The Seahawks and sack-leader Chris Clemons have agreed to a multiyear contract, Mike Sando at ESPN.com is reporting.
Clemons, who was acquired in a 2010 trade with the Eagles, was set to enter the final season of his contract. Playing as the “Leo” end in coach Pete Carroll’s defense, Clemons has produced 11 sacks in each of his first two seasons with the Seahawks – a 22-sack total that ranks eighth in the league over the past two seasons.
Sando has more details on his NFC West blog at ESPN.com.
Clemons did not attend the spring minicamp or OTA practices while the club and his agent worked on a new deal. He is the first defensive end to have back-to-back seasons with double-digit sacks for the Seahawks since Michael Sinclair in 1997 and 1998.
While Clemons matched his career-high with 11 sacks last season, the team registered 33 and the rest of the defensive linemen combined for 10. That’s why tackle/end Jason Jones was signed in free agency and rush-end Bruce Irvin was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
“It’s an area of our football team these last two years where it’s not what we need it to be,” Carroll said after last season of the pass-rush generated by any lineman not wearing No. 91 (Clemons). “Clem had a great year again rushing the passer, two solid contributing years for us. But we need more than that.
“That’s an area that really needs to improve for us to take another step.”
Retaining Clemons to join Irvin and Jones is a giant step toward completing that next step.