UPDATED at 1:13 p.m. with details about Richard Sherman's release from the Seahawks.
Richard Sherman is now officially a free agent. The Seahawks released him Friday but said they would also be interested in re-signing him.
Sherman's release capped what had already been a busy week for sports in Seattle. Ichiro Suzuki returned to the Mariners and Michael Bennett was traded from the Seahawks to the Philadelphia Eagles. KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel talked about the implications of those moves with KNKX Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.
Ichiro Is Back
"I didn't see that one coming and I don't think anybody else in Seattle did," Thiel said.
"I'm sure this is a pleasant thing for fans of Ichiro who want to take their kids and say, 'Hey, this is a future Hall of Famer and here he is in Seattle again.'"
"But I don't think it's pleasing a whole lot of the fan base from the standpoint of those who think it's time for the Mariners to get back to the playoffs."
Thiel said he understands Ichiro is filling a need after two outfielders, Ben Gamel and Mitch Haniger, suffered injuries in spring training.
"This is a temp thing. A patch. The thing that, I think, bothers most fans is, 'How in the heck do the Mariners not have a young outfielder who can come up for two or three weeks?"
"But...Ichiro...jeez. He's 44. And it seems like a marketing thing. It seems like more bobbleheads and more t-shirts."
"That's not where the Mariners want to be right now - is invoking the old stereotype of the previous regime of trying to do anything to get fans in the seats and not putting competitive urgency at the top."
Bennett Is Out
"Michael Bennett is 33 and played through a lot of painful injuries last year to his foot and knee," Thiel said.
"He got in 85 percent of the snaps. That shows you how valuable he was. He got 8 1/2 sacks, 24 quarterback hits. Still a good player."
"But the Seahawks are in a real bind right now because they have a lot of aging, expensive veterans - some of whom are hurt like Bennett - and they have to move on to get younger and cheaper on their roster."
"Bennett is the first casualty and I think we're going to be seeing some more."