Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks' LB K.J. Wright's injury-filled year got a little brighter

usatsi_11667745.jpg
USA Today

Seattle Seahawks' LB K.J. Wright's injury-filled year got a little brighter

Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright has had a season to forget. A knee injury has limited him to three games and the former Pro Bowler will miss his 10th contest of the year on Monday night when the Seahawks host Minnesota in a huge game with playoff implications.

Yet, when it's all said and done Wright, 29, might ultimately remember this year fondly. 

Last week he received one of 32 nominations for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes NFL players for their community service activities and on field excellence.

While the latter has been lacking, Wright’s contributions off the field have been exemplary.

“It’s always been a goal of mine since I stepped in the building,” Wright told reporters when asked about being nominated. “I didn’t know what it was and then I found out about it and I was like, ‘man, I want to be that guy one day.’ So I’m very excited that the community voted me, the people in the organization. I’m pretty proud to represent.”

Here are some highlights of Wright’s work, according to NFL.com:

 

  • Wright raveled to Kenya where he delivered books and helped teach English to children in Kenya's Maasai Mara region.Wright plans to return to Kenya in 2019 and has pledged to donate $300 for every tackle he makes this season. The money will go toward construction of a well to deliver fresh water and to build a primary school in Maasai Mara.
  • Wright joined former Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril on his annual trip to Haiti where he is building a school in La Chanm.
  • Wright also assisted in coaching a youth football camp in Port-au-Prince.
  • Wright mentors area youth through Rainier Athletes, a local program to support and motivate students to achieve their greatest
  • Wright champions the team's Legion of Youth program, which provides Seahawks tickets to community organizations that serve kids throughout the Northwest. 

 

Walter Payton is the NFL’s second all-time leading rusher and was routinely recognized for his charitable work when he played for the Chicago Bears from 1975 through 1987. He passed away in 1999 at the age of 45 because of a rare cancer.

“Man, he and my mom went to the same college,” Wright said. “They both went to Jackson State. He’s just a legend. He’s from Mississippi I believe, so he’s always someone that I’ve watched. He’s just a legend and I didn’t know until I got here how much he did for his community and how much he meant to the city of Chicago as well.”

Wright said his dedication to giving back stems from his grandmother.

“I’ve been like this since I was a kid,” he said. “My grandma, she did a lot of stuff when we were growing up just giving back. We went into St. Jude’s Hospital, we went to visit nursing homes, we went to the middle of Mississippi to just give out clothes and video games – so we’ve always been that kind of family and that’s how I was raised.”

Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said he Wright’s actions reflect his personality.

“I think it just shows his personality, shows he’s a caring person who wants to give back and wants to see everybody around him do well,” Wagner said. “I’m super happy for him, I’m excited for him and it’s a pretty dope moment for him.”

So when will Wright return to the field?

Wright said that Seattle coach Pete Carroll would not allow him to talk about his injury. He missed the first six games before returning for the team’s win at Detroit on Oct. 28. He played in three games before going down again and has missed the team’s last three games. He did not practice this week. Carroll said he is upbeat about Wright’s progress but remains uncertain about his return.

“We’re hopeful,” he said. “Right now, we’re hopeful. We’ve got another month here. Hopefully we can get him back.”

Wright is in the final year of his contract, which recently has meant that Seattle players in that situation have been in their final year with the team. Gone from the team’s Super Bowl winning defense of a few years ago are Avril, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett and Earl Thomas, injured earlier this season, the final year of his deal.

Coming off of a season limited by a knee injury at age 29 could lead Seattle to move on from Wright in the offseason.

Wright said he would certainly like to remain in Seattle even when his playing career comes to an end.

“Me and my wife talked about it,” he said. “It’s either going to be Seattle or Florida. She wants Florida. I said ‘we’re staying here.’ This is home, man. I really love it here. I love the people, love the mountains, the lakes, all that good stuff so I want to stay here.”

 

REPORTS: Seattle Seahawks to keep K.J. Wright and D.J. Fluker, add Mike Iupati

usatsi_10440495.jpg
USA Today

REPORTS: Seattle Seahawks to keep K.J. Wright and D.J. Fluker, add Mike Iupati

According to reports, the Seattle Seahawks are resigning linebacker K.J. Wright and right guard D.J. Fluker

Many thought that Wright, a former Pro Bowler who has been with the team his entire eight-year career, had become expendable after the team resigned linebacker Mychal Kendricks. But it appears that that's not the case. Fluker, who helped bring some nastiness to the offensive line in his first year with the team last season, certainly wasn't expendable, especially after veteran guard J.R. Sweezy signed a two-year deal with Arizona. 

The Seattle Times is reporting that Wright has received a two-year deal worth $15.5 million. 

