The Seahawks have elected to not use their franchise or transition tags this year, meaning defensive end Red Bryant and tight end John Carlson will hit the open market and can now take the best deal offered to them once free agency starts on March 13th.
#Seahawks will not use the franchise tag this year. So defensive end Red Bryant and tight end John Carlson are free to hit the market.— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) March 5, 2012
This wasn't a huge surprise - some had speculated that the Seahawks would place the tag on Bryant, but his likely $10-$11 million price tag was apparently too great a cost for a non-pass rushing defensive end. Similarly, $5 million or so for a 2nd string TE proved to be a bit steep for the Seahawks as well.
This news doesn't mean that the Seahawks cannot re-sign either or both players, it simply means Bryant and Carlson will now be able to negotiate terms with other teams. Carlson and the Browns have been rumored to have mutual interest (Mike Holmgren originally drafted Carlson) and it's expected that Bryant will have some suitors as well.
For more on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls.