SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25: Alfonso Smith #46 of the Arizona Cardinals is tackeld by Chris Clemons #91 and Leroy Hill #56 of the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
I wanted to pass along a few things that have been talked about the last couple days on the NFL rumor circuit, because I'm bored and there's nothing going on. The first thing of note was Pro Football Weekly's report that the Seahawks fully expect Chris Clemons to be at training camp come late July.
"They totally expect him to show up for training camp," said one team insider of Clemons, who opted to skip the team's mandatory minicamp and bite the bullet to the tune of $73,000 in fines and a forfeited $100,000 workout bonus. "But they also thought he was going to show up for the mandatory minicamp, and that didn't happen, so ...But I really think he'll show up for camp, whether he's signed a new deal or not."
As said, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks expected Clemons at the veteran Mini-Camp a few weeks back - he told Carroll he'd show up - then didn't show. He's still looking for a contract extension as he enters the final year of his deal, and apparently the two sides haven't yet landed on an agreeable number. John Schneider and Pete Carroll have both said they want to get a deal done and I genuinely think they want to accommodate him, but it looks like this negotiation could spill right up into the start of training camp or even beyond. This report from PFW is pretty vague - but it's being passed around so I thought I'd address it. Unfortunately, there's not much to address, other than, "Ok, we'll see."
On a different note, the SportsXchange's Len Pasquerelli passed on another report Sunday, noting that even among his supporters, there is doubt that Tarvaris Jackson can 'elevate his game at age 29'. This is not really news so much as it's just an obvious fear -- the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn in free agency and drafted Russell Wilson so it's pretty certain that this front office isn't completely sold on what Tarvaris can do. That's not to say they don't have high hopes, but they did a lot to grab some insurance.
Said Pasquerelli, "The reaction that Jackson will get the No. 1 snaps, at least at the outset of camp, has generated mixed reactions both inside and outside of the Seattle organization. The six-year veteran definitely has supporters in the locker room and on the staff as well, but even some people in his corner privately question if Jackson can elevate his game at age 29."
Pasquerelli then went on to lay out the situation in more detail. "Jackson was 7-7 as a starter in 2011, is .500 in his 34 career starts, has a sub-60 percent completion rate, a passer rating of only 77.7 and only a few more touchdown passes than interceptions (38-35). Also notable is that Jackson has been with the same coordinator for all six years of his career, Darrell Bevell - five seasons in Minnesota and one in Seattle - and hasn't demonstrated marked improvement in that time. In general, the kind of continuity Jackson has enjoyed at coordinator leads to improvement, but that hasn't been the case."
The most interesting tidbit from the report was this: "In fact, The Sports Xchange has confirmed that at least one free agent pursued this spring by the Seahawks dropped the team from consideration because of his questions about the team's quarterback situation moving forward."
Short answer for who I think it might be? I have no idea.
Moving on -- per Brian McIntyre, the Seahawks now have $7,470,071 in cap space. That number comes in at 14th in the league, and is sure to change as Seattle shuffles its roster and has a chance to renegotiate or drop a couple of contracts. Players that could be on that bubble - renegotiate or even get waived - include Tarvaris Jackson, Mike Williams, and Ben Obomanu among a few others. There's an outside chance Leon Washington finds himself in that position, and the Hawks could still try to renegotiate Kellen Winslow's deal.
It will be interesting to watch the bottom six or seven teams as they look to drop a little dead salary cap weight as well moving toward the season - the Raiders, Ravens, Saints, Chargers, Niners, Rams, Steelers, Lions, and Bears are all under $4M in salary cap room so it's possible they could look to release veterans with clunky contracts.
Finally, NFL Draft guru and former scout Russ Lande listed Seahawks sixth round pick Jeremy Lane among his rookie sleepers on Sunday, noting "Lane, who played at small-school Northwestern State, practiced so well he is in the mix to be the Seahawks' nickel cornerback. He arrived in Seattle with surprisingly good hip flexibility and speed but needed to greatly improve his ball skills to make plays. Lane has been able to make plays throughout OTAs thanks to NFL coaching."
This will be important for the Seahawks, as they look to get Walter Thurmond healthy. Roy Lewis could play that position, and Lane will also have to vie with Marcus Trufant, Byron Maxwell, and probably four to five other strong candidates to see snaps in the nickel. It's one of two or three positions on the Seahawks' defense that is still up in the air (along with middle and weakside linebacker).