Seattle responded to the loss of Sweezy by reportedly signing guard Mike Iupati, an eight-year veteran who spent his last four years with the Cardinals. The four-tie Pro Bowler has made 114 career starts. 

Seattle Seahawks appear content with core players, dip toe in free agency

usatsi_11363286.jpg
USA Today

Seattle Seahawks appear content with core players, dip toe in free agency

Well, at least Seattle signed one Pro Bowler, albeit a kicker. So, there's that. 

The first official day of free agency in the NFL came and went on Wednesday with a plethora of big moves going down around the league, just not in the Pacific Northwest. 

Seattle, true to their typical form, largely stayed out of the signing frenzy despite being armed with about $50 million in cap space to work with. The Seahawks did sign Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers away from the New York Jets and reportedly will retain the services of linebacker Mychal Kendricks. The Seattle Tims reported this morning that linebacker K.J. Wright would return to the team.

But that's it. Gone are running back Mike Davis (Chicago), cornerback Justin Coleman (Detroit), guard J.R. Sweezy (Arizona) and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (Minnesota).

So, what does all of this mean?  Well, first and foremost it means that general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll didn't believe that an available free agent would elevate their team that went 10-6 last year into true Super Bowl contention in 2019, or at least at the price tag they would have wanted to spend.

On the other side of the coin is the reality that Seattle is about to pay huge raises to three star players. Defensive end Frank Clark, whom Seattle has franchise tagged, has reportedly stated that he will not sign such a designation and will hold out if he does not receive a long-term deal. Clark, 25, led the team with 13 sacks last season and certainly would have received big money on the open market as an urestricted free agent. He ultimately will eat up a huge chunk of Seattle's available cap space. 

Then there is middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. He has one year remaining on his contract and is coming off of another Pro Bowl season. He will turn 29 in June so one would imagine that an extension with about $35 million in guaranteed money would be coming his way soon. Seattle is unlikely to play hardball with Wagner as it did safety Earl Thomas last offseason. He, by the way, has signed a $55 million deal with Baltimore. 

Quarterback Russell Wilson is also entering the final year of his contract. In a world where Kirk Cousins is being paid about $28 million per year and Jimmy Garoppolo, who has accomplished nothing, receives an average salary of 27.5 million, Wilson should break the bank. His number should start at $30 million per season and could reach $35 million. 

So, while Seattle has cap space to work with, it's looking at about $55 million in annual salary it must pay Wilson, Wagner and Clark in order to retain their services beyond next season.

There's also the matter of resigning free agent right guard D.J. Fluker. That would also appear to be a must. 

Seattle will assuredly make another small move, or two. Most of the big fish have been acquired. Bargains will start to present themselves and the Seahawks will be able to pick up players on the cheap that could have an impact. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is out there. But he will likely be too expensive for Seattle's budget. Teams around the league will also release players during the offseason that could be acquired, just as Seattle did last offseason with Fluker and Sweezy. 

But, for all intents and purposes, the Seahawks are what they are. Is that good enough to reach the Super Bowl? We shall find out. 

It might hurt, but fans on Twitter react to news of Earl Thomas’ departure

usatsi_9661668.jpg
USA Today Images

It might hurt, but fans on Twitter react to news of Earl Thomas’ departure

The Legion of Boom has officially left Seattle.

First there was Richard Sherman, who after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in 2017, departed for the San Francisco 49ers last offseason.

Then there was Kam Chancellor, who sustained a neck injury against Arizona in 2017, that was later revealed as spinal stenosis and bone spurs. The Pro Bowl safety shared news that tests showed no improvement and he would risk paralysis if he ever stepped on the field again. Chancellor remains on the Seahawks roster, but is expected to be released this summer.

And on Tuesday, Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas signed a four-year, $55 million deal with a guarantee of $33 million to join the Baltimore Ravens, ushering in the end of an era in Seattle.

Thomas was selected in the first round of 2010 NFL Draft alongside strong safety Kam Chancellor, who was taken in the fifth round that same year. The following season, cornerback Richard Sherman was chosen by Seattle in the fifth round and defensive back Brandon Browner later signed as an undrafted free agent.

The foursome made up what many will remember as the Legion of the Boom. While the elite group rotated in members over the next few seasons, including Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead and Walter Thurmond to name a few, Thomas, Chancellor and Sherman were the glue that kept it all together.

While Thomas’ recent memories with Seattle are bittersweet, and maybe he was caught on national television making an obscene gesture to the Seahawks sideline, the 30-year-old’s time in Seattle won’t be forgotten.

12s took to Twitter to thank Thomas for everything he had done for the city of Seattle.

And Thomas has a lot of love for the fans in Seattle, too.

Seattle will reunite with Thomas later this year, as the Ravens take on the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The date has yet to be announced. 

