Seahawks Rumors

More On Russell Wilson, Seahawks

After the Seahawks and Russell Wilson agreed to a massive four-year, $140MM extension, the parties held a press conference that produced several interesting nuggets:

  • The team’s decision to include a no-trade clause helped seal the deal, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. That is an interesting note in light of previous reports that Wilson was only inclined to remain in Seattle if the team gave him top-dollar, but that he may have been willing to accept less from another club, like the Giants. But perhaps, even if those rumors were true, once Wilson committed to the Seahawks, he wanted to make sure he would only be leaving the club on his terms.
  • Although any issues that player and team might have had are often swept under the rug after a contract gets hammered out, Wilson said he intends to remain in Seattle for his entire career. He said he wants to have a 20-year playing career — meaning he’d be playing until he is 43 — and he said he wants to “wear the blue and green forever” (Twitter link via Condotta).
  • Seahawks GM John Schneider said that Wilson’s April 15 deadline to get a deal done was a good idea for both sides. Schneider said, “The April 15th deal for us was a good idea. The last [negotiation between Wilson and the Seahawks], quite frankly, took too long and took a lot of energy away from what we’re supposed to be doing. We thought it was a good idea on their part and worked out for both sides because we had to know what was going on, be able to clear our minds and be right” (via Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk).
  • Wilson, of course, agreed, saying, “I remember the first time, the other contract, it was one of those things that took us all away to the summertime, right before training camp — literally to 11:50 that night and everything else. The next day, we were practicing. For me, and for everyone involved really — the whole organization — it was really more so of a ‘Hey, let’s make sure we don’t have to drag out this whole process.'”
  • Head coach Pete Carroll, whose contract now expires before Wilson’s, emphasized the importance of Wilson remaining with the team for years. Carroll said, “For the continuity of this program, for the continuity of the following, all the fans who have known who we are and how we like to play and Russ has ignited an energy about the games that we play and the style from the offensive side. I thought it was really important for us. We think we have a really good team and we’re really fired up about it, and to be able to maintain this continuity was extremely important for us.”

Seahawks OT George Fant Signs RFA Tender

Seahawks offensive tackle George Fant has signed his second-round restricted free agent tender, while defensive end Quinton Jefferson has signed his original round RFA tender, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.

A collegiate basketball player with only one year of NCAA football experience (which came as a tight end), Fant went undrafted in 2016 but still managed to start 10 games during his rookie campaign in Seattle. A torn ACL cost Fant the 2017 season, but he rebounded to appear in all 16 games and play 35% of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps in 2018.

Fant, who will now collect a $3.095MM base salary next year, graded out well in 2018, with Pro Football Focus ranking him as the No. 26 offensive tackle among 80 qualifiers. While he won’t be locked in as a starter heading into next season, Fant could compete with former fist-round pick Germain Ifedi for playing time at right tackle.

In addition to Fant and Jefferson, the Seahawks have also re-signed the following exclusive rights free agents:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Meeting With Liuget, Woods

Two more veteran defensive linemen are visiting the Seahawks. In addition to Allen Bailey heading to Seattle for a meeting, Corey Liuget and Al Woods will follow suit, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

This marks Liuget’s second meeting of the offseason, with the longtime Chargers interior defender having met with the Giants recently. The Chargers released Liuget earlier this offseason. While the Bolts were believed to be open about re-signing Liuget at a reduced rate, no rumors of a reunion have surfaced since.

Liuget signed a lucrative Chargers deal in 2015 but did not live up to it. A suspension and pay cut ensued, and the Bolts cut bait prior to that contract’s final season. The 29-year-old Liuget played in six games last season, starting three. The former first-round pick started 103 games for the Bolts but only recorded three sacks over the past three seasons.

The Lions brought in Woods for a visit last month. The 32-year-old nose tackle has played for five teams, including the Seahawks (for two games in 2011), in his nine-year career. Woods started 24 games for the Colts over the past two seasons.

Pete Carroll mentioned earlier this offseason the Seahawks would like to further fortify their defensive tackle corps, so one of the Bailey-Liuget-Woods trio may be set to sign. Bailey and Liuget have been used mostly as 3-4 defensive ends during their careers, while Woods has played almost exclusively inside. Both Woods and Liuget graded better as run-stoppers last season, per Pro Football Focus, though Bailey saw far more action (959 snaps).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Russell Wilson’s New Deal

On Tuesday, the Seahawks agreed to make quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history. The historic four-year, $140MM add-on makes Wilson the NFL’s highest-paid player of all time and even gives him a no-trade clause. However, Wilson didn’t necessarily get everything that he initially wanted. 

