Expect Michael Bennett to report to Seahawks training camp on time Friday. And, by the way, any talks the team has had with the Pro Bowl defensive end’s agent on his contract complaints have been more “listening” than negotiating.
Don’t expect Jimmy Graham or Thomas Rawls to practice Saturday when camp officially begins, or anytime soon.
And don’t worry about John Schneider leaving Seattle to become the general manager of his hometown Green Bay Packers.
That’s what Schneider, the Seahawks’ GM, said Thursday to highlight a 35-minute interview with local beat reporters. The session came on the eve of players checking in to team headquarters for the start of the preseason.
Never miss a local story.
Schneider was asked if he expected Bennett to report on time and be on the field Saturday morning for the first practice of training camp — despite his year-old unhappiness over a contract that has two years remaining.
In answering, the GM seemed to confirm he’s been meeting with the player’s agent, Doug Hendrickson. ESPN.com had reported that Schneider and Hendrickson were talking this week.
“I do, yeah ... I do expect him (to report on time). I haven’t heard otherwise,” Schneider said.
Bennett vowed last month that he would report to camp on time as he did last year — and again largely set aside his desire for a bigger payday than the four-year, $28.5 million deal that he signed before the 2014 season.
When asked if his long-stated policy of not renegotiating Seahawks contracts that have multiple years remaining still applies to Bennett, Schneider said: “I’m not going to get into Michael’s situation specifically. What I would say is that … 90 percent of my job is being a good listener. So that’s about all I can say on that.”
That doesn’t sound like a two-way contract negotiation.
Schneider said it remains the team’s “understanding” that Graham is recovering from a torn patellar tendon in his knee, suffered in late November, and Rawls from a broken ankle and torn ligaments, suffered in early December. Both men are doing well enough, Schneider indicated, that they should be able to play in the regular season’s first game — Sept. 11 against Miami in Seattle.
Schneider said the tight end and running back will not practice Saturday to begin camp, and that the team was going to remain conservative and cautious about their returns. The general manager said the Seahawks’ medical and training staff are assessing whether to put either Graham or Rawls, or both, on the physically-unable-to-perform list to begin camp.
Going on the PUP list Saturday would not necessarily be an ominous sign that Graham or Rawls wouldn’t be ready for the opener. The Seahawks don’t need either starter to prove a thing in August, including in any of the four exhibition games.
If the team chooses to put one or both on the active/PUP list to begin camp, that would provide roster insurance. In case either or both aren’t fully game-ready by the opener, the Seahawks would be able to put them on the reserve/PUP list for the first six weeks of the regular season without losing them for the entire season to injured reserve. The team would not have to carry them on the 53-man active roster while unavailable to play.
NFL rules state that if a player isn’t on the PUP list to begin training camp he can’t go on the PUP list to start the regular season.
A player on the active/PUP list to begin camp remains on the 90-man offseason/preseason roster, but cannot practice. He can come off it at any time during the preseason when and if he is fully ready to participate. Once a player comes off the PUP list, he is not eligible to go on the list to begin the regular season.
Schneider brought up again on Thursday how he picked up the phone just out of college in 1992 and basically talked his way into an assistant scouting job with general manager Ron Wolf’s Packers. Schneider had been an undersized, starring running back for Abbot Pennings High School in De Pere, Wisconsin, 15 minutes south of Green Bay.
Schneider’s previous contract with the Seahawks, which was to expire after this season, reportedly contained a clause that would have allowed him to leave the Seahawks to become the Packers GM.
On Sunday, Schneider agreed to a five-year extension with the Seahawks through 2021. Does his new contract with Seattle have the same out clause that would allow him to leave for Green Bay?
“No,” Schneider said. “I know there have been a lot of whispers about a lot of things. ... It’s a small league. And I’m from a small hometown, so ...”
Schneider’s new deal, plus the three-year extension through 2019 that Seahawks owner Paul Allen gave to coach Pete Carroll two days later, means that along with president Peter McLoughlin the franchise has its leadership triumvirate intact for the foreseeable future.
Schneider expressed how grateful he is for what he and his family have built in Seattle.
“(My wife) Traci and I are really excited to stay involved in this community. It’s all good (to) be able to help this franchise move into the future,” Schneider said. “It’s extremely exciting for us. When you have a head coach, and really strong ownership, strong president in Peter — the relationship between the three of us is special. Having that core together to have that consistent, solid foundation, that continuity is huge.”
Asked if there was any issue with the general manager’s extension being for five years and the coach’s for three years, Schneider said: “It’s not relevant in any way.”
BACKUP QB SITUATION
Schneider said he sent a note late last month to the agent for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, soon after the veteran backup to Russell Wilson for the last four seasons was arrested — and released — by authorities in Florida for allegedly pointing a loaded gun at a woman believed to be his wife.
Schneider said he and the Seahawks have their eyes and ears open for other veteran quarterbacks the team possibly could sign during the preseason.
For now, undrafted rookie Trevone Boykin is the No. 2 QB behind Wilson. Schneider said Boykin, from TCU, has impressed observers with how physically talented and professional he’s been since the first rookie minicamp in May.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle