Seahawks Rumors

Bradley McDougald Played On Partially Torn Patellar Tendon

  • Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald is recovering from a recent knee surgery, and now we have more details. McDougald revealed to reporters that he played with a partially torn patellar tendon in his knee from Week 8 on last year, and that he initially tried just rehabbing it before opting for surgery last month, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). McDougald also said “for sure” when asked if he’d be on the field at the start of training camp. McDougald, 28, started all 16 games for Seattle last year after being a part-time starter in 2017.

Latest On Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he expects linebacker Mychal Kendricks to be available this season, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. That is perhaps unsurprising given that Seattle signed Kendricks to a one-year, $4.5MM deal in March, but in light of Kendricks’ legal situation, Carroll’s remarks are still noteworthy. Carroll added that Kendricks himself is optimistic about a favorable resolution to his criminal case (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com).

Kendricks was supposed to face sentencing for insider trading in April, but his sentencing date keeps getting pushed back, and the new date is currently unknown. John P. Gilbert of FieldGulls.com observes that Kendricks’ co-defendant, Damilare Sonoiki — whose sentencing is scheduled for July 15 — petitioned the court for permission to travel in May so that he could seek employment. And as Gilbert points out, it would be curious if Sonoiki filed that petition in search of two-month employment prior to a court appearance that could theoretically send him to jail for a significant stretch, so it sounds as if Sonoiki believes he can avoid prison time entirely.

Since Sonoiki and Kendricks both pleaded guilty to the same crimes, it stands to reason that if Sonoiki can avoid jail time, Kendricks can, too. Kendricks was said to be facing 30 to 37 months in prison.

Carroll could not offer any further comment, but he would obviously love to have a talented LB like Kendricks in the fold. Kendricks made his Seahawks debut — following a post-arrest release from the Browns — in Week 2 of the 2018 season against the Bears, but after some back-and-forth with the league, he was hit with an eight-game suspension in October. His 2018 season ended with 20 tackles and two sacks over the course of four games.

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Jacob Hollister Primed For Big Role With Seahawks?

Back in April, the Seahawks traded a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for tight end Jacob Hollister, and that low-key trade may end up paying major dividends for Seattle.

As Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes, Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has been very impressed by Hollister thus far. Schottenheimer has lauded Hollister’s speed and even compared his route-running abilities to Seattle wideout Tyler Lockett. New England once thought highly of Hollister and envisioned a significant role for him at one point, but his brief career has been marred by injuries, so the Pats were willing to let him go for minimal compensation.

Reiss also believes that the Patriots thought Hollister, who signed with New England as an undrafted free agent in 2017, had plateaued in their system. But even though New England’s own tight end situation is a little murky after Rob Gronkowski‘s retirement, Seattle’s TE depth chart looks even more thin.

The Seahawks did not select a tight end in April’s draft, and the only tight ends with any meaningful experience on the roster are Ed Dickson and Nick Vannett, neither of whom are exactly world beaters. So if Hollister can remain healthy and can continue to impress Seattle’s coaching staff, he could be primed for a big role in 2019.

The 25-year-old has eight catches for 95 yards in his pro career.

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Seahawks Finalize Draft Class Contracts

Linebacker Cody Barton became the latest third-round pick to agree to the terms of his rookie contract. This signing (Instagram link) rounds out the Seahawks’ 2019 rookie deals.

Eighteen third-round picks are still unsigned. This round’s contract agreements drag out every year because of CBA language, but as teams approach minicamps, that number figures to drop dramatically. Barton was Seattle’s lone third-round selection. The Seahawks began this draft with four first-round picks, but numerous trades turned that number into 11.

Chosen 88th overall out of Utah, Barton became the first of two linebackers the Seahawks selected. Ben Burr-Kirven (Washington) joined the team as a fifth-round pick. Both Pac-12 products figure to back up Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Barkevious Mingo as rookies. Barton made a career-high 117 tackles for the Utes as a senior and registered eight sacks between the 2017 and ’18 seasons.

Here is the Seahawks’ 2019 draft class:

Malik McDowell: Seahawks Had Their Own Reasons For Not Letting Me Play

The Seahawks are suing Malik McDowell for the ~$800K that an arbitrator ruled he must pay back to the team, but as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (citing John P. Gilbert of FieldGulls.com) writes, Seattle initially wanted to recover even more.

As Gilbert notes, McDowell’s roughly $3.2MM signing bonus was to be paid out in installments, with about $1.6MM due at signing, $800K due in July 2017, and the final $800K due in July 2018. Seattle paid out the first $2.4MM, so it would seem that the arbitrator would have awarded at least that amount back to the club for McDowell’s breach of his contract (and, per Gilbert, the Seahawks actually asked for the full $3.2MM). But even though the bonus was to be completely paid by July 2018, the cap charges for the bonus were to be spread evenly from 2017-2020 in the amount of $800K per year. Since the Seahawks cut McDowell after the 2018 season, the CBA prohibits them from recovering the 2019-20 allocations totaling $1.6MM. Therefore, Seattle was only entitled to $1.6MM for the 2017-18 cap charges, less the $800K that it did not pay.

