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Trying to make sense of continued Roman Torres rumors

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The center back says he wants a contract extension, but hasn’t been offered one.

If you’ve been paying attention to the rumor mill, you’ve probably noticed Roman Torres’ name come up a few times. We’ve written about foreign interest in him as well as reports the Sounders slapped a $1 million transfer fee on him.

Now comes a report that says the Panamanian center back is upset that the Sounders haven’t offered him an extension, after apparently promising one following last year’s MLS Cup-winning performance.

Torres is currently signed through this season with a club option for 2018, and though he has made it be known he’d like to stick around, he also wants to have some added security of guaranteed years. From the looks of it, the Sounders are reluctant to make any such guarantees even beyond this year.

From Torres’ perspective, that’s understandable. Who doesn’t want added job security after all?

But it’s equally simple to see where the Sounders are coming from. As good as Torres was down the stretch last year, the reality is that he’s only made 23 appearances over the course of what amounts to two seasons. The 31-year-old has battled injuries and questions about fitness. Combined with international call-ups, he has yet to play more than three consecutive games and has already missed nine matches this year. Even when he’s been healthy, he’s never been quite as good as he was at his best last year and it remains an open debate if he’s even the team’s second best center back while being the league’s 11th best paid defender.

Simply put, the Sounders probably want to see Torres return to the form that made him a cornerstone of the defense last year before giving him an extension or even guaranteeing his contract for next season.

That might not be what Torres wants to hear, but he also doesn’t have a ton of bargaining power as the club controls his contract through 2018.

Considering Torres got a pretty significant raise when he first joined the Sounders in 2015, is now two years older and has a significant knee injury behind him, there probably aren’t a ton of teams willing to offer him a better financial deal than he has now. My guess is that he’ll finish out the year and then the two sides will re-assess the situation then.