With the countdown clock officially at fewer than 10 days until Seattle Seahawks training camp begins, it means the athletes’ offseason is likewise winding to a close. And although the television chyrons and panel debates told stories of locker room tumult, titanic trades or avalanching trust dividing groups of players or players from coaches, Seattle ended up making few real splashes and no significant departures. They’re indeed one of the more stable squads when considering roster turnover. And a further look behind the scenes shows the Seahawks actually had a very chill summer.
Remember last year when Seattle’s talent gained the spotlight repeatedly for their snowboarding, snowmobiling, supersonic flying and other extreme sports shenanigans? Those activities coaxed the following proclamation from the Ringer’s Kevin Clark: “An unusually close-knit group of players with outgoing personalities make the Seahawks’ offseasons, to use an advanced football term, completely lit.” And that’s without mentioning a series of outlandish wedding overtures.
Well, maybe it’s the departure of mountain daredevil Cooper Helfet in the annual exodus to the Oakland Raiders, maybe it’s a genuine desire to keep the offseason diversions on a tighter tether after two years away from the Super Bowl and a national chorus lashing the group with the dreaded “DISTRACTION” word, or maybe it’s simply that two of their more eccentric personalities happened to get their nuptials out of the way already in 2016—but a scan of the roster’s social media accounts reveals a rather more laid back approach for the ’17 lineup.
Let us take the weddings as an example: Although DeShawn Shead also tied the knot last July, the most notorious occasions involved Earl Thomas wearing a legit crown and cape as he walked down the aisle that April and Russell Wilson later commandeering an actual castle in actual England for his own whirlwind union with his bride Ciara.
Although Thomas married his high school sweetheart, he had also previously claimed to be “married to the game” of football and described his pursuit of a Hall of Fame-worthy career as a “lonely road. I already made peace with it.” Meanwhile Wilson so clownishly telegraphed the consummation of his wedding (and breaking of his and Ciara’s celibacy vow)—both to their followers on Snapchat and to tabloid cameras as they drove off in the morning—that you would be forgiven for gathering the whole event seemed rather staged for whatever reason.
Contrast that with the Seahawks players who gave their vows in 2017: K.J. Wright quietly as ever in May …
… and Kam Chancellor just a few weeks ago surrounded by a small Legion from the Boomiverse.
There’s also Doug Baldwin, who got engaged a year and a half ago and, according to several wedding registries and also this website, was scheduled to finalize the commitment in April. However I can’t find any news reports or social media publicizing the wedding, hinting that (unless it hasn’t happened yet with only a week or so remaining until camp) the Baldwins went to pains to keep their ceremony totally private. For example, both Baldwin and his fiancée took their Instagrams off the public grid sometime after the season.
(UPDATE: As a reader pointed out, the Williams-Sonoma registry now sports a date of July 30 for the Baldwin wedding, although this is a very odd timing considering that’s the first day of training camp practices. So let’s call it conflicting reports unless Baldwin plans to have a very football honeymoon.)
I respect that—I’m not trying to put Baldwin on blast either way. I only find it interesting that these players went with less ostentatious choices for this round of weddings than did the crew from 2016. These guys have different personalities as we know. After all, following his contract extension last summer Baldwin said that the sudden riches would not change his marriage plans any: “I won’t be wearing a cape,” Baldwin told the interviewer.
Not that all was quiet on the west coast for Seattle’s NFL team. The summer produced its share of disturbances and disappointments, like encounters with the police by Trevone Boykin (for proximity to drunken driving and marijuana) and Jarran Reed (for a reported connection to a domestic complaint), and also a threatening series of tweets Frank Clark made toward Bleacher Report’s Natalie Weiner about an essay she wrote in this space two years ago. However, all these situations appear resolved or at least not likely to interfere with the 2017 season, rendering them not nothing but, you know, not problematic for the football team. Boykin’s latest citation will not result in a parole violation and Bellevue police haven’t charged Reed for anything. Frank Clark remains a knucklehead but he did apologize, sort of.
Otherwise things were cool for the Seahawks during the break. Probably a lot like your summer. Okay, maybe not exactly like your summer. Not at all. What else did the Seahawks get up to since we saw them last?
Why, just last week Kevin Pierre-Louis and K.J. Wright walked the rim of the Space Needle!
Beside attending Kam’s wedding, Earl of course rehabbed his broken leg—and also repped Texas with Michael Bennett while celebrating Uncle Moses’s anniversary in Hawaii.
Of course, Bennett has also been all over the world, taking active part in his various charitable activities and even visiting the BET Awards.
Cliff Avril also visited Mike Bennett in Hawaii, joined by Quinton Jefferson to lead their now-annual beach training exercises and defensive line drills. Avril also followed through on his promise to build homes in Haïti, all after venturing to the Mediterranean and taking a float in the Dead Sea while recovering from an unspecified surgery in the spring.
While Avril was in Haïti in April, Richard Sherman vacationed on the other side of the island, in Dominican Republic—at the same time that trade rumors were at their most frenzied pitch!
Luke Willson and backup tight end Marcus Lucas “stole” Jimmy Graham’s airplane.
Meanwhile Russell Wilson continued his jetset life, visiting the Great Wall of China this week not long after appearances at both the ESPYs (#TomFord) and the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, and, earlier this month, playing golf with Michael Jordan in Mexico.
Not to be outdone, Tanner McEvoy threw a double-clutch windmill dunk at Coachella with the Ill Prosciutto himself, Action Bronson.
Thomas Rawls rode a horse at Ocean Shores.
Speaking of our equine friends, when Frank Clark wasn’t harassing Field Gulls contributors he posed for a photo shoot wearing a black and white palm print leisure suit … apparently at Bojack Horseman’s house in Laurel Canyon.
Justin Britt took his family to Tulip Town, near Mount Vernon, Washington.
Fresh off signing with the Seahawks, back in April Bradley McDougald practiced lowering his center of gravity at a pool overlooking the bay at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Also in April second year tailback Alex Collins took his dog for a swim down at Rattlesnake Ledge, stopping along the way to vogue with his shirt off next to a train.
So, as you can tell the Seahawks may not have been wilding out like years past, but they were definitely up to some stuff. Of course I can’t say everything they did when they weren’t posting on social media. Mostly though, it seems like they just kicked it.
Wait. Am I forgetting somebody? What about everybody’s favorite newcomer, Blair Walsh?
Again. And again. And again and again, and again and again.
As it should be. How was your summer?