For a change this preseason, the Seahawks only get half of their former AFC West rivals.
The NFL’s schedule of exhibition games came out Thursday. Seattle’s are, in order: at Kansas City, home versus Minnesota, home against Dallas and at Oakland.
The league will set the exact dates of most preseason games later. The Seahawks’ first one will be on either Aug. 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 at Arrowhead Stadium.
This will be the second consecutive summer that Seattle’s first road exhibition is against the Chiefs.
The exhibition on Sept. 1 at Oakland will mark the 11th consecutive year that the Seahawks and Raiders have met in their preseason finales.
But no Denver and no San Diego on the schedule this summer. The Seahawks had played the Broncos in five of the previous six preseasons, and the Chargers in three of the previous four Augusts.
The Seahawks are playing two teams outside of the AFC West for the first time since 2010.
The first of the two home preseason games will be Thursday, Aug. 18, against the Vikings. It should be, oh, about 85 degrees warmer that evening at CenturyLink Field than it was the last time Seattle and Minnesota played. That was in January’s ice-box, wild card playoff game in Minneapolis, where the temperature was 10 below zero.
Since 2011, Seattle has gone 2-2 or better in every preseason. The Seahawks were 4-0 in the summer of 2012, when Russell Wilson won the starting quarterback job, and again in 2013 en route to their Super Bowl championship.
BALDWIN BUILDING HOUSE IN SEATTLE
Doug Baldwin told Seattle’s 950 AM radio this week that the Seahawks have not yet started talks on a new contract for their No. 1 wide receiver.
“We haven’t had any talks. And to be completely honest with you, I’m not too concerned with it,” Baldwin told KJR-AM host Mitch Levy and Mike Holmgren, the former Seahawks and Packers coach.
Baldwin got engaged last month. Last season, he tied for the NFL lead with 14 touchdown catches, a Seahawks record.
This fall will be his final year on the contract extension he signed before the 2014 season. It is paying $4 million to the one-time undrafted rookie out of Stanford. That is $500,000 less than the average pay Jermaine Kearse now has after Seattle re-signed its No. 2 wide receiver last month.
The Seahawks likely would not have done Kearse’s deal without having a plan for taking care of Baldwin, seeking to avoid what could be a potential “walk” season in 2016.
“I love my teammates. I love the city of Seattle. I’m building a home out here,” Baldwin told KJR. “This is going to be where I spend the rest of my days. ...”
The team’s talks with Baldwin and his agent, Buddy Baker, aren’t likely to heat up until the summer. The Seahawks first need to sign draft picks, undrafted free agents and perhaps a veteran lineman or running back or two.
Levy asked Baldwin if the potential of free agency “excites” him.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” Baldwin replied. “In this moment, if I had to answer that question — does free agency intrigue me — I’d have to say as a football player, as a person, of course. Anybody who is in this game would love the opportunity to be coveted by other teams and, you know, shown that much attention and appreciation.
“But at the same time, it’s what you truly value in life. And, you know, what I value is the relationships that I’ve formed here in Seattle, and Seattle the city as a whole. I love it here. So, again, you are right, it’s going to come down to a business decision. When that time comes, I’ll cross that bridge.”
SEAHAWKS 2016 PRESEASON
Aug. 11-15* at Kansas City
Aug. 18 MINNESOTA
Aug. 25-28* DALLAS
Sept. 1 at Oakland
*Exact date TBD
Home games at CenturyLink Field in CAPS
All games will air on Channel 13 locally