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Seahawks' Byron Maxwell excited to test free agency

PHOENIX -- Coach Pete Carroll acknowledged Thursday that the Seattle Seahawks will face "some really difficult decisions" as Russell Wilson's contract transitions from considerable competitive advantage to a roster-building albatross in the offseason.

One of those decisions will involve impending free agent cornerback Byron Maxwell, whom general manager John Schneider concedes will be "highly sought after" on the open market.

The Seahawks would like to bring Maxwell back, but they have Tharold Simon waiting in the wings. Both sides seem to realize the demand for Maxwell's services will price him out of Seattle's plans.

Asked this week if he's excited to gauge his value in free agency, Maxwell made it clear that he's willing to play for the highest bidder.

"I'm the prettiest girl at the dance right now," Maxwell quipped. "But yeah, it's one of those things I'm excited about it. I would love to be here but ... I'm ready to see what's out there."

Boasting ideal size (6-foot-1), sure tackling and the demonstrated ability to excel outside as well as the slot, Maxwell tops a free-agent cornerback list that includes Brandon Flowers, Antonio Cromartie and Tramon Williams.

Perhaps Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will lure him to Atlanta to play opposite burgeoning Pro Bowl cover corner Desmond Trufant in a revamped Falcons secondary.

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