There was talk that Wilson wanted to set some other precedents with this contract by tying the contract to rises in the salary cap, but the Seahawks held their ground on that front, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times hears. That was no small matter for Wilson and his agent – they fought for the cap tie-in up until the last minute of the Monday deadline, per Condotta.

Ultimately, the two sides reached a compromise that Wilson is surely happy about. His $65MM is the highest signing bonus in NFL history and the deal guarantees him $70MM in the first year of the contract.

Still, Wilson’s bid to tie his contract to the salary cap made sense. When adjusted for cap inflation, his $35MM/year deal ranks only as the fifth-highest of all-time, according to Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap (on Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Chatter Surrounding Frank Clark?

In extending Russell Wilson, the Seahawks took care of their signature piece of offseason business on Tuesday. But more key contract negotiations loom, with Bobby Wagner entering a contract year and Frank Clark having yet to sign his franchise tender. It appears the trade talk surrounding Clark has not totally died down. This week has produced some chatter around the league about a Clark swap, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweets. This comes shortly after a report indicated the Seahawks rebuffed outside interest in Clark at the outset of free agency and would only trade the impact defensive end if they were overwhelmed by an offer. Clark has said he will not report to Seahawks training camp without a long-term deal, so this obviously qualifies as a situation worth monitoring.

NFL Draft Rumors: Brown, Samuel, Ford

The 49ers will host Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown and South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Neither player is in the mix for the Niners at No. 2 overall, but both could be an option further down the line.

Right now, it seems likely that Brown will be a first rounder, making him unlikely to be available when the 49ers pick again at No. 36 overall. Still, crazier things have happened and the Niners could always trade up if they want Brown badly enough. Samuel, meanwhile, seems to be right in range for that pick. After watching Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham head elsewhere this offseason, the Niners are undoubtedly in the hunt for receiver help in the draft.

Here’s the latest draft buzz:

  • Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford will meet with the Panthers on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. This marks Ford’s ninth and final visit, and five of those teams pick between No. 11 and 20. With that in mind, it’s fair to wonder whether Ford will be available for Carolina at No. 16 overall.
  • Washington safety Taylor Rapp – widely pegged as a late-first round or second round prospect, will also visit the Panthers on Tuesday, according to Rapoport. Rapp also recently met with the Seahawks.
  • West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell are visiting the Redskins, Rapoport tweets. Grier figures to be available in the middle rounds, but the Redskins will probably have to pounce in the second round if they want Campbell.

Seahawks Meet With Allen Bailey

Chiefs free agent defensive end Allen Bailey will visit the Seahawks on Tuesday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Bailey previously visited the Patriots and Panthers, but remains unsigned. 

[RELATED: Seahawks, Russell Wilson Agree To Extension]

Bailey, 30, has spent his entire career to date with the Chiefs. Last year, the 2011 third-round pick put up a big season as just the right time – his six sacks, 38 tackles, and two forced fumbles put him on the radar for multiple contenders this offseason. But, for what it’s worth, Bailey ranked as just the No. 91 interior defender among 112 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

The Seahawks mostly use a 4-3 scheme, but as head coach Pete Carroll likes to say, they do so with 3-4 personnel. That would work for Bailey, who could offer support at defensive end while also contributing on the interior alongside Jarran Reed. Reed, who broke out with a career-best 10.5 sacks last season, should be bookended by Quinton Jefferson and Frank Clark next season, provided that Clark is not traded in the coming weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks, Russell Wilson Agree To Extension

The Seahawks and Russell Wilson beat the buzzer. Just before the clock struck midnight on the quarterback’s extension deadline, the two sides agreed to a historic four-year, $140MM extension, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. The deal, which includes a $65MM signing bonus, makes Wilson’s the NFL’s highest-paid player of all time. Wilson’s deal also includes a no-trade clause.

Wilson personally confirmed the extension in a Twitter video early Tuesday morning. The Seahawks have since announced the signing.

Hey Seattle, we got a deal,” Wilson said while getting ready to go to sleep. “Go Hawks. But I’ma see y’all in the morning. Time for y’all to go to bed.”

The new pact, which gives him a record-breaking $35MM average annual salary, ties Wilson to Seattle through the 2023 season. His signing bonus of $65MM is also the largest in NFL history, shattering the previous high set by Aaron Rodgers‘ $57.5MM SB.

