The Seahawks hope to recapture some of their Super Bowl-winning ways while adding depth on the defensive line.
The team announced Friday that it had reached a contract agreement with 13-year veteran Chris Clemons. He was a defensive end for the Super Bowl 48-winning Seahawks of the 2013 season.
The move is for depth behind Pro Bowl end Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark, Seattle’s top draft choice in 2015.
Clemons’ signing adds a veteran familiar with Seattle’s defensive system for specific pass-rush and situational roles.
It is Seattle’s low-cost, low-risk attempt to revive the 34-year-old’s career.
Clemons had eight sacks in 2014 for Jacksonville, but only three last season, his lowest total in six years. He was playing for former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, now the Jaguars’ head coach.
Clemons made one start, with five tackles and one sack, in the final eight games of 2015. The Jaguars released him instead of paying him a $4 million salary in 2016. He had two years left on his deal with Jacksonville when he was cut last month.
While terms weren’t immediately known, the Seahawks will be paying a lot less than $4 million for Clemons this year. The team was believed to have less than $8 million in salary cap space before this agreement, 25th in the 32-team NFL, according to overthecap.com.
That’s with a few million dollars still to spend on draft choices and rookie free agents, and the likelihood of extending No. 1 wide receiver Doug Baldwin’s contract before the regular season begins.
Clemons had 4 1/2 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 Seahawks $7.5 million against that year’s cap.
Seattle had acquired Clemons from Philadelphia in 2010 by trading fellow defensive end Darryl Tapp to the Eagles.
For the Seahawks, Clemons had 11 sacks in 2010, 11 in 2011 and his career high of 11 1/2 in 2012.
OTA, MINICAMP DATES ANNOUNCED
The Seahawks announced that their nine weeks of official offseason workouts will begin April 18 and include organized team activities and minicamps across May and June.
The team’s voluntary (but strongly encouraged) Organized Team Activities at Seahawks headquarters in Renton will be held May 23-24, May 26, June 1, 3, 6-7 and 9.
The one mandatory mincamp of the offseason is June 14-16. Seattle’s rookie minicamp is likely to be May 6-8 or May 13-15, one or two weekends after the draft on April 28-30.
Training camp will begin at the end of July, with an exact date to be announced.
Unlike training camp, none of the OTAs or minicamp practices are open to the public.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle