It really is getting hard to keep up.
Bits of news are floating around so thickly some can get past you.
Some really are news, some are non-news pretending to be news, and then there’s the general onslaught of Twitter skirmishes as well as others dedicating their lives to tearing down people on social media.
To catch up, there were a few tidbits this week involving a trio of Seahawks — Doug Baldwin, Michael Bennett and Russell Wilson — worthy of commentary.
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Baldwin first: Both the Seahawks’ record-setting receiver and general manager John Schneider told media outlets that they expect to arrive at a contract extension soon.
It’s an example of a couple of things: This is how the Seahawks take care of the players who are more than just productive, the ones who really are, as Schneider called Baldwin, “heartbeat guys.” And it also compliments Baldwin for his astonishing rise from a very good contributor to an indispensable high-order receiver.
As he made a career as an undrafted free agent, Baldwin heard questions about his size and speed and ceiling potential.
But during a surge at the end of last season, he caught 11 touchdown passes in a five-game stretch. He’s always been sure-handed and reliable, but this was an unprecedented display.
From the outside, it appeared that Baldwin fully and effectively managed to harness the angst and resentment and all the other red-hot isotopes of motivation deep down that have fueled him.
The best example of timely acts of absurd athleticism came at Minnesota in the playoffs, when he leaped up into the jet stream and caught a frozen football with just five frozen fingers, somehow bringing life to a Seahawks offense that had been comatose.
In his interview, Baldwin revealed he’d sometimes had “heated debates” with coaches and teammates (not to mention the heated monologues he directed at media on occasion).
It’s a fiery attitude that seems to work on the field and in the locker room.
Bennett, the Pro Bowl defensive lineman, meanwhile, told 710 ESPN that he was not happy with his contract, but will nonetheless show up for training camp and play under the terms.
The difference between Baldwin and Bennett in regard to their contract extensions is that Bennett still has two years remaining on a deal that everyone knows he has out-played. Baldwin was entering the final season of his contract.
Bennett grumbled about it last summer, but here’s what he did: He showed up to camp and even further out-played his deal, registering career highs with 10 sacks and 29 quarterback hits.
He must be one of the hardest-working bargains in the league. It seems a little strange to congratulate a player for showing up for work under a deal he signed. But it’s not always the case in pro sports.
A bigger bit of national news arose after quarterback Russell Wilson gave the commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin last weekend.
Wilson outlined the familiar narrative of how the underdog succeeded against the odds and naysayers. Social media responses soon questioned some of the details and his perception that the door was so emphatically slammed in his face when he transferred out of North Carolina State.
It seemed pretty trivial, but nothing is beneath controversy on the internet.
The only thing I really question was a tweet from someone identified as a former teammate who labeled Wilson a “me” player.
Late last season, I had a chance to have a lengthy chat with Wilson’s former Seahawks teammate, guard J.R. Sweezy. Sweezy played at N.C. State with Wilson.
“From the day I met him, he’s been the same guy,” Sweezy said. “We showed up and we were all like, ‘There’s no way this guy is really like this, there’s no way this guy can be this special.’ He came in and he knew the whole playbook and just took over the job, just like he did here (with the Seahawks). He’s been that guy since I met him, and he’s never wavered from that.”
I’ll take Sweezy’s word on this subject.