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hawks make room for Dyson release Brown


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Club uses savings to officially sign SharperBy Len Pasquarelli

ESPN.com

In a move that had been anticipated for several weeks, the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday evening released 12-year veteran linebacker Chad Brown after the club and the three-time Pro Bowl performer could not agree on a salary reduction.

The Seahawks immediately took the salary cap savings realized with the exit of Brown and then used it to officially sign linebacker Jamie Sharper to the five-year, $17.5 million contract to which he agreed last week. Part of the savings might also be directed toward the signing of unrestricted free agent cornerback Andre Dyson.

ESPN.com reported earlier on Thursday that Dyson, a four-year veteran who started every season for the Tennessee Titans, had reached accord on a five-year, $17.5 million deal that included a $3 million signing bonus.

Brown, 34, missed 19 games to injuries over the last three seasons and appeared in just seven contests in 2004, a career low. Seattle officials had hoped Brown would agree to reduce his scheduled 2004 base salary of $4.2 million to about $1 million. It's believed that Brown wanted at least $1.5 million to return for 2005.

Team officials left open, but only slightly, the possibility that Brown might return at a more reasonable price. It is likely, however that Brown, who played the last eight years in Seattle, will try to sign on with another team.

One of the game's best pass-rushing linebackers before injuries began to affect his play, Brown signed a five-year, $28.5 million contract extension with the Seahawks in 2002. Three seasons remained on that deal. In addition to the $4.2 million Brown was to have earned in 2005, he was to have base salary of $5 million in 2006 and $5.1 million in '07.

The former University of Colorado standout began his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a second-round draft choice in 1993. An immediate star in the Steelers' 3-4 defense, he moved to the Seahawks as a free agent in 1997.

In 163 games, Brown has 155 starts and has totaled 1,044 tackles, 78 sacks, 18 forced fumbles, 15 recoveries and six interceptions. Brown had more than seven sacks in five seasons but only posted double-digit sacks one time, in 1996, when he had 13 in his final season with the Steelers.

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