With just a week to go before the rookies of the Seattle Seahawks are set to report for training camp, the team has only signed two of its eight selections from the 2020 NFL Draft. Draft picks remaining unsigned as training camp approached was not an unusual occurrence in decades past, however, since the adoption of the rookie wage scale in the 2011 CBA, the signing of draftees to contracts quickly has largely become routine. Obviously, however, the ongoing pandemic has thrown a wrench in things this season, with teams unable to have rookies at the facility for offseason work and mini-camps, complicating the matter of completing contracts.
Just a couple of days ago salary cap expert Miguel Benzan (on Twitter under the handle @patscap) posted the following note regarding the signing status of draft picks across the league.
Current status of the signing of the 2020 NFL draft class. Usually there are less than 15 unsigned draft picks on this date. Today 15 teams have yet to sign a draft pick. pic.twitter.com/K7LM1odgaA— Cap Space=$7,794,739 (@patscap) July 12, 2020
As note for the Hawks, the only two players signed so far are Colby Parkinson and Freddie Swain. It is known that Parkinson was signed right around the time it was reported that he had suffered a Jones Fracture, so it obviously would not have been difficult for him to get a physical completed, since he was already at the doctor for the diagnosis and surgery. As for Swain, there have not been any reports of any kinds of health issues or injuries. So, hopefully Swain’s signing is simply the result of having been able to have a physical completed in a state that reopened early, rather than anything negative currently going on in his home state of Florida.
The six Seahawks draft picks who remain unsigned are:
- Jordyn Brooks,
- Darrell Taylor,
- Damien Lewis,
- DeeJay Dallas,
- Alton Robinson and
- Stephen Sullivan.
Exactly when these players will be signed is obviously unknown. However, given that there is only a week until they are to report, it doesn’t seem out of the question that the team could wait until they are actually at the VMAC for camp, when they’re able to have their physical at the team facility. The question that then grows from that idea, however, is when will the players actually be able to report to camp? Negotiations are ongoing between the league and the NFLPA regarding player safety matters against the backdrop of the coronavirus, and while there has reportedly been a lot of talk between the two sides, there haven’t been many reports of significant progress.
Good meeting today with management. We were blunt and honest with them we will not compromise our players health in these discussions.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 14, 2020
If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple.— Nate Solder (@soldernate) July 10, 2020
Putting it all together, while the calendar says it’s the middle of July and that typcially means just a couple of weeks until training camp starts, this is without a doubt, a unique offseason. When and how the remaining unsigned draftees put pen to paper we’ll have to wait and see. Just know that it’s not just the Seahawks who have been slow to sign their picks this year.