What Jaron Brown's contract says about potential role in Seahawks' WR corps

WR Jaron Brown was given $2.75 million in guaranteed money to join the Seahawks. Elaine Thompson/AP

Perhaps as much as any NFL head coach, Pete Carroll is known for awarding jobs based on merit more so than a player's contract or draft round.

A few notable examples:

  • In one of their first major moves running the Seattle Seahawks, he and general manager John Schneider traded for running back LenDale While -- a star for Carroll at USC -- only to cut him a month later.

  • Carroll went with rookie Russell Wilson as his starting quarterback in 2012 after the Seahawks gave veteran Matt Flynn $10 million guaranteed that offseason.

  • Everyone expected incumbent Thomas Rawls and/or free-agent pickup Eddie Lacy to lead Seattle's backfield last season, but it was instead rookie seventh-round pick Chris Carson who broke camp as the starter after beating out the two favorites.

That history is worth keeping in mind when projecting how the Seahawks' free-agent additions might fit into the team's 2018 plans. Jaron Brown, among those additions, will have to earn the role he gets in Seattle's wide receiver corps.

That said, the contract the Seahawks gave Brown -- two years, $5.5 million with $2.75 million guaranteed -- suggests they believe he can be an impact player in their offense as opposed to someone who contributes sparingly from the bottom half of the depth chart.

The Seahawks added Brown after losing Paul Richardson in free agency. Richardson was Seattle's No. 2 receiver last season, behind Doug Baldwin and ahead of Tyler Lockett on the depth chart. Lockett would seem to have the edge to fill that No. 2 role, but anything can happen.

Lockett played around 65 percent of Seattle's offensive snaps last season as the third receiver. Who knows exactly how new coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will prefer to rotate his receivers, but whomever ends up in that role should be heavily involved one way or another.

Amara Darboh (2017 third-round pick), David Moore (2017 seventh-rounder), Marcus Johnson (acquired in the Michael Bennett trade), Tanner McEvoy (2016 UDFA) and Cyril Grayson (2017 free agent) are the other receivers on Seattle's roster.

Brown's 2018 base salary of $800,000 is fully guaranteed. That and a $1.95 million signing bonus make up his $2.75 million in guarantees.

Here's the full breakdown of the contract:

2018

  • Salary-cap number: $1.775 million

  • Base salary: $800,000 (fully guaranteed)

  • Signing-bonus proration: $975,000

  • Incentives: Up to $750,000 (tied to receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs)

  • Potential dead money/cap savings: $2.75 million/none (if released or traded before June 1)

2019

  • Salary-cap number: $3.725 million

  • Base salary: $2.75 million

  • Signing-bonus proration: $975,000

  • Incentives: Up to $750,000 (tied to receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs)

  • Potential dead money/cap savings: $975,000/$2.75 million (if released or traded before June 1)