Seattle Seahawks: Early impressions from training camp

Today is the first practice of training camp for the Seattle Seahawks, but several new developments have arisen before the defending Super Bowl champions have even put pads on.

First, wide receiver Sidney Rice has retired due to his history of injuries.

Football fans are now getting used to players retiring a bit early to save themselves from more recurring injuries like concussions. It’s a certainly understandable decision for players to avoid more blows to the head. They hear about former players like Junior Seau and they think, “I don’t want that to be me,” so they cash in their chips. I know I would be afraid of concussions, so Rice’s retirement does not disappoint me.

Sure, I thought maybe this season Rice would go out and prove that he still deserved a chance despite the many young receivers circling him on the roster. But this is just a game, after all, and a person’s health and safety certainly is top priority.

Rice, when he was healthy, was a solid possession receiver and a nice target in the red zone. He will be missed, but it seems like he is eager to explore this next chapter of his life. I’m sure all Seattle fans wish him the best.

His departure makes things look even better for Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood. The position battle at wide receiver should not cool down though. Other unknown guys like Chris Matthews can really fight for a prominent spot, and I’m excited to see which young receivers shine the most as camp begins.Seattle Seahawks

And then there’s the Marshawn Lynch development. The star running back had threatened to skip minicamp in June but ended up showing, but this time around it seems more serious. With Jamaal Charles’ latest deal that pays him bigger (and well-deserved) money, it seems Lynch is seeking a similar reward for his work last year.

While Lynch has put up nice numbers since being traded to Seattle in 2010, I am severely disappointed with this holdout that was first reported by Lynch’s close friend Michael Robinson of NFL Network.

Yes, he was a focal point of the Seahawks offense last season. Yes, he’s a terrific, bruising back. But he does not deserve to hold out for more money when he just signed an extension in 2012 that is currently paying him a base salary of $5 million. That four year, $31 million deal was signed only a couple years ago. He needs to honor that deal.

As Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times wrote, the 28 year old Lynch is probably holding out for more money up front this year in case he is released next year. The final year of his current deal has more lucrative bonuses attached to a $5.5 million base.

I can understand wanting to look out for oneself, but he’s already making plenty of money, and that extension is so recent that he shouldn’t be trying to mess with it. Honor the deal and play hard is what I would tell Lynch. If he does that and has similar success, he will find a new deal after this one expires.

I really hope the Seahawks don’t blink first, and I don’t believe they will. They have Robert Turbin and Christine Michael waiting in the wings to take over in case this holdout is prolonged. Plus, Pete Carroll wasn’t going to play Lynch a lot in the preseason, as reported by the Times.

Marshawn Lynch has done a lot for the Seattle Seahawks, but his current deal is more than generous to a running back playing in a pass-happy NFL. He should deflate his ego, come in to camp, and just be about that action……..boss.

  • julian rogers

    Nice article, Ken. There once was a time when Sidney Rice was far more than a possession receiver and good red zone target. Sad to see him end his career this way but it does sound like he’s got his head on his shoulders straight. I agree that Lynch is playing a losing hand. His age and contract point to Seattle using Turbin and Michael to a much greater extent this year. When he returns, his numbers will go down — and he knows it. That’s why he’s trying this hail mary attempt at a contract renegotiation. He won’t get it. He doesn’t have the leverage.