The Seahawks bolstered their receiving corps when they traded for wide receiver Percy Harvin on Monday, but Seattle also reduced its salary cap flexibility with the move. In order to clear some space, the Seahawks are now shopping returner Leon Washington on the trade market, according to a report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
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Washington is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he averaged 29.0 yards per kickoff return but, with minimal offensive contributions and a $2.875 million cap number, Washington could be expendable. Washington served as Seattle's third-down running back last season, but his biggest contributions came in the return game. His kickoff return average was second in the NFL.
The 30-year-old Washington becomes even more expendable when considering Seattle's other options in the return game. Harvin has proven one of the most dangerous kick returners in the NFL with five career kick-return touchdowns. He returned 16 kicks last season, averaging 35.9 yards per kick return. Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate has proven to be a dynamic punt returner, albeit in limited opportunities.
Either way, Seattle is likely to sign Harvin to a lucrative long-term extension, making a high-priced return man like Leon Washington a luxury it may not be able afford. Seattle could also recoup some value for Washington after trading three draft picks to Minnesota.