Seahawks Rumors

Seahawks ‘Considering’ Frank Clark Trade, Want First Round Pick For Him

Ever since the Seahawks locked up Russell Wilson with his record-setting deal, everybody’s attention has turned toward pass-rusher Frank Clark. The dynamic defensive end was franchise-tagged by Seattle, and is seeking a longterm deal of his own.

The Seahawk have insisted they want to sign Clark to a new deal, and head coach Pete Carroll has said he’ll be with the team in 2019. Despite that trade rumors have continued to swirl, and we heard yesterday that several teams were interested. Seattle is apparently open to the idea, as they are “still considering” trading Clark, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. A source told Schefter that “in return, the Seahawks would want any package to include at least a first-round pick in next week’s NFL draft.”

That’s not an unreasonable ask, but it’s possible no teams will be willing to meet that price. We heard in early March that Clark and the Seahawks were progressing on a new deal, but things appear to have fallen apart since then. Previous reports indicated the Seahawks were reluctant to move Clark, but Schefter’s report makes it sound like they’re much more open to the idea.

The Seahawks have a league-low four picks in the 2019 draft. Trading Clark would be a surefire way to replenish their stockpile and get some extra picks. Seattle’s general manager John Schneider did insist recently that Wilson’s new deal won’t effect negotiations or impact their willingness to spend big money on Clark. It’s possible the Seahawks weren’t happy with the 21MM-AAV deal that DeMarcus Lawrence got from the Cowboys. Now that Lawrence has reset the market, Clark is likely seeking to top that.

When Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said yesterday that several teams were interested, he also said the matter would “definitely” be resolved before the draft. So if Clark is still a member of the team a week from now, you can expect him to be with the Seahawks in 2019. Last season Clark had 13 sacks, three forced fumbles, two passes defended, and an interception.

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Specifics On Russell Wilson's Contract

More details of Russell Wilson‘s landmark extension are emerging. Wilson’s 2020 and ’21 base salaries — $19MM apiece — will become fully guaranteed if he is on the Seahawks roster five days after Super Bowls LIV and LV, respectively. With that a near-certainty, Wilson’s $107MM in total guarantees are practically full guarantees. Wilson will earn a $19MM base salary in 2022 and ’23, according to OverTheCap. This deal leaves Wilson with cap numbers of $26.29MM (2019), $31MM (2020), $32MM (’21), $37MM (’22) and $39MM (’23). The eighth-year quarterback’s base salary was slated to be $17MM this year; the new deal converted much of that money into a signing bonus, with Wilson now attached to a $5MM base in 2019. The new contract raised Wilson’s 2019 cap number by just $1MM. Additionally, the contract includes a $6MM escalator clause — which would bring the total dollar figure up to $146MM — for Wilson’s 2023 salary, per CBS Sports’ Joel Corry (on Twitter). Unspecified performance-based incentives from 2020-22 can bump the Pro Bowler’s $21MM salary in 2023 to $27MM.

Several Teams Interested In Frank Clark

While it would appear Frank Clark would be a critical part of the Seahawks’ core going forward, being by far the franchise’s top edge rusher, he continues to be mentioned as a trade candidate.

Several teams are interested in Clark, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). This will-they/won’t-they saga will “definitely” be settled by draft time, Rapoport adds.

Pete Carroll said the standout defensive end will be part of the 2019 Seahawks, and the team used its franchise tag for the first time in nine years in order to retain Clark. Negotiations began on a new deal earlier this offseason, and the sides made progress in early March. But it’s not certain if they’ve closed the gap since. It’s possible the Cowboys’ subsequent $21MM-AAV deal for DeMarcus Lawrence has complicated the Clark talks. Like Lawrence did before his extension, Clark has said he will not report to training camp without a new deal.

Clark may be able to fetch a first-round pick. At 25, he is two years younger than Dee Ford — who netted the Chiefs a 2020 second-rounder in a tag-and-trade swap with the 49ers — and has been more consistent. Although Clark became a Week 1 starter for the first time last season, he registered 19 sacks between the 2016-17 slates prior to his 13-sack 2018. But his departure would obviously leave a major hole on Seattle’s depth chart, especially considering the team does not have a surefire starter opposite Clark.

