The Seahawks have completed their first day of organized-team-activities practices that will go on for the next two weeks in Renton.
No, Colin Kaepernick was not out there with Wilson for the practice that was closed to the media Tuesday.
Neither was Spike Lee, for that matter.
The star filmmaker and actor went on Instagram this past weekend to congratulate coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks for signing Kaepernick.
Except they hadn’t. Still haven’t, as of Tuesday.
Lee’s social-media mistake joined erroneous, baseless, laughable postings all over the Internet throughout the Memorial Day weekend that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and recent activist had signed with Seattle. One rumor had him signing for three years and $25 million.
Yet the Seahawks started the first of seven days of OTAs -- practices in helmets and no pads at the team’s headquarters -- with Kaepernick still unsigned following his visit with Seattle last week. That’s despite him having been a starter in the last five NFL seasons, including a Super Bowl and an NFC championship game.
There’s no way in Paul Allen’s green earth the Seahawks would sign Kaepernick -- or anybody -- at more than $8 million per season. Even $3 million-plus is unlikely for Russell Wilson’s backup.
The Seahawks have $8,797,000 of space remaining under their 2017 salary cap, according to overthecap.com. They have three more rookie draft picks to sign, after top choice Malik McDowell’s deal for $6.96 million over four years from last week.
Any Kaepernick deal is likely to be low -- perhaps in the $1-2 million range -- in base pay and high in playing-time incentives. Those bonuses would accumulate into a deal more in line with Kaepernick’s starting experience should Wilson, Seattle’s cornerstone with an $87.6 million contract, have a second consecutive season of injuries and Kaepernick have to play here.
The momentum for Kaepernick becoming a Seahawk has indeed cooled. Almost daily, there are postings, opinions and unsubstantiated national reports saying there is nothing imminent. Pat Kirwan, an NFL analyst with Sirius/XM satellite radio and a friend of Carroll’s, posted on his Twitter account Tuesday he didn’t think Kaepernick will get a deal done with Seattle.
Kirwan and Carroll have known each other since 1990, when Carroll was the New York Jets;’ defensive coordinator and Kirwan was a Jets staffer.
This lag is almost predictable.
The Seahawks have been essentially negotiating against themselves for Kaepernick, while also working out other veteran quarterbacks such as Austin Davis last week. Seattle is the only team known to be even remotely interested in signing Kaepernick. He has angered many in the league and around the country with his kneeling during national anthems before 49ers games last season as a protest to social injustice in America.
While it’d be advantageous for the Seahawks to get a deal done with any new, veteran QB soon so he could learn the offense during OTAs and the team’s lone mandatory minicamp June 13-15, it’s not as if Kaepernick needs offseason time to acclimate. He’d be signing for the No. 2 job, competing with 2016 undrafted rookie Trevone Boykin. Unlike Boykin, he’s started in the league for the last five years. It’s not like he couldn’t pick up and hone his role starting in training camp that begins at the end of July.
His desire to accept or reject whatever the Seahawks offer him in the lower range of QB salaries appears to be the determinant whether he signs here. Meanwhile, the Seahawks move along, shopping for backups that would fit their price and salary-cap constraints.
Carroll said two weeks ago his Seahawks were looking at Kaepernick, former Washington Redskins and Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III and every other available quarterback as Seattle seeks competition with Boykin, who was the team’s lone backup QB in 2016.
Boykin played more than expected last season for Seattle as an undrafted rookie, after issues on the offensive line caused Wilson to get somewhat seriously injured for the first time in his career: a high-ankle sprain and sprained knee ligament in the first three games. Boykin has spent this offseason in legal trouble in Texas.
Court records from Bexar County, Texas, show Boykin has a motion-to-revoke-probation hearing June 6 there. That is the fifth of the Seahawks’ seven days of organized team activities on the field at team headquarters over the next two weeks.
The mere talk of Kaepernick possibly signing with Seattle fits Carroll’s preference to be seen as a leader and supporter of strong, outspoken individuals who win while going against the NFL’s norms.
There is much debate nationally whether he remains unemployed because he wants to be a starter or wants starter-like money no team wants to give him -- or because teams are black-balling him out of the league in response to his kneeling during national anthems before games last season, his protest of social injustice in our country.
The truth may lie somewhere in between those two views.
This week’s truth is, the Seahawks are moving onto the practice field without him. So far, anyway.
The first of three OTA practices open to the media is Friday.