After safety Earl Thomas skipped the Seahawks‘ mandatory minicamp, ESPN.com writers huddled up suggest hypothetical trade scenarios for the Pro Bowler. The Cowboys and Chargers, they say, could offer draft picks, while the Patriots’ beat writer suggests a one-for-one deal with right guard Shaq Mason going to Seattle.
- Speaking of injuries affecting camp battles, Brandon Marshall also had toe surgery this offseason, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. The Seahawks already shelved the 13th-year pass-catcher in minicamp because of a hamstring issue, and it appears Marshall — who missed most of 2017 due to ankle surgery — may have a tough time on multiple fronts in making the team. Beyond Doug Baldwin, the Seahawks have Tyler Lockett and now Jaron Brown. They drafted Amara Darboh in the third round last year, and Henderson notes they are high on 2017 seventh-rounder David Moore.
Seahawks third-round pick Rasheem Green has signed his rookie contract, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). With the defensive end in the fold, the Seahawks now have all nine members of their rookie class under contract.
Green, a USC product, started all 14 games at defensive tackle last year and led the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and ten sacks. At the pro level, he profiles as a defensive end behind starters Dion Jordan and Frank Clark.
Here’s the full rundown of the Seahawks’ draft class:
- 1-27: Rashaad Penny, RB (San Diego State): Signed
- 3-79: Rasheem Green, DE (USC): Signed
- 4-120: Will Dissly, TE (Washington): Signed
- 5-141: Shaquem Griffin, DE (UCF): Signed
- 5-146: Tre Flowers, S (Oklahoma State): Signed
- 5-149: Michael Dickson, P (Texas): Signed
- 5-168: Jamarco Jones, T (Ohio State): Signed
- 6-186: Jacob Martin, LB (Temple): Signed
- 7-220: Alex McGough, QB (Florida International): Signed
Draft pick signings are largely a formality under the current collective bargaining agreement, but third round negotiations sometimes take a bit longer due to flexibility in base salary. Still, contracts for third round picks are coming along faster than first round picks this year. There are now four unsigned third-round picks remaining, versus 14 unsigned first-round selections.
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- Byron Maxwell‘s enjoyed an up-and-down career, but as of now, he’s the favorite to start opposite Shaquill Griffin for the Seahawks, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com notes. He will be playing the same spot he did in Super Bowl XLIX, right cornerback, after the team moved Griffin to Richard Sherman‘s old left corner position. Maxwell’s experience on the right side was one of the reasons the Seahawks relocated Griffin, Pete Carroll said.
The Seahawks signed Brandon Marshall only two weeks before their minicamp, but they will have to wait until training camp to see how much the 34-year-old wide receiver has left. Due to a hamstring injury, Marshall did not participate in any team drills at the remaining Seattle OTA sessions nor at the team’s minicamp. Marshall was already coming off an injury, with his 2017 season ending early thanks to ankle surgery, but Pete Carroll said the 13th-year pass-catcher should be ready to go by the time the team reconvenes for training camp.
- 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said he experienced Achilles issues during his final offseason workouts with the Seahawks, and the problem worsened in last year’s training camp. Once the regular season began, Sherman said he knew this was a significant issue. “We just kind of babied it as long as we could,” Sherman said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “But you can’t baby it in a game.” The eighth-year corner did not participate in team drills yet with the 49ers but is expected to in camp.
- Seahawks‘ 2018 seventh-round pick Alex McGough stood out this spring and has a legitimate chance to be Russell Wilson‘s backup this year, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta also notes that Seattle’s first-round choice, Rashaad Penny, has looked the part and has also shown improvement in his pass-blocking technique, which will help him see more of the field this year.
- Sebastian Janikowski‘s nearly 20-year run with the Raiders came to an end when the team let him walk in free agency this spring. Janikowski ended up signing with the Seahawks, and now finds himself in a battle with Jason Myers to replace Blair Walsh as the Seahawks‘ kicker. Janikowski appears to have a leg up in the competition, and has been “working with the starting unit” this offseason according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
The 2014 first round produced some of the NFL’s best players, and they comprise part of an extensive group of that skipped minicamp and could well be training camp holdouts. But several other standout players didn’t show for their respective teams’ mandatory workouts either. Here’s a look on where things stand with this absent contingent.
Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams: The reigning defensive player of the year is holding out for a second straight summer. He skipped the Rams’ minicamp, as expected, and remains focused on a landscape-changing deal. Both Donald and Khalil Mack are in line to eclipse Von Miller‘s $19MM annual salary, but the California-based franchises may be hesitant to be the first to authorize a $20MM-per-year pact for a defender. However, Les Snead‘s already conceded the Rams will have to finalize a Donald deal that makes him the league’s highest-paid defender. But with the Broncos superstar having signed his extension in a $155MM cap year, it’s likely Donald’s camp — particularly on the heels of a season where the all-world interior defender won DPOY honors after his holdout induced a two-game absence — is targeting a figure well north of Miller’s, with the cap now at $177.2MM.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals: Unlike Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers, this process features no immediate deadline. But Johnson’s contract expires after this season, with no fifth-year option available to the franchise. Johnson and the Cards are engaging in extension discussions, and Steve Keim said this week — as his All-Pro back skipped minicamp — the team looks forward to signing Johnson long-term.
This has not proven to be an acrimonious situation, but Johnson is on a slightly different timetable than Bell. Despite being a fourth-year player compared to Pittsburgh’s All-Pro entering his sixth season, Johnson is a few months older than Bell and will turn 27 in December. However, it may be in his best interests to wait and see what happens with Bell by the July 16 franchise tag extension deadline.
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons: The NFL’s seen its wide receiver salary landscape shift since Jones signed his extension in August 2015. That contract made Jones the NFL’s highest-paid wideout, but seven receivers have since surpassed him. This includes Sammy Watkins and slot target Jarvis Landry, who respectively signed 2018 deals for $16MM and $15.1MM annually. Atlanta’s top weapon wants a revised contract and skipped OTAs and minicamp, and the Falcons are discussing such an amendment.
Jones has three seasons and minimal guarantees remaining on his deal, which averages $14.25MM per year. The team’s response a Jones camp proposal did not meet with the group’s approval, but the sides continue to negotiate. The 29-year-old pass-catcher said recently he has no intentions of forcing his way out of Atlanta.
Taylor Lewan, Tennessee Titans: The left tackle is part of the 2014 first-round contingent entering fifth-year option seasons, and he joined some of the group’s higher-profile players in skipping mandatory June workouts. Jon Robinson said upon being informed of Lewan’s impending minicamp absence that the parties are participating in ongoing re-up dialogue, but as recently as late May, no reports indicated this was the case.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Lewan is entering his age-27 season and is now shooting for Nate Solder‘s $15.5MM-AAV standard. That’s $2MM-plus more than any other left tackle makes, and the Giants authorized that contract amid free agency circumstances. This will complicate matters for Lewan and other extension-seeking tackles. Lewan’s option season is set to be worth $9.341MM.
Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders: After not joining Donald in a 2017 holdout, despite being in essentially the same situation, Mack is doing so this year. He has not reported to the Raiders this offseason. The 2016 defensive player of the year saw 2014 draftee teammates Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson sign lucrative extensions, only to see the Raiders put his on hold — mirroring other teams’ processes with ’14 first-rounders — because of the franchise-friendly fifth-year option. Reggie McKenzie‘s maintained the franchise intends to extend Mack in 2018 and said other players’ situations aren’t factoring into these discussions. Though, it’d be hard to believe Donald’s process isn’t impacting Mack’s at all.
The Raiders and Mack weren’t close on terms in April, but both Carr and Jackson signed their extensions in June of last year, perhaps pointing to a near-future resolution. Unlike the Rams, however, the Raiders have a top-tier quarterback salary on their books. That could cause issues elsewhere on the roster. Although, the cap’s perpetual rise negates some of those potential problems.
Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks: Perhaps the most interesting of these situations, the Seahawks have dangled Thomas in trades but expect him to report for training camp. Like Jones, Thomas saw several at his position usurp him in the salary hierarchy since signing an extension. Thomas signed a $10MM-AAV contract to make him the highest-paid safety in 2014. Again in a contract year, he’s threatened a holdout for months and is following through. The Cowboys and Seahawks discussed a draft-weekend deal for the three-time All-Pro. While Dallas balked about sending a second-round pick for the 29-year-old defender, the teams may well revisit these talks.
Either way, Thomas is going to want Eric Berry money ($13MM AAV) on his third contract. With Richard Sherman in San Francisco and Kam Chancellor‘s career in doubt, Thomas is the last remaining member of the Legion of Boom. It’s just uncertain if he’ll finish out his second contract in Seattle or be shipped elsewhere and end that dominant era.
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Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright is entering the final year of his contract and is quietly hoping for an extension.
“I want to be here, of course,’’ Wright said (via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times). “The Seahawks know that. Whatever they want to do, they’ll do. It’s my job to be the best that I could be, to make sure that K.J. and this defense is good. They know what it is and let’s get something done.”