REPORT: Seahawks sign Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers

usatsi_12065835.jpg
USA Today

REPORT: Seahawks sign Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers

The Seattle Seahawks have made a big splash in free agency. That is, if one considers signing a kicker much of a splash. But in this case, it just might be.

After one year with 40-year-old Sebastian Janikowski handling kicking duties, the Seahawks have reportedly come to terms with kicker Jason Myers on a four-year deal worth roughly $15 million. ESPN first reported the story. 

Myers, 27, spent last season with the New York Jets after playing his first three years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He actually began the 2018 season in training camp with the Seahawks before being released in favor of Janikowski.

Myers ended up with the Jets and made the AFC Pro Bowl team after making 33 of 36 field goals. He proved quite accurate from long distance, making six of seven on kicks 50 yards or more and 11 of 12 from between 40 and 49 yards. All told, he made 91.7 percent of his attempts for the season. 

The acquisition of Myers, out of Marist, gives Seattle two Pro Bowl kicking specialists. Rookie punter Michael Dickson was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team last season. 

Janikowski, who turned 41 on Mar. 2, performed admirably last season by making 22-of-27 field goals (81.4 percent). He connected on game-winners in the final seconds at Arizona, at Carolina and home against the Cardinals.

Seattle signed kicker Sam Ficken to a futures contract last month.

Note: Former Seattle backup quarterback Brett Hundley has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, according to reports. Hundley attended high school in Chandler, Ariz. 

 

Free Agency News: Earl Thomas to sign with the Baltimore Ravens

usatsi_8987865.jpg
usa today img.

Free Agency News: Earl Thomas to sign with the Baltimore Ravens

Earl Thomas is finally getting paid. One of the biggest free agency questions has been answered. Former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

First reported by Adam Schefter:

Thomas’ contract is for four years, $55 million dollars ($32 million fully guaranteed) and $22 million in the first nine months alone. 

After an long offseason of contract negotiations and just four weeks into the regular season, Earl Thomas had played his last game in the Seahawks jersey after suffering a season-ending injury against the Arizona Cardinals.

Now in NFL free agency, Thomas joins the Ravens’ secondary alongside Tony Jefferson, who recorded 53 tackles last season. In other Ravens news, Baltimore also signed former New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram to a three-year deal worth $15 million dollars. 

The Seattle Seahawks will host the Baltimore Ravens during the 2019 regular season.

Seattle Seahawks lose guard J.R. Sweezy to Arizona Cardinals

usatsi_11667841.jpg
USA Today

Seattle Seahawks lose guard J.R. Sweezy to Arizona Cardinals

According to reports, guard J.R. Sweezy will leave Seattle in order to sign a two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.

Sweezy, who started for the Seahawks' Super Bowl teams, returned to Seattle last season after being released by Tampa Bay. His veteran experience and knowledge of Seattle's system allowed him to have a big impact on the Seahawks going from one of the most suspect offensive lines in the NFL in 2017 to helping the team leading the league in rushing in 2018. 

The loss of Sweezy could put the team in the market for another veteran guard, even if Seattle decides to go with former second-round pick Ethan Pocic at left guard.

Right guard D.J. Fluker, signed as a free agent last summer, is again a free agent this offseason. Seattle could ill-afford to lose both Sweezy and Fluker. 

Other free agency moves as of March 12 at 5 PM (PT):

Backup running back Mike Davis is expected to sign with Chicago for $6 million over two years. Cornerback Justin Coleman will sign with Detroit and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen is reportedly headed back to Minnesota after spending one season with the Seahawks.

 

Seattle Seahawks shouldn't hesitate to offer Frank Clark long-term deal

usatsi_11921146.jpg
USA Today

Seattle Seahawks shouldn't hesitate to offer Frank Clark long-term deal

The Seattle Seahawks last week placed the franchise tag on defensive end Frank Clark and he isn't having any parts of that nonsense.

According to reports, Clark has no plans to sign his franchise tag, which would pay him about $17 million for one season, and could end up holding out until the Seahawks sign him to a long-term extension.

Good for him. Shame on Seattle if it doesn't get this taken care of sooner rather than later. The hunch here is that the Seahawks, who used the tag to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Clark before he became an unrestricted free agent, will get a deal done before training camp starts.

Here is why: 

First and foremost, Clark has developed into an elite pass rusher in a league where offenses are running amok like never before and if you cannot pressure the quarterback you're dead in the water. Seattle spent a second-round pick in Clark in 2015 and after producing just three sacks as a rookie, he has put up 32 over the past three seasons with a high of 13 last year. Clark will turn 26 on June 14 so he is just about to enter his prime years.

