The Seattle Seahawks began training camp last Friday and things have already changed. A player has not shown up, another retired, injuries have occurred, and new players have filled the 90-man roster.
Let’s begin with what is on everybody’s mind: Marshawn Lynch. Lynch is holding out of training camp because he wants a contract extension. He is two years into his current contract. The four-year, $31 million deal was front loaded so the Seahawks would have enough money to resign players such as Russell Wilson. Wilson’s rookie contract expires after this season. His contract extension is expected to be worth upwards of $20 million per season.
When ESPN’s John Clayton asked Seahawks General Manager John Schneider if he is concerned about Lynch’s actions, Schneider said, “We love him and respect the guy. I think what he’s done in this community, for this franchise, is outstanding. It’s one of those deals where you can never get inside somebody’s head. We’re just going with our plan, and I know it’s cliché-ish but next man up. We’ve had a plan in place here for a number of years, and we can’t veer from that plan for one person because it’s the ultimate team sport.”
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 29, 2014
Christine Michael and Robert Turbin are taking advantage of Lynch’s absence. The pair have split carries the past few days. Turbin also has a great relationship with Wilson and has roomed with him since their rookie season.
In a press conference Wilson said of Turbin, “We have a very good connection, in terms of talking and thinking on the field and all that. But he’s a guy that is a workhorse. On and off the field, he’s mentally strong. He’s a guy that’s going to always put his best foot forward.
“He always runs the ball into the end zone (after every carry). You’ve got to love that about him.”
Injuries are nothing new to the Seahawks roster. From veterans to rookies the Seahawks are taking a hit. This offseason Kam Chancellor (hip), Bruce Irvin (hip), Russell Okung (foot), and Malcolm Smith (ankle) had surgery. These key veterans are expected to be healthy by the time regular season begins.
Rookies Kevin Norwood (foot), Eric Pinkins (foot) and Jimmy Staten (knee & hamstring) suffered injuries. Anthony McCoy (Achilles) and Korey Toomer (hamstring) are also injured. In addition to all of those injuries, Michael Bowie is sitting out of the right tackle competition against rookie Justin Britt after tweaking his shoulder.
After Sidney Rice announced his retirement, the Seahawks signed wide receiver David Gilreath. Gilreath started his professional football in 2011 and played for six other teams including the Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Oakland Raiders.
Guard C.J Davis, linebacker Brandon Denmark and safety Steven Terrell also signed with the Seahawks. Davis started his NFL career in 2009 with the Carolina Panthers. Last season he signed with the Denver Broncos but was released after training camp. Denmark and Terrell are rookies who were released by the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers respectively.
The Seahawks roster includes eight year veteran tackle Eric Winston, who played for the Arizona Cardinals last year. He has only missed five games in his NFL career. Adding Winston to the roster is a great move. Since Bowie is out with a bad shoulder and rookie Britt is the only other player with experience playing right tackle, Seattle needs a veteran right tackle that can play the position while Britt learns.
It will be interesting to see how the Lynch episode unveils and if Britt ends up playing behind Winston. One thing that stands out, the Seahawks are eager to break the curse of the Super Bowl hangover.