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Originally published March 19, 2014 at 7:07 PM | Page modified March 19, 2014 at 10:48 PM

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Jared Allen returns for second visit with Seahawks

Defensive end had made visit to Seattle earlier this week.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Free agent defensive end Jared Allen is back for a second visit with the Seahawks, a league source confirmed to the Seattle Times Wednesday night.

The news of Allen’s visits was first reported by Ed Werder of ESPN, who also reported that a decision from Allen could come in the next few days.

Allen visited Dallas earlier this week and left without signing a contract. The Cowboys then signed Henry Melton Tuesday, so that essentially removed any cap room Dallas had left to sign Allen.

Allen has been one of the premier pass rushers during his 10-year career and has averaged 14.5 sacks over the last seven seasons.

Allen would fill a need for a proven, veteran defensive end created after the team released Chris Clemons, who then signed with Jacksonville.

Notes

NFL owners likely will consider expanding the playoffs by two teams, beginning in 2015, when they hold their spring meetings in Orlando next week, but a vote on the subject is uncertain.

A groundswell for raising the number of playoff qualifiers to seven in each conference figures to get plenty of support from the 32 owners. Most notably, Arizona’s Bill Bidwill, who saw his Cardinals go 10-6 and not get in, while Green Bay (8-7-1) qualified by winning the NFC North.

The current format of four division winners and two wild-card teams has existed since 2002, when Houston joined the league as an expansion team, bringing the membership to 32.

“There will be a report on the potential of expanded playoffs,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday. “We don’t know if there will be any vote at this meeting.”

Also on the agenda will be alterations to extra points, changing who oversees video-replay reviews, and further clamping down on the use of racial slurs by players during games.

A change in the playoff structure would be needed if 14 teams qualify, with the top seed in each conference still getting a first-round bye. The next six teams would play in what is now the wild-card round, with the second seed facing No. 7, the third seed taking on No. 6 and the fourth and fifth seeds playing each other.

But the NFL’s influential competition committee is not presenting a proposal to the owners.

• The Cowboys signed Melton to an incentive-laden one-year contract with the free agent coming off a major knee injury.

The deal signed Wednesday has a $1.25 million base salary and could be worth up to $5 million. The Cowboys hold a three-year option after the 2014 season.

• The Tennessee Titans have released Rob Bironas, the franchise’s second-leading career scorer and one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.

Bironas, 36, had 1,032 career points in his nine-year career with Tennessee and was just 28 points behind Al Del Greco, the top scorer in the history of the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans organization. Bironas has made 85.7 percent of his career field-goal attempts (239 of 279) to rank fourth in NFL history in accuracy.

The Titans and defensive tackle Antonio Johnson have agreed on a multiyear contract. Terms and length of the deal weren’t disclosed. Tennessee also agreed to a one-year deal with wide receiver/kick returner Marc Mariani. Reports also indicate that the Titans have been receiving trade interest for running back Chris Johnson, who also may be released if no trade is made.

• There was finally some movement on the Michael Vick front and it will be up the New Jersey Turnpike on Friday when the free-agent quarterback visits with the New York Jets, according to NFL sources.

Vick had remained relatively quiet during the first week of free agency as several teams signed starting-caliber quarterbacks off the market. But he will meet with a team that many thought had the best chance to land him and one that has a former offensive coordinator of his in Marty Mornhinweg.

• The Oakland Raiders filled their void at left tackle by signing free agent Donald Penn to a two-year contract.

Penn fills the opening created when Jared Veldheer left as a free agent for Arizona and left unfilled when Rodger Saffold failed his physical after agreeing to a five-year, $42.5 million deal with Oakland.

NFL Network reported that Penn’s contract is worth $9.6 million, with $4.2 million guaranteed.



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