We did it, all. Training camp has arrived and this is the final Sunday without NFL football for a long, long time. Handshakes, hugs and congratulations all around because damn it, we survived yet another (seemingly) endless offseason. Now that we have proper news to discuss again, let’s not waste any more time.
Nothing kills time waiting for training camp to arrive like clicking refresh on Field Gulls every five minutes, you know? In case you had a different preferred method of waiting out the looooong week waiting for it to arrive, here are some highlights you missed.
Evan Hill was nice enough to share his Seahawks salary cap spreadsheets with us, a terrific resource for those of us that don’t take too kindly to numbers and the like.
Brent Taylor stops by to give us the lowdown on rookie tight end Nick Vannett, who could be an important piece as Jimmy Graham works his way back from injury.
Jason Drake brings us an awesome piece on why “Elite QB” lists that exclude Russell Wilson are just so damn flawed.
Finally, Kenny is joined by Stephen Cohen this week on Seaside Chats to preview training camp and discuss all things Seahawks football.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider are here to stay, here to stay, here to staaaaaaaaay. First, on Sunday came news that general manager extraordinaire Schneider had agreed to a five-year contract extension keeping him with the team through 2021. Then, on Tuesday, it was announced that head coach Pete Carroll had agreed to a three-year extension, tying him with the team through 2019. Good times.
Days before Seahawks training camp was set to begin, it was reported that veteran defensive end Chris Clemons had informed the Seahawks he was going to retire. Clemons, 34, was returning to Seattle after two seasons in Jacksonville but instead elected to hang up his cleats.
More extensions you say?
It wasn’t just Seattle handing out paydays to their architects this week, as both Raiders and Texans general managers Reggie McKenzie and Rick Smith signed extensions. Both McKenzie and Smith were rewarded with four-year extensions to keep them with their respective up-and-coming franchises.
Mike Zimmer has been one of the best head coaches in the NFL since becoming Minnesota’s head coach and the Vikings have rewarded him for it, with the two sides agreeing to an extension this past week.
The San Francisco 49ers have added much-needed talent to their offensive line as tackle Anthony Davis has been reinstated and will participate in 49ers training camp. Davis retired from the NFL last offseason but has returned to football after a year away, a year that was spent mostly taking shots at Trent Baalke.
Former first overall pick Eric Fisher signed a six-year, $63 million extension with the Chiefs on Saturday. Fisher, who has steadily improved each season he’s been healthy, now becomes the highest paid offensive lineman in the entire league.
Despite agreeing to a contract this week, Jake Long will not be signing with the Baltimore Ravens after refusing to sign an injury waiver.
Vikings right tackle Phillip Loadholt announced his retirement this week, on the eve of Vikings training camp. Loadholt, 30, missed all of last season with an Achilles injury and was expected to compete with Andre Smith for the right tackle spot.
Skill positions and wildly average quarterbacks
Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins left camp and was holding out for more money on Saturday but as of Sunday, said he plans to immediately return to camp with no new deal. Hopkins broke out for 111 catches, 1,521 yards, and 11 touchdowns last season while playing with a veritable assortment of bad quarterbacks, but still has two years remaining on his rookie deal so giving him an extension now would have set a bad precedent.
Veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson continues his tour of the AFC South, signing a two-year deal with the Tennessee Titans this week. Johnson will compete with the Titans’ bevy of young wide receivers for a roster spot, but could be a welcome addition to a largely toothless group.
After skipping out on all Eagles offseason activities, Darren Sproles has signed a one-year extension with the team. Sproles stayed away from the team with his roster status unclear, but now the veteran ‘back will be in line to earn $4.5 million in 2017.
The long national nightmare is over. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets finally came together and agreed to a one-year contract this past week, worth $12 million. If the Jets make the Super Bowl, Fitzpatrick will earn a $3 million incentive, a possibility that is much more real now that it’s not Geno Smith guiding them.
Oft-injured receiver Hakeem Nicks is again leaving the Giants, this time to sign a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. After catching just seven balls last year for New York, Nicks will try to earn a roster spot on a team lacking receivers.
The Los Angeles Rams have released quarterback Nick Foles after being unable to find a trade partner. Foles skipped all offseason activities while he waited for the team to find him a new team. In true Rams fashion, the team paid him a $6 million roster bonus in March.
The Jets have signed former Raven and Jaguar Bernard Pierce to a one-year deal. The deal coincides with the release of former Ram Zac Stacy. Pierce rushed for eleven yards in seven games in 2015.
Anquan Boldin and the Detroit Lions have agreed to a contract, giving the Lions a boost in their efforts to replace the retired Calvin Johnson. Boldin joins Marvin Jones and Jeremy Kerley as the new bodies in the receiver room who will try to make up for the lost production of Megatron.
Devin Hester was released by the Atlanta Falcons this week, after missing most of 2015 with a toe injury. Hester, who turns 34 this year, will be a fascinating case for Canton if this is the end of the line for the electrifying return man.
Browns receiver Josh Gordon has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL and suspended four games. Gordon will be permitted to participate in training camp and, massively, will be allowed to be around the facility while serving his suspension.
Greg Jennings has decided to retire. After spending part of the offseason asking for a job, the former Packer, Viking and Dolphin has called it quits. Jennings will be best remembered for his terrific run of form during the Packers march to the Super Bowl in the 2010/11 season.
Great talents, idiots, and talented idiots
Willie Young and the Chicago Bears have agreed to a two-year contract extension for the veteran defensive end. The former Lion has 16.5 sacks over the past two seasons and will again be a big part of an underrated Bears defense.
The Detroit Lions and cornerback Darius Slay agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $48 million this past week. The deal, which has $23.1 million guaranteed, could be looked back on as a bargain for the Lions as Slay continues to grow into one of the most complete cornerbacks in the entire league.
Dion Jordan has been reinstated by the NFL on a conditional basis. The Miami Dolphin defensive end will undergo counselling and will be eligible to play week one if he meets the conditions set by the league and commissioner Roger Goodell.
Junior Galette will again miss the entire season due to a torn Achilles tendon. The Washington pass rusher has yet to play for the team and will have to wait until 2017, because karma is a wonderful thing.
The Cardinals have signed former Chargers linebacker Donald Butler to a one-year deal. Butler was lambasted for his drop in effort and play following a big-time extension with San Diego, and will have a lot to prove in a shallow Cardinals position group.
Safety Kurt Coleman and the Carolina Panthers have agreed to a three-year extension worth $17 million. The former Eagle enjoyed a career year in 2015, posting a career high seven interceptions.
NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported this past week that troubled Cowboys sophomore Randy Gregory could be facing an additional suspension on top of his current four game ban. The added suspension is expected to bring his total to at least ten games.
Another week in the books in the NFL, and once again, football is back. Enjoy it, we made it, and Gooo Hawks.