Next, allowing the Clark situation to fester would be a bad look for Seattle. Why spend a second-round draft pick on a player, hope he pans out, watch him develop into a star, then allow him to walk or holdout because you don't want to pay him? That would simply be foolish. Now, if another team offers a great trade package that simply cannot be refused, then deal the player. Otherwise, a team must sign its star player or risk looking cheap and alienating the rest of the roster that wants to win and also someday get paid big bucks.

Finally, Seattle has routinely taken care of its players entering their prime. Yes, Seattle played hardball with running back Marshawn Lynch, cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas with mixed results. But those respective contract forks in the road occurred when each player was around 30 and coming off of a big contract. Seattle had taken care of all three with big money deals while they were in their mid 20s. So, there is no comparing the Clark situation with, say, Thomas, who last year held out of training camp while entering the final season of his deal.

Seattle had no plans of keeping the 29-year-old Thomas beyond last season or paying him the guaranteed money he sought, especially coming off of the Kam Chancellor situation. Chancellor signed an extension in 2017 with one year remaining on his deal and ended up injuring his neck and will never play again. Meanwhile, Seattle is on the hook for more about $25 million in guaranteed money owed to the former Pro Bowl safety. 

Teams are always taking a chance when signing a player to a long-term deal, but it's best to do so when a player is in his mid 20s rather than in his late 20s or early 30s. 

The fact is that Seattle has a very good player that it has invested a second-round pick and time into, who has delivered on the field and is entering his prime. That is the type of talent one locks down in a hurry.

Seattle has until July 15th to do so before Clark must play the 2019 season on the franchise tag or sit out, ala Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell, and nobody in the Northwest wants to follow that type of mess. 

Seattle Seahawks slap franchise tag on DE Frank Clark

usatsi_11947766.jpg
USA Today

Seattle Seahawks slap franchise tag on DE Frank Clark

Seattle coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider both stated last week at the NFL Scouting Combine that unrestricted free agent defensive end Frank Clark would be with the team in 2019. That meant that he would either sign a long-term deal or that the Seahawks would prevent him from leaving by placing the franchise tag on the former 2015 second-round pick. 

The latter turned out to be the plan. At least for the time being. 

By placing the franchise tag on Clark before Tuesday's deadline, Seattle now has exclusive negotiating rights with their best pass rusher who had 13 sacks last season and has 35 for his four-year career. If the two don't reach a deal on a long-term contract before July 15, Clark must play next season at a salary of $17.2 million and then become a free agent again next offseason. 

That's a lot of coin for Seattle to pay for one season and there's little doubt that Clark would rather have signed a long-term deal worth more guaranteed money. So, expect the Seahawks to work diligently to lock down Clark, 25, on a multi-year deal as soon as possible. 

“It is ultimately (the goal), yeah,” Carroll told reporters at the combine, according to Seahawks.com. “Frankie just turned 25, he's still a very young football player. Made a huge step this year in terms of leadership, growth and maturity. It was so obvious. I was really proud of seeing that develop for Frank. He played great too. Frank, he's a very valuable football player and that's the process we're in the middle of and all that, I can't tell you guys how that's going to turn out, but it's going to be positive for the Seahawks and for Frank."

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wishes Earl Thomas well in free agency

usatsi_12253355.jpg
USA Today

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wishes Earl Thomas well in free agency

Seattle coach Pete Carroll met with the media this morning at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., and based on his comments it's safe to say that safety Earl Thomas' days in Seattle are over.

Carroll didn't say that, and neither did general manager John Schneider during his press conference on Wednesday, but neither indicated that the Seahawks would enter into discussions with the All Pro safety. 

"It's a great opportunity for Earl, to have the free agency status now," Carroll told reporters. "The play that he showed last year ws extraordinary. He was on fire, until he got banged up...I'm excited to watch and see what he does."

Thomas held out during training camp before returning to play in the first four games. He broke his leg at Arizona in Week 4. 

On tight end Will Dissly: Rookie tight end Will Dissly had a strong start to his career until he suffered a patella tendon injury at Arizona. Carroll said that Dissly might not be ready for training camp, but the team remains excited about what he could add next season. 

"Will had a really good start to the season last year," Carroll said. "He came out, probably surprised everybody that he would be so dynamic with the ball in his hands. Run after catch. He fit us exactly the way he had hoped. That was one of those draft picks that we were just sweating out the whole way and hoping that he would get to us because we needed him badly."

Veteran tight end Ed Dickson returned from injury shortly after Dissly went down, lessing the blow of losing the rookie out of Washington. When Dissly returns next season, the Seahawks will be set with three quality tight ends, including Nick Vannett, to choose from. 

"Will is working really hard," Carroll said. "He's coming back. He's going to be right in the middle of the action because he can catch it. He is a nice route runner. He is a formidable blocker."