Seahawks Sue Malik McDowell To Recoup Signing Bonus

The Seahawks are suing 2017 second-round pick Malik McDowell in order to recoup an additional $799,238 in signing bonus money, according to Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News. McDowell has never made an NFL appearance after getting injured in an ATV accident three months after being drafted.

Earlier this year, an arbitrator ruled McDowell must repay Seattle a total of $1,599,238. The Seahawks withheld McDowell’s 2018 salary of $800K, and the club is now searching for the rest of the total. McDowell didn’t dispute the ruling or appeal, but he’s yet to make a payment to the club.

By sustaining severe injuries in that ATV accident, McDowell violated a portion of his contact which states he shall not “engage in any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury,” as Brady Henderson of ESPN.com writes. McDowell spent his first two NFL seasons on the non-football injury list, and the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement indicates players on said list may be required to forfeit signing bonus money, per Henderson.

McDowell, a Michigan State product, was officially waived in March of this year and is now a free agent. Two weeks after getting cut by Seattle, McDowell took a visit with the Cowboys, but Dallas’ doctors haven’t been able to give him a clean bill of health. McDowell’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in March that his client has been medically cleared by independent doctors.

As Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports writes, the suit between the Seahawks and McDowell reveals the existence of a an extremely strained relationship between the two parties. A team suing a player for a relatively small amount of money is nearly unprecedented, per Robinson, who adds Seattle previously attempted to recoup all of McDowell’s rookie contract and is now seeing interest on the current missed payment.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (20)
newest oldest

20 comments on “Seahawks Sue Malik McDowell To Recoup Signing Bonus

  1. wrigleyhawkeye

    “shall not engage in any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury”— that seems awfully vague. You could partake in any number of sporting activities and still get injured. Who decides which are considered “significant risk”?
    Biking?
    Climbing?
    Hunting?
    Skiing?
    Tubing?
    Snorkeling?
    Trampoline?

    • DuffManCometh

      Walking?
      Sitting in a rocking chair?
      Breathing?
      Seattle sounds petty to me and hopefully free agents take notice.
      The last time I checked a signing bonus is something you receive for signing the contract, and not for appearances or play time.

      • kaehlaone

        The guy broke his contract, Never took a snap, Made 60% of his deal, lied about it and you think they’re being petty for not taking the cap hit each year?

  2. Michael Chaney

    I definitely understand the team’s frustration but to me this isn’t a good look. It’s a drop in the bucket for the team, he already basically ruined his career which is bad enough, and it gives off a bad perception of how they view their players.

    • compassrose

      Something more is going on because Seattle has as far as I know ( I say that because I don’t know if at anytime they have done this but there might be. If so it probably was when that Jack Off Behring owned the team) they have been very generous to injured players. I doubt Seattle is doing this just for the money Ms Allen probably has that in the lint in her pockets. Would be interesting to get more info. When I saw the headline I thought it was petty but after reading the story something else is going on. Maybe it is a scare tactic to get him to pay the other money owed. They need to collect that so other players don’t take advantage. That is good business not petty. Hopefully the guy was smart with what money he got this will probably haunt him as he gets older.

  3. YakAttack

    Good.From his time in college to his arrest, he doesn’t deserve a dime.

    • ChiTownFanTilDeath

      What exactly was he arrested for ?? He got hurt on an ATV. Read story again and get back to me.

      • norsehawk8

        Don’t need to read the story again. He was arrested, and acted embarrassingly horribly during it. This wasn’t part of the story. YakAttack was adding more.

      • norsehawk8

        Don’t need to read the story again. He was arrested, in a different occurrence, and acted embarrassingly horribly during it. This wasn’t part of this story. YakAttack was adding more.

        • qbert1996

          He got arrested for disorderly conduct in 2017. Who cares? That means he doesn’t deserve a dime of his “signing bonus” now? Stop being all high and mighty

  4. seattleite

    There are cap implications to this. I think that’s the biggest motivator for the Seahawks.

  5. californiatribesman

    You’re literally the richest owner in the NFL… WTF is really the point in forcing someone to payback money he doesn’t have?

      • Sheep8

        Ha! But it’s the Seahawks money and legally not his! We would all do the same, we just don’t have the same amount of money as the team! Put it in perspective, if someone is told they owe is $5k, we’d want it back, even if in the end it is not a ton of money, but it’s ours!!

  6. Chris

    This seems a bit petty but I’ll reserve final judgement until I get the full story. FWIW they’re suing for 1.08% of Russell Wilson’s signing bonus

  7. jjabrony

    Every penny counts when you are forced to overpay your QB. This isn’t pettiness, it’s just tight salary cap management.

  8. jorge78

    Why do players ride those stupid things? I seen stories of other players getting hurt on those death traps. Trey stupid!

Leave a Reply