Leading up to Saturday’s training camp, things seemed quieter than usual when it came to the future/position/security of defensive end Chris Clemons. Now it appears that even if I’m imagining that in my head, there could have been a reason for not hearing a bunch about the excitement of the Seattle Seahawks getting back the defensive end on a one-year deal this season: He’s retiring before training camp even begins.
That’s according to Mike Garafolo, who reported on Thursday night that Clemons has informed the Seahawks that he’s going to retire.
The 34-year-old defensive end signed a one-year deal for $1.5 million in April after spending the previous two seasons with Gus Bradley and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had just three sacks last season, his lowest total since he was with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, one year before Pete Carroll made a trade to acquire Clemons as one of his first moves in Seattle. The move was panned by many (even right here on Field Gulls) because Darryl Tapp, the player moved in exchange, was seen as being younger with a higher ceiling and for a good reason — Clemons was a former undrafted free agent who had 20 sacks in five seasons. But playing in Carroll’s defensive system, Clemons had 33.5 sacks in his first three seasons with the Seahawks before tearing his ACL against the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.
He returned in time to help them win the Super Bowl a year later.
Clemons turns 35 in October. He was set to fight for a job against Ryan Robinson for depth at defensive end. This seems to have given a significant advantage to Robinson in terms of making the team, as I’ve heard that the team really likes his upside and that it could come down to him or Clemons.