With the Seattle Seahawks having been knocked out of the 2015 NFL playoffs in the divisional round last weekend, attention at the Washington-state franchise is already turning to next season.
As with every team, the Seahawks must negotiate the tightrope that is the salary cap and player contracts as they look to keep key parts of the roster intact.
One tactic often employed by teams looking to tie down players to new contracts is the so-called 'hometown discount' in which current players are expected to take less than their market value to stay put. Unfortunately for Seattle, one of their soon-to-be-free-agents has already ruled out taking such a deal.
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In an exchange of texts with ESPN's Adam Schefter, relayed by the reporter on his official Facebook account, Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse insisted he has no plans to accept discounted terms from the 2013 Super Bowl champions.
"I love my hometown, but I've put in too much hard work to give a discount," explained the 25-year-old receiver. "My number one priority is to take care of my family's future, so I will consider all opportunities."
Kearse has been with the Seahawks since arriving as an undrafted free agent back in 2012. Since then, his role in the offense has steadily increased and he is coming off the back of his most productive season to date.
Aside from Doug Baldwin, Kearse was Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson's favorite receiving target this year - accruing 685 yards and five touchdowns on 49 receptions during the regular season.
He also has a knack of big postseason games, having caught six touchdowns in his 10 playoff appearances, including two last weekend on the way to a 110 yard game against Carolina.
The Seahawks clearly value him as part of their offense, but whether they are willing to pay out what Kearse demands this summer when they still have several other contracts to sort out (including Bruce Irvin, Russell Okung and Jeremy Lane) remains to be seen.
Seahawks fans: Should your team pay Kearse what he wants, or is he replaceable? Have your say in the comments below...
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