Teams were interested in a Clark tag-and-trade transaction at free agency’s outset, but the Seahawks are believed to only be motivated to move the fifth-year player if they are blown away by an offer. The Seahawks just authorized a record-breaking Russell Wilson contract, but John Schneider said the quarterback’s deal will not impact Clark’s situation. Following the Wilson re-up, the Seahawks hold just more than $9MM in cap space.

Schneider said recently he would like to acquire additional draft capital this year. No team holds fewer than the Seahawks’ six picks. Although Seattle often gains draft picks by trading back in the first round, trading Clark would obviously be a way to procure at least one high-value choice.

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Seahawks Notes: Wilson, Wagner, Reed, Clark

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider indicated Russell Wilson‘s four-year, $140MM extension won’t impact the status of franchise-tagged defensive end Frank Clark, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Seattle had already accounted for a new Wilson deal when it decided to tag Clark at a one-year rate of $17.128MM. Schneider also admitted the Seahawks haven’t made a decision on offensive tackle Germain Ifedi‘s fifth-year option for 2020, and singled out linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive tackle Jarran Reed as extension candidates (Twitter links via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com and Condotta).

  • Wilson received an NFL-record $65MM signing bonus as part of his new Seahawks contract, but he won’t actually collect all that money immediately. He’ll earn $30MM of the bonus this year with the rest deferred until 2020, per Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter links), who notes this mechanism is common in most quarterback deals. The deferral won’t affect Wilson’s cap charges, as the $65MM will still be prorated over the next five seasons. Corry adds Wilson received better cash flows on his current extension than on his previous four-year, $87.6MM pact.

More On Russell Wilson, Seahawks

After the Seahawks and Russell Wilson agreed to a massive four-year, $140MM extension, the parties held a press conference that produced several interesting nuggets:

  • The team’s decision to include a no-trade clause helped seal the deal, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. That is an interesting note in light of previous reports that Wilson was only inclined to remain in Seattle if the team gave him top-dollar, but that he may have been willing to accept less from another club, like the Giants. But perhaps, even if those rumors were true, once Wilson committed to the Seahawks, he wanted to make sure he would only be leaving the club on his terms.
  • Although any issues that player and team might have had are often swept under the rug after a contract gets hammered out, Wilson said he intends to remain in Seattle for his entire career. He said he wants to have a 20-year playing career — meaning he’d be playing until he is 43 — and he said he wants to “wear the blue and green forever” (Twitter link via Condotta).
  • Seahawks GM John Schneider said that Wilson’s April 15 deadline to get a deal done was a good idea for both sides. Schneider said, “The April 15th deal for us was a good idea. The last [negotiation between Wilson and the Seahawks], quite frankly, took too long and took a lot of energy away from what we’re supposed to be doing. We thought it was a good idea on their part and worked out for both sides because we had to know what was going on, be able to clear our minds and be right” (via Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk).
  • Wilson, of course, agreed, saying, “I remember the first time, the other contract, it was one of those things that took us all away to the summertime, right before training camp — literally to 11:50 that night and everything else. The next day, we were practicing. For me, and for everyone involved really — the whole organization — it was really more so of a ‘Hey, let’s make sure we don’t have to drag out this whole process.'”
  • Head coach Pete Carroll, whose contract now expires before Wilson’s, emphasized the importance of Wilson remaining with the team for years. Carroll said, “For the continuity of this program, for the continuity of the following, all the fans who have known who we are and how we like to play and Russ has ignited an energy about the games that we play and the style from the offensive side. I thought it was really important for us. We think we have a really good team and we’re really fired up about it, and to be able to maintain this continuity was extremely important for us.”

Seahawks OT George Fant Signs RFA Tender

Seahawks offensive tackle George Fant has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, while defensive end Quinton Jefferson has signed his original round RFA tender, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.

A collegiate basketball player with only one year of NCAA football experience (which came as a tight end), Fant went undrafted in 2016 but still managed to start 10 games during his rookie campaign in Seattle. A torn ACL cost Fant the 2017 season, but he rebounded to appear in all 16 games and play 35% of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps in 2018.

Fant, who will now collect a $3.095MM base salary next year, graded out well in 2018, with Pro Football Focus ranking him as the No. 26 offensive tackle among 80 qualifiers. While he won’t be locked in as a starter heading into next season, Fant could compete with former fist-round pick Germain Ifedi for playing time at right tackle.

