OAKLAND, Calif. Jermaine Kearse was doing what he’s done for the five-plus years.
He was catching passes from Russell Wilson.
On his way off the field from early pregame warmups for the Seahawks’ preseason finale at Oakland Thursday night, the veteran wide receiver from Lakes High School and the University of Washington stopped to sign his name for a Seattle fan on the railing of the tunnel leading to his team’s locker room here at the Oakland Coliseum.
A national report his hometown team is shopping him for a trade before Saturday’s roster cut-down deadline hadn’t changed Kearse’s routine.
The ESPN report from Wednesday dominated the pregame news about the Seahawks. But it wasn’t the only development before the final exhibition that featured reserves and the candidates for the team’s final of 53 roster spots.
Another national report, from NFL Network, said the Seahawks were also exploring a possible trade of veteran defensive back Jeremy Lane and second-year running back Alex Collins.
Both those deals would be more difficult to pull off than one for Kearse.
Lane, 27, is entering the second year of a contract extension that guarantees him $4 million this season. That’s a lot for any team to take on against its salary cap on the eve of the regular season beginning.
Coach Pete Carroll has been glowing of Lane for his offseason preparation, maturity and change of mindset after his subpar 2016. But rookie third-round pick Shaquill Griffin has been impressive since rookie minicamp in May, and is poised to start the opener at Green Bay Sept. 10 at right cornerback. Lane’s familiar and best position is inside at nickel back, in the five defensive-back sets which the Seahawks have played the majority of time in recent seasons. But Seattle likes how Tramaine Brock has looked backing up Lane at nickel since the former San Francisco 49ers starter signed two weeks ago.
Brock is two years older but at a non-guaranteed $900,000 for this season $3.1 million cheaper than Lane. So if the Seahawks can find some team to take Lane’s $4 million, they will.
Collins, last year’s fifth-round pick, appears destined to be cut Saturday. After a fumble two exhibitions ago against Minnesota, he’d fallen far out of the running-back rotation entering Thursday’s game with the emergence of preseason star Chris Carson, the rookie seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State.
Richard Sherman wasn’t on the field in uniform with his teammates pregame, appearing to be getting a veteran night off that is common for this final preseason game. Pierre Desir was the starting left cornerback during warmups.
Pro Bowl defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril did early pregame warmups then came out for full team drills wearing shorts and T-shirts instead of uniforms. They were away with three other starters -- Michael Wilhoite, Luke Joeckel and Tyler Lockett -- this week for the suddenly Seattle-chic specialized, regenokine blood treatment.