricted Free Agents
WR Jermaine Kearse
After Golden Tate signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency following the 2013 season, Kearse turned into one of the Seahawks' top receiving threats. In 2014, his 38 catches for 537 yards ranked second to leading receiver and fellow undrafted rookie free agent find Doug Baldwin (66 for 825). And who could forget Kearse's game-winning 35-yard score in the team's improbable come-from-behind NFC Championship win over the Green Bay Packers? Not to mention the Lakewood, Wash. native's 33-yard juggling grab from the ground that put the Seahawks on the New England Patriots' 5-yard-line in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLIX.
C Steve Schilling
A former Bellevue High School standout that signed with the Seahawks by way of the San Diego Chargers last March. He started three games at center for Seattle this past season and saw action in eight games, but a knee injury forced him to end the year on injured reserve.
WR Bryan Walters
Another local product out of Kirkland's Juanita High School who served as the Seahawks' primary punt returner after an early-season experiment with free safety Earl Thomas was called off by head coach Pete Carroll. Walters returned 27 punts for 207 yards (7.7-yard average) in 2014, with a long of 21. As a reserve receiver, he made six grabs for 57 yards, including a long of 17.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents
WR Ricardo Lockette
A speedy special teams ace and receiver for the Seahawks, Lockette accounted for seven tackles and a forced fumble when covering kicks and made 11 catches for 195 yards and two touchdowns when lining up on the outside behind the team's starting wideouts Baldwin and Kearse. Rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson's emergence in the final quarter of 2014 limited Lockette's snaps, but Richardson ended the year on injured reserve after tearing his ACL in the team's divisional-round playoff win over the Carolina Panthers.
WATCH:NFL's Free-Agent Fits
PHOTOS: Seahawks Free Agents - Offense
PHOTOS: Seahawks Free Agents - Defense