During the second half of this past week, the big story for the Seattle Seahawks was not the fact that the team was back on the field for OTAs. Rather, the big news was the fact that the team brought suit against Malik McDowell in federal court in Michigan in order to recover the portions of his signing bonus allocable to the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and seeking a judgment in the amount of nearly $800,000.
McDowell, of course, was a second round pick of the Hawks in the 2017 NFL Draft, but was injured in an ATV accident in July of 2017 and never played a snap for the Hawks before being waived. In February an arbitrator held that McDowell had committed a forfeitable breach of his contract, and ordered him to repay a portion of the signing bonus within 30 days, an order which McDowell has not complied, according to the court filing made by the team.
Saturday, however, McDowell took to social media to push back on the idea that the situation was entirely of his making.
One of the best Neurologist in the world cleared me too play football again Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher MD Neurologist vs The Seahawks Dr. Samuel R. Browd Seattle Children/Pediatric Neurologist who’s primary patients are under the age of 2 https://t.co/6rotFcq0uV— Malik McDowell (@MSU_LEEK4) June 1, 2019
In short, McDowell argued that he has been cleared to play by a neurologist, and stated that the team neurologist for the Seahawks specializes in pediatric neurology. Obviously, there are differences between pediatric neurology patients and adult neurology patients, but my guess would be that the team neurologist is more than qualified to handle adult patients.
In any case, McDowell appears to be of the belief that there were reasons beyond just his head injury that prevented the Seahawks from clearing him to play.
The @Seahawks had there own reasoning for not letting me play but my head was not issue ♂️— Malik McDowell (@MSU_LEEK4) June 1, 2019
Unfortunately, due to the limited amount of information that has been shared publicly by either the team or McDowell, the ability to judge one way or another is extremely limited.
What we do know is that McDowell never set foot on the field for the Seahawks, and owes the team $799,238 for having breached his contract. Maybe more details will emerge at some point in the future, but for now we are left to parse through the handful of pieces of information that are publicly available.