The NFL may be showing it is beyond tired of investigating the Seahawks, for the fourth time in six years.
This time it’s for not reporting Richard Sherman’s knee injury during this past season. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Thursday the league is considering taking away Seattle’s second-round choice in April’s draft for that violation.
Mortensen wrote the NFL is considering turning the penalty of a losing a fifth-round pick this year -- plus a $400,000 fine for a third violation in five years of rules against contact during offseason minicamps -- into taking the second-round selection.
So coach Pete Carroll this week revealing Sherman had a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee in December and January as a way of explaining how tough a season it was three-time All-Pro cornerback bulled through may cost Seattle. Dearly.
Draft choices are huge commodities to every team, especially to Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his personnel staff. They have stockpiled them to build their young, championship core over the last six years, and used them to trade for players such as tight end Jimmy Graham. Second-round picks are usually considered ready or nearly ready to start in the NFL.
Recent Seattle second rounders include defensive end Frank Clark -- who had 10 sacks in 2016, his second season -- emerging wide receiver Paul Richardson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner is now an All-Pro and perennial Pro Bowl selection.
"Honestly, I didn't realize we hadn't revealed it,” Caraoll said Monday, hours after he told Seattle’s 710-AM radio his Pro Bowl cornerback played the final month-plus with the injury the Seahawks never put on a daily practice report or weekly game injury report. “I don't even remember what game it was, it was somewhere in the middle ... I don't know.
“He was fine about it. He didn't miss anything. The same with Russell (Wilson and his sprained MCL, which the team did report), he was fine about it. I don't know how they do that, but they did."
Sherman not missing a game because of the injury is likely going to be the Seahawks’ main defense with the league in asking for leniency in any punishment.
Mortensen reported the team is cooperating with the NFL’s review of the situation. He added “lots is on the table, including more fines.”
But the league’s policy on injuries on practice reports is clear. The NFL reminded each of its teams of it before the 2016 season.
Sherman routinely missed a practice each week over the last month-plus of the regular season and the postseason that ended with Saturday’s loss at Atlanta with what the team listed as “NIR.” That stands for “not injury related.”
I asked Carroll on Monday at his season-ending press conference why Sherman’s injury never showed up on a practice report.
"I don't know. I'm feeling like I screwed that up with not telling you that because that happened, but he was OK,” Carroll said.
“So I don't know. He never missed anything, which is probably why."