In addition to Fant and Jefferson, the Seahawks have also re-signed the following exclusive rights free agents:

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Seahawks Meeting With Liuget, Woods

Two more veteran defensive linemen are visiting the Seahawks. In addition to Allen Bailey heading to Seattle for a meeting, Corey Liuget and Al Woods will follow suit, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This marks Liuget’s second meeting of the offseason, with the longtime Chargers interior defender having met with the Giants recently. The Chargers released Liuget earlier this offseason. While the Bolts were believed to be open about re-signing Liuget at a reduced rate, no rumors of a reunion have surfaced since.

Liuget signed a lucrative Chargers deal in 2015 but did not live up to it. A suspension and pay cut ensued, and the Bolts cut bait prior to that contract’s final season. The 29-year-old Liuget played in six games last season, starting three. The former first-round pick started 103 games for the Bolts but only recorded three sacks over the past three seasons.

The Lions brought in Woods for a visit last month. The 32-year-old nose tackle has played for five teams, including the Seahawks (for two games in 2011), in his nine-year career. Woods started 24 games for the Colts over the past two seasons.

Pete Carroll mentioned earlier this offseason the Seahawks would like to further fortify their defensive tackle corps, so one of the Bailey-Liuget-Woods trio may be set to sign. Bailey and Liuget have been used mostly as 3-4 defensive ends during their careers, while Woods has played almost exclusively inside. Both Woods and Liuget graded better as run-stoppers last season, per Pro Football Focus, though Bailey saw far more action (959 snaps).

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Details On Russell Wilson’s New Deal

On Tuesday, the Seahawks agreed to make quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history. The historic four-year, $140MM add-on makes Wilson the NFL’s highest-paid player of all time and even gives him a no-trade clause. However, Wilson didn’t necessarily get everything that he initially wanted. 

There was talk that Wilson wanted to set some other precedents with this contract by tying the contract to rises in the salary cap, but the Seahawks held their ground on that front, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times hears. That was no small matter for Wilson and his agent – they fought for the cap tie-in up until the last minute of the Monday deadline, per Condotta.

Ultimately, the two sides reached a compromise that Wilson is surely happy about. His $65MM is the highest signing bonus in NFL history and the deal guarantees him $70MM in the first year of the contract.

Still, Wilson’s bid to tie his contract to the salary cap made sense. When adjusted for cap inflation, his $35MM/year deal ranks only as the fifth-highest of all-time, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap (on Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Chatter Surrounding Frank Clark?

In extending Russell Wilson, the Seahawks took care of their signature piece of offseason business on Tuesday. But more key contract negotiations loom, with Bobby Wagner entering a contract year and Frank Clark having yet to sign his franchise tender. It appears the trade talk surrounding Clark has not totally died down. This week has produced some chatter around the league about a Clark swap, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweets. This comes shortly after a report indicated the Seahawks rebuffed outside interest in Clark at the outset of free agency and would only trade the impact defensive end if they were overwhelmed by an offer. Clark has said he will not report to Seahawks training camp without a long-term deal, so this obviously qualifies as a situation worth monitoring.

NFL Draft Rumors: Brown, Samuel, Ford

The 49ers will host Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown and South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Neither player is in the mix for the Niners at No. 2 overall, but both could be an option further down the line.

Right now, it seems likely that Brown will be a first rounder, making him unlikely to be available when the 49ers pick again at No. 36 overall. Still, crazier things have happened and the Niners could always trade up if they want Brown badly enough. Samuel, meanwhile, seems to be right in range for that pick. After watching Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham head elsewhere this offseason, the Niners are undoubtedly in the hunt for receiver help in the draft.

Here’s the latest draft buzz:

  • Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford will meet with the Panthers on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. This marks Ford’s ninth and final visit, and five of those teams pick between No. 11 and 20. With that in mind, it’s fair to wonder whether Ford will be available for Carolina at No. 16 overall.
  • Washington safety Taylor Rapp – widely pegged as a late-first round or second round prospect, will also visit the Panthers on Tuesday, according to Rapoport. Rapp also recently met with the Seahawks.
  • West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell are visiting the Redskins, Rapoport tweets. Grier figures to be available in the middle rounds, but the Redskins will probably have to pounce in the second round if they want Campbell.