Seahawks Rumors

NFC West Notes: Avril, Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers

Cliff Avril indicated earlier this offseason he wanted to resume his career, despite the severe neck injury he suffered in 2017 ending his time with the Seahawks. Three months have passed since reports of Avril interest surfaced, and the 2016 Pro Bowler appears to be moving closer to full retirement.

Avril began dabbling in radio shortly after his Seahawks release, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes he now has an every-day hosting gig. However, the 32-year-old former Lion and Seahawk is mentoring one of the players competing to take his old job. Condotta writes Avril has been mentoring 2016 fifth-rounder Quinton Jefferson while hosting a daytime radio show. It’s uncertain if he’s regained clearance to play again. Should that happen in the near future, Avril may have another chance. But as of now, it looks like Avril’s played his last NFL down.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC West:

  • Josh Rosen looking ready for potential near-future action may not mean Mike Glennon’s roster spot is in jeopardy. The Cardinals’ injuries at quarterback last season serve as a warning of what can happen, Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com tweets. Plus, with Sam Bradford serving as the starter, it’s obviously critical to stockpile depth. Glennon, the Bears’ starter to begin last season, signed for two years and $8MM. It would not save the Cards any money to cut him.
  • Jamar Taylor is still the frontrunner to be the Cardinals’ Week 1 starter opposite Patrick Peterson, Jurecki tweets. The Browns traded the once-embattled cornerback to the Cardinals this offseason – the second time Taylor’s been shipped elsewhere by a new regime – and he’s leading a race for a job that’s been one of the NFL’s biggest trouble spots in recent years.
  • John Lynch said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle) Jerick McKinnon will be out for the remainder of the preseason because of the calf strain he suffered in the 49ers’ first exhibition game. The 49ers don’t have a deep running back depth chart, and No. 2 back Matt Breida is also dealing with an injury. San Francisco signed Alfred Morris recently. He and Joe Williams figure to see more time while the top two ball carriers are on the shelf.
  • Mike Person’s received the bulk of the first-team work at right guard for the 49ers and is a threat to be the Week 1 starter, despite the franchise having used a first-round pick on Joshua Garnett two years ago and having added Jonathan Cooper this offseason, Branch notes. Although the 30-year-old Person would seemingly be a longshot to claim this job, the injury histories of Cooper and Garnett give him a better shot than he’d have under ordinary circumstances. Garnett spent all of last season on IR, and Cooper has struggled with a litany of maladies in his five-year career. Person was a full-time starter at center for the 2015 Falcons.

Pete Carroll On Cutting Marcus Smith

Seahawks Cut DE Marcus Smith

The Seahawks have released defensive end Marcus Smith, the team announced. The move comes as a surprise since he was projected to be a part of their pass-rush rotation this season.

Smith missed the last two days of Seahawks practice as he dealt with what coach Pete Carroll termed as a family issue. In any case, he’ll be looking for a new club as the start of the season draws near.

Smith flamed out as a former first-round pick of the Eagles and was waived last summer. He signed on with the Seahawks and played a bit in a reserve role. In 252 snaps, Smith had 14 tackles and 2.5 sacks. In March, he was re-signed to a one-year deal worth up to $2.7MM.

The Seahawks project to start Frank Clark and Dion Jordan (if the stress issue in his leg heals up in time) in Week 1. With Smith out of the picture, they’ll be leaning a bit more heavily on third-round choice Rasheem Green for support. Braden Jackson and Quinton Jefferson are also among those pushing for time at the bookends.

In related moves, the Seahawks also waived Elijah Battle and signed running back Justin Stockton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Won’t Negotiate With Earl Thomas

An Earl Thomas return to the Seahawks will have to be on his current contract, because the team has no intention of relenting in this standoff. 

The Seahawks have no plans to discuss a new deal with Thomas, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports. No negotiations are taking place, either, Condotta hears. Pete Carroll said he has not talked to his top safety this week.

Thomas has been away from the team throughout 2018, and the Seahawks don’t intend to allow him to return free of charge, either.

Unlike the NFC West rival Rams’ decision to waive Aaron Donald’s fines after his unsuccessful holdout concluded last year, the Seahawks do plan to collect fines from Thomas if/once he returns. The Seahawks will attempt to collect approximately $1.2MM from Thomas, Condotta reports.

Thomas said he won’t report to the Seahawks without a new deal, wanting either a trade or an extension. This impasse shows no signs of slowing down. Seattle may still want at least as second-round pick for its three-time All-Pro safety, Condotta notes, with Dallas still being the most likely buyer. The sides talked during the draft but could not strike a deal.

