The Seattle Seahawks and head coach Pete Carroll look likely to lose one of their top defensive stars to free agency this offseason and reports today suggest that a move out East is most likely for the man in question.
According to The New York Post's Brian Costello, Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell is believed to be at the top of both the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles shopping list this offseason.
Two horse race
Reports earlier this month had suggested that the Eagles alone were the clear favorites to grab the former Alabama man's signature but, with the Jets desperate to add strength at the CB position, new New York head coach Tedd Bowles has made Maxwell a priority.
"The Jets are expected to be one of the primary suitors for Seahawks free agent Byron Maxwell. The talk in Indy (at the NFL Scouting Combine) was that the Jets and Eagles would be the two teams fighting for him."
It is believed that should the Jets wish to make a move for Maxwell when free agency officially opens they will have to cut ties with another former Seahawks man, wide receiver Percy Harvin.
It is believed Maxwell would command between $8-9 million and Harvin's exit would go some way to clearing that space.
Harvin only arrived in New York mid-way through the 2014 campaign but, after failing to hit the heights at the MetLife Stadium, many expect Harvin's stay to be short lived.
The 27-year-old Maxwell would certainly be a welcome addition for the Jets with now ex pairing of GM John Idzik and Rex Ryan heavily criticized during the last campaign for their failure to add any relevant cornerbacks during 2014 free agency - despite the obvious need.
Byron Maxwell will be amongst the top CB available of the free agency march in March and, after starting for Seattle during their two consecutive Super Bowl seasons, it is obvious why.
The Eagles may hold the edge over the Jets in one area though. While New York must find the cap space, Chip Kelly's team already have $24 million spare.
With Maxwell's imposing stature suiting the Philadelphia style he would therefore seem a perfect addition to a team who came close to clicking into Super Bowl rhythm in 2014.
Unfortunate for Seattle
Seattle meanwhile look unlikely to be able to bring back Maxwell. Achieving great success with a young, previously untouted bunch of players has left Pete Carroll in the unfortunate position of having to plan how to pay them all what they are now worth.
After two straight Super Bowl appearances the likes of Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson and Kam Chancellor will all expect to be paid handsomely and Byron Maxwell simply cannot be added to that list.