Wilson’s contract gives him an effective guarantee of $70MM with the first three years guaranteed for injury, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). The deal also gives Wilson a favorable cash flow with $88MM over the first two years of the deal and $107MM over the first three years. All of that is guaranteed for injury, per Albert Breer of SI.com (on Twitter). Wilson has never missed a start in seven Seahawks seasons.

We’re all really pleased that we were able to take the next step to stay together and keep this moving,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Russ has been a huge factor in everything that has happened, and this allows us to stay on track with continuing to push to find that consistency.

… Obviously this is a grand negotiation, and they had to figure it out. They had to figure it out, it has all been a part of the plan — they’ve known it was coming for years. The fact that they were able to make it happen and connect with Russ on his plan to really commit his future to the organization and to the fans and all — he has done that—that all had to be orchestrated, and John (Schneider) and (VP of football administration) Matt (Thomas) did an extraordinary job.”

Wilson is now under contract through his age-35 season. Before the deal, the Seahawks could have conceivably kept Wilson under club control through 2021 through the final year of his deal and a pair of franchise tags, but that would have been a costly (and chasm-causing) proposition.

Last year, Wilson set a new career high with 35 touchdown passes and matched his career low of seven touchdowns. He’ll turn 31 in November, but Wilson has shown no signs of slowing down.

With a new deal in place for their franchise QB, the Seahawks can turn their attention to other matters, including new deals for middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and pass rusher Frank Clark. However, the size of Wilson’s deal could be a barrier to costly long-term pacts for both defenders and a Clark trade remains possible.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers Claim K Sam Ficken

The Packers have claimed kicker Sam Ficken off of waivers from the Seahawks, a source tells Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Ficken now appears poised to compete for the club’s kicking job alongside Mason Crosby

Ficken served as Greg Zuerlein‘s injury replacement, but the Rams cut him prior to Zuerlein recovering. Ficken’s brief trial period ended after he missed two of three field goal tries between Weeks 3 and 4.

Crosby, meanwhile, has been the Packers’ kicker since entering the league in 2007. On the whole, Crosby has been very solid, but he had some shaky moments last year, including four missed field goals in a 31-23 loss to the Lions in October.

For his career, Crosby has converted on 80.4% of his field goal tries and 98% of his extra point attempts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Notes: Giants, Haskins, Metcalf

The Giants will host Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins on a top 30 visit on Monday and Tuesday, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). After the G-Men brought out the big guns for Haskins’ Pro Day, chatter is building about the Giants possibly targeting the signal caller with the No. 6 overall pick.

Fully expected to become a top-10 pick, Haskins also met with the Broncos (No. 10) and the Redskins (No. 15) last week. The Giants appear to be well in range, but teams tend to move up and reach for stud QBs. The Giants also have the firepower necessary to move up for Oklahoma star Kyler Murray, but they may prefer to spread the wealth and address other areas instead, including the pass rush.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf visited the Ravens on Monday, Rapoport tweets. Metcalf could give them a much-needed shot in the arm at WR, but it’s not a given that he’ll be available when they’re called to the podium at No. 22. For now, their WR consists of new addition Seth Roberts, Willie Snead, Chris Moore, and 2018 draft picks Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott.
  • Speaking of the Ravens‘ WR need, they’ll host Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown on Monday, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). This year, the Ravens are set to pick at No. 22 overall with no picks in the second round due to last year’s Lamar Jackson trade.
  • More from Rapoport, who notes that Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell is visiting with the Bengals. Campbell is a very unlikely target for Cincinnati at No. 11 overall, but he could be a candidate for their second-round choice at No. 42. Last year, Campbell broke out with 90 catches for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns.
  • Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary will huddle up with the Seahawks and Raiders this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.
  • Arizona State wide receiver will meet with the N’Keal Harry 49ers on Monday before traveling to the Seahawks, Pelissero hears. Projections for Harry are all over the board, but he appears to be a late-first to early-second round type.
  • Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit the Seahawks on Monday and the Falcons on Tuesday, Schefter hears (Twitter link). The Falcons’ No. 14 pick would probably be a bit high for McGary, who projects as a right tackle at the next level, but a trade-down scenario could bring him to Atlanta.
  • The Patriots have done “extra pre-draft” work on Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson, both of whom visited recently (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Versatile Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford spent Friday visiting with the Bengals, who pick No. 11 (Twitter link via Rapoport). Ford was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018 and helped Oklahoma win Joe Moore Award, given to the country’s best offensive line.