All of that is interesting enough, but more interesting is the fact that McDowell himself has taken to Twitter to address the issue (Twitter links 1, 2, 34). Per McDowell, he was cleared by neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher to play football, but the team’s neurologist, Dr. Samuel R. Browd — whom McDowell says specializes in children under the age of two — did not clear him. McDowell suggests that the Seahawks hid behind Browd’s opinion and that the team had its own reasons for not letting him play, though he did not specify what those reasons might be.

After all, one would think that the Seahawks would want a player they just drafted in the second round and to whom they just paid $2.4MM to be a major contributor, so it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which the Seahawks would undermine that player’s efforts to return to the field. And, if McDowell had a legitimate grievance, one would also think that he would have contested the arbitrator’s ruling or appeal it, which he did not do.

Instead, this feels like McDowell’s attempt to suggest to potentially interested clubs that he is, in fact, healthy and ready to play. McDowell’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said in March that his client has been medically cleared by independent doctors, but the only team McDowell has visited after being cut by Seattle, the Cowboys, has been unable to give him a clean bill of health.

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K.J. Wright Expects Bobby Wagner To Re-Sign With Hawks

  • K.J. Wright believes Bobby Wagner will remain with the Seahawks past 2019, Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree writes. “It’s going to be really exciting to see everything pan out. He’s going to be a Seahawk for life.” Acting as his own agent, Wagner said he plans to surpass the $85MM with $43MM guaranteed deal that C.J. Mosley just inked with the Jets.

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.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/29/19

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: G Kofi Amichia
  • Waived: OL Landon Turner

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Released: DT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu

Tennessee Titans

Jets To Interview Paton, Fitterer

The Jets have added two more names to their GM request list. The club has requested interviews with Vikings assistant GM George Paton and Seahawks co-Director of Player Personnel Scott Fitterer, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

[Poll: Who Should Jets Hire?]

Paton has been a prominent GM candidate in the last few offseason cycles, though he has also pulled his name from consideration on multiple occasions, including the Jets’ search that resulted in Mike Maccagnan‘s hire in 2015. In December, it was rumored that Paton was open to finally making a move, so he could be open to running the Jets’ front office.

Fitterer has been in the mix for GM jobs as well, including vacancies with the Chiefs, 49ers, and Colts a couple of years ago. Fitterer’s strength lies in talent evaluation, whereas Paton is viewed as more of a cap guru.

Fitterer and Paton join Eagles exec Joe Douglas and Bears exec Champ Kelly on the Jets’ interview docket.

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Wagner, Seahawks Begin Extension Talks

Had the Seahawks and Bobby Wagner engaged in contract-year negotiations in 2018, this would have probably been an easier process. But the Jets changed the game in March, transforming the off-ball linebacker market by giving C.J. Mosley a five-year, $85MM deal.

With Wagner having accomplished far more than Mosley, it certainly added a major element to the talks with the Seahawks. While the parties had not begun discussions at May’s outset, Wagner confirmed negotiations have started. But it is certain Wagner wants to eclipse the $17MM-per-year number Mosley received.

That is the plan, to break that,” Wagner said, via Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic (subscription required). “… Like I said, it’s a business. If it works out, it does. If not, it’s been cool.”

At this point last year, Jamie Collins‘ $12.5MM-AAV number paced all off-ball linebackers. Now, Mosley leads all second-level defenders with his massive Jets deal. Kwon Alexander (one Pro Bowl) signed for $13.5MM per year, though the 49ers can get out of that contract rather easily after 2019, and Anthony Barr followed suit with the Vikings. Wagner signed a four-year, $43MM deal in 2015. He is due $10.5MM in base salary this season.

Wagner’s four first-team All-Pro honors trail only Luke Kuechly among active non-rush linebackers. The Seahawks opted not to pay Frank Clark, trading him to the Chiefs, so they appear to be planning for a Wagner future. With Earl Thomas also off the books, the Seahawks do not have a non-Wagner defender earning eight figures annually. But moving up to the Mosley tier certainly won’t be easy, given the radical markup. The Seahawks hold $23.9MM in cap space.

For now, the soon-to-be 29-year-old middle linebacker is attending Seahawks workouts but not participating in drills. Pete Carroll called this tactic “a good decision for him right now.”

It’s a tricky situation,” Wagner said. “It’s a business. You get hurt, they don’t pay you, so you got to be mindful of that. Y’all know I’m a professional; I’m going to be in shape. I work out every single day, so y’all don’t have to worry about me being in shape, and my mind is going to always be sharp.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.