Pass-rusher Jones eyes strong finish

eric.williams@thenewstribune.comNovember 21, 2012 

After 10 games with the Seattle Seahawks, Jason Jones appears to have found a home in Seattle.

However, the defensive tackle’s long-term status with the Seahawks is up in the air.

“I like my teammates and I like everybody here,” Jones said. “But that’s something for my agent to handle.”

The 26-year-old pass-rusher is one of 10 unrestricted free agents expected to hit the open market for the Seahawks in 2013.

Others include fellow defensive tackle Alan Branch, receiver Braylon Edwards, kicker Steven Hauschka, linebacker Leroy Hill, tight end Evan Moore, offensive lineman Frank Omiyale, tight end Cameron Morrah and cornerback Marcus Trufant.

Projected restricted free agents for Seattle in 2013 include defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, long snapper Clint Gresham and safety Chris Maragos.

Jones signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Seahawks during the offseason because he wanted to re-establish his market value after playing out of position and dealing with injuries while with Tennessee.

Jones has played in eight games, totaling 2.5 sacks and two pass deflections this season. He missed two games because of an ankle issue.

“I think overall I’ve played pretty well,” Jones said. “You can always play better. I’m mad I sat out those two games with the ankle, so I just want to finish out these last six games strong.”

Jones has not produced eye-popping numbers, but Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has been pleased with the rangy defensive lineman’s ability to create consistent pressure from the interior of the line when he’s been in the game.

“He has this way about him to get into cracks and stuff that helps everybody rush better,” Carroll said. “Our pass rush is at our best when he’s out there, so hopefully we can get him going and allow him to be a factor.”

The Seahawks may be better off getting a deal done with Jones or Branch instead of franchising them next season. Based on a leaguewide salary cap of $121 million next year, Brian McIntyre, an NFL cap specialist who works for Yahoo Sports, projects the franchise tag number for defensive tackles in 2013 to be a little more than $8 million.

McIntyre said that the Seahawks currently have $13.5 million in salary cap space that they can roll over to 2013. So general manager John Schneider and Carroll could look to re-sign players they don’t want hitting next year’s free-agent market before this season comes to a close, similar to deals the Seahawks made to reward receivers Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu at the end of the 2010 season.

Other players who have performed well, such as receiver Doug Baldwin and cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, will have to wait because they are signed at least through the 2013 season, so the Seahawks don’t have to re-do their contracts until next year.

However, third-year safety Kam Chancellor’s contract can be re-negotiated because he was drafted in 2010 under the old collective bargaining agreement.

Chancellor earned a Pro Bowl berth his first year as a starter in 2011 and followed it up with a solid campaign this season, so the Seahawks’ brass might be looking to get Chancellor under a long-term deal before his price tag goes up.

The Virginia Tech product is signed through the 2014 season, but will receive a significant bump in salary in 2013 because of playing-time escalators he reached in his contract.

GUY SUSPENDED 4 GAMES

The NFL announced that Seahawks rookie safety Winston Guy has been suspended without pay for the team’s next four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Guy’s suspension begins immediately, according to the league. He will be eligible to return to Seattle’s active roster on Dec. 17 following the team’s Dec. 16 game against the Buffalo Bills.

A sixth-round selection in this year’s draft out of the University of Kentucky, Guy has been active for two games this season. Guy will lose $97,500 in base salary during the suspension.

“It was a simple mistake,” said Guy’s agent, Greg Linton. “But even though it was a mistake, it was a mistake that was made. So we’re going to take responsibility for it and move on.”

Linton said Guy tested positive for an over-the-counter substance that’s on the league’s lengthy list of banned substances players are tested for regularly.

Linton said Guy will not appeal the suspension and that he hopes to return by the end of this season. SUNDAY: Seattle at Miami, 10 a.m., Ch. 13, 97.3-FM, 710-AM SEAHAWKS’ next opponent

MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-6)

10 a.m. Sunday, Sun Life Stadium

Against the Seahawks: This is the 11th meeting between the two teams during the regular season. The Dolphins hold a 7-3 edge in the all-time series. Miami also has a 2-1 advantage in the postseason. The two teams have met five times since 2000, and the Dolphins have won four of those contests. In the last meeting, the Dolphins won a close contest in Miami, 21-19 on Nov. 8, 2008.

Stats and stuff: Miami rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 2,120 yards, six touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Tannehill has completed 58.1 percent of his passes, and has a 70.8 passer rating. … Tannehill’s favorite target is Brian Hartline, with 53 receptions for 790 yards and one touchdown. … Reggie Bush is Miami’s leading rusher, with 575 yards on 136 carries for a 4.2 per-carry average. Bush has four rushing touchdowns on the year, but also has lost two fumbles. … Miami’s defense has given up 39 passing plays of 20 yards or more – only three other teams have allowed more. … Miami head strength coach Darren Krein came to the Dolphins after two tenures with the Seattle Seahawks (1997-98, 2001-09)… Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman spent one season (1999) in Seattle as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator/tight ends coach. … Seattle assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel played offensive guard for the Miami Hurricanes in the early 1970s, and then coached the Hurricanes’ offensive line for three seasons (1974-76).

Quotable: “They certainly aren’t afraid to get in a receiver’s (face), move up close to the line of scrimmage and get hands on guys. They’re big guys, they’re physical, but they do have a good package that’s a multiple package. They’ll play a variety of different coverages, so we’ll certainly have our hands full with those guys.” — Miami head coach Joe Philbin, commenting on Seattle’s big cornerbacks.

DOLPHINS SCHEDULE

Sept. 9 at Texans 30, Dolphins 10

Sept. 16 Dolphins 35, Raiders 13

Sept. 23 Jets 23, Dolphins 20 (OT)

Sept. 30 at Cardinals 24, Dolphins 21 (OT)

Oct. 8 Dolphins 17, at Bengals 13

Oct. 14 Dolphins 17, Rams 14

Oct. 21 Bye

Oct. 28 Dolphins 30, at Jets 9

Nov. 4 at Colts 23, Dolphins 20

Nov. 11 Titans 37, Dolphins 3

Nov. 15 at Bills 19, Dolphins 14

Nov. 25 Seattle

Dec. 2 New England

Dec. 9 at San Francisco

Dec. 16Jacksonville

Dec. 23 Buffalo

Dec. 30 at New England

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com eric.williams@thenewstribune.com

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