Although, the latest Seattle standoff with a safety hasn’t affected the team like the previous holdout did, per Condotta. Kam Chancellor’s 2015 holdout lasted for two games but occurred when the Seahawks resided as the defending NFC champions. They now appear closer to a rebuild than a Super Bowl run, and Condotta notes the Thomas issue has barely come up during Hawks camp.

Tedric Thompson has replaced Thomas with the Seahawks’ first-stringers, joining Bradley McDougald.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Colts, Seahawks, Marshall, Jets, Vikings

Aside from Anthony Castonzo and Ryan Kelly, the Colts will deploy a retooled offensive line this season. They added some new parts by way of draft picks and free agents but are attempting an experiment at right tackle. Second-round guard Braden Smith has worked at right tackle this week, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star notes.

This may spell trouble for Austin Howard’s chances of making the roster, with Keefer adding Indy brass is “clearly” not high on the veteran signing right now. The Colts are as of now slotting Matt Slauson at right guard, and with Smith previously serving as the free agent addition’s backup there, the team is trying him out on the outside — where less competition appears to exist.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Brandon Marshall’s played with more quarterbacks than most wide receivers of his caliber have, having now been on six teams. He’s not a lock to catch passes from Russell Wilson this season, but the 34-year-old wideout’s chances of making the Seahawks’ 53-man roster may be improving. Marshall and Wilson have developed a solid rapport over the past two weeks, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com writes. Marshall was only given $90K guaranteed and missed minicamp because of a hamstring injury, this coming after extensive rehab from ankle surgery. With Doug Baldwin out for the remainder of the preseason, Marshall’s seen plenty of reps with Seattle’s first-stringers, alongside Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown, per Henderson.
  • The Jets will have to find a new ace contract negotiator. Jets director of football administration Jackie Davidson is leaving the franchise, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). Davidson negotiated contracts for the Jets. However, the team looks to have a replacement lined up. David Socie is set to replace Davidson, Costello adds. Socie worked under previous Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, per Costello (on Twitter), and also spent time at the league office.
  • One of the Vikings’ backups has encountered some off-the-field trouble. Anthony Barr’s reserve option, Antwione Williams, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor careless-driving charge, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Williams was arrested in May in Edina, Minn., on suspicion of drunken driving. He spent last season on the Vikings’ practice squad and signed a reserve/futures deal in January.

Seahawks Sign LB Erik Walden

The Seahawks have signed linebacker Erik Walden, according to an announcement from his agents. Walden, who is pehaps best known for his time with the Colts, spent last season with the Titans.

Walden has managed to put together ten-year NFL career despite being selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. After serving as a starter with the Colts for four seasons (including a 2016 campaign where he compiled 11 sacks), the 32-year-old (33 later this month) spent last season as a backup with the Titans. He finished the year with 36 tackles and four sacks in 16 games.

In 2016, Walden amassed an eye-popping 11 sacks. Despite the gaudy total, he did not find an NFL home until late July of last year. His offseason took a similar trajectory this year.

The Seahawks project to start Barkevious Mingo, Bobby Wagner, and K.J. Wright at linebacker in their 4-3 scheme. D.J. Alexander, Josh Forrest, and rookies Shaquem Griffin and Jake Martin are among the reserve LBs under contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks’ Rashaad Penny Has Surgery

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny had surgery on Wednesday morning to fix a broken finger, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. The recovery is estimated to take 3-4 weeks, which puts the Seahawks’ top running back up against the start of the season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

While there is some doubt about Penny’s availability for Week 1, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter links) has received largely positive news about the rookie. One source tells Schefter that Penny “should be ready” for the season opener and another says Penny “would have played with it if this were late season/playoffs.” Schefter also notes that baseball standout Robinson Cano once had the same surgery and he was back in action within three weeks.

Penny, the No. 27 overall pick in this year’s draft, is expected to be the Seahawks’ leading rusher this season. If he misses time, the Seahawks can turn to backups Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise, and J.D. McKissic, but they have not received consistent production from those players in the past.

If Penny misses more time than expected, the Seahawks can consider a free agent running back market that still includes Orleans DarkwaAdrian Peterson, and Jamaal Charles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/14/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

San Francisco 49ers

  • Waived: OL Alan Knott

Seattle Seahawks

  • Waived from injured reserve: OL Avery Young

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/12/18

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Waived: OL Leon Johnson

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

New Orleans Saints

  • Waived:G Trevor Darling

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans