Seahawks’ Kearse heads to free agency off career-high 11-catch game

Jermaine Kearse had a career-best 49 catches in his fourth season with Seattle.
Kyle Terada/Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

If Jermaine Kearse did play his last game with the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, he left the team with an indelible memory.

Kearse hauled in a career-high 11 catches for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns to spark a belated comeback by the Seahawks in a 31-24 loss at the top-seeded Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s NFC Divisional round.

Scheduled to become a free agent in March, Kearse is among a number of offseason decisions facing Seattle, which came up short in its bid to advance to a third consecutive Super Bowl. But he provided a reminder of his big-game capabilities with his fifth and sixth career postseason touchdowns.

"I tell ya, he had a great game,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in Monday’s media briefing. "In the big-game setting he continues to make big plays happen. He can do it all through the year, but he just seems to have a knack to make a special play."

Kearse, who had a career-best 49 receptions in his fourth season in Seattle, is more than open to returning to the team.

“I mean, I grew up in the state of Washington. I would love to be here," Kearse said. "But there are going to have to be decisions that are going to have to be made, and we are just going to have to see when that time comes.”

"He is a terrific player," Carroll said. "I don’t know if other people appreciate him like we do. We love him in our system and we’d love him to stay with us."