Seahawks Insider Blog

Look who’s back: What Jeremy Lane failing trade physical means for Seahawks

Look who’s apparently back. Cornerback Jeremy Lane reportedly failed his trade physical with the Houston Texans, sending him back to Seattle. The Seahawks reportedly sent Houston a third draft choice instead to acquire left tackle Duane Brown.
Look who’s apparently back. Cornerback Jeremy Lane reportedly failed his trade physical with the Houston Texans, sending him back to Seattle. The Seahawks reportedly sent Houston a third draft choice instead to acquire left tackle Duane Brown. jbessex@gateline.com

The Seahawks’ coup of how they got their new left tackle in a trade is less of one now that they apparently still have Jeremy Lane.

Lane failed his trade physical with the Houston Texans in exchange for Seattle getting left tackle Duane Brown, a league source confirmed Tuesday night to The News Tribune. The Houston Chronicle first reported that Tuesday, about three hours after the league’s trading deadline.

So the amended trade is Brown and a fifth-round choice of Houston’s in 2018 to the Seahawks and the Texans get a third-round pick in 2018 and a second-round choice in 2019 from Seattle.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider foreshadowed something like this could happen on Monday when news broke of the trade.

“We haven’t even exchanged papers yet. ... There are several other things that have to happen here yet,” Schneider said Monday afternoon.

Schneider mentioned Tuesday how good a relationship he has formed in recent years with Texans GM Rick Smith. Schneider said it began with him seeking Smith’s advice in the summer of 2015 during Kam Chancellor’s contract holdout. Smith, in turn, sought Schneider’s advice when Brown began holding out from the Texans this past summer.

Then in August, after the Seahawks lost starting left tackle George Fant to a season-ending knee injury, Schneider and Smith began discussing the possibility of trading Brown to Seattle.

That relationship not only netted the Seahawks the three-time Pro Bowl left tackle they desperately needed, it kept the deal together even after Lane failed his physical. Lane had missed two games with a groin strain, returned last weekend to play against Houston, then “banged” his thigh. When he reportedly failed his physical, the Texans could have walked away from the deal. Instead, Smith took Schneider’s offer of a third draft choice. Schneider likely had this in his back pocket, a contingency ready in the event the banged-up Lane indeed failed that physical.

Lane comes back onto Seattle’s roster, and its salary cap, at a charge of $2,117,647. That’s his prorated amount for the final nine games of this regular season. His salary for 2017 is guaranteed, so it doesn’t benefit the Seahawks to cut him now.

Seattle was believed to have about $2.6 million in available cap space after acquiring Brown, shedding Lane and Wilson restructuring his contract to free $4.1 million. With Lane back on their books, the Seahawks are going to need to do more money moving or releasing of a player with a non-guaranteed contract. No team can responsibly operate during a regular season with less than $500,000 of cap space, not to still sign new players or sign guys from the practice squad in the event of inevitable injuries or other needs.

Wilson is tapped out from restructuring. He has to maintain at least a veteran-minimum salary of $775,000. He can’t convert salary to bonus below that. So the Seahawks need to find another veteran to restructure. All-Pro Bobby Wagner is one candidate.

Another sticky aspect: The Seahawks may have at practice Wednesday a player their GM and coach have already privately talked to and thanked for his service, Monday before sending him off to Houston.

Lane even publicly said goodbye to Seattle on Twitter.

Tuesday night, Lane wrote on his Twitter account: "They wanna see me fold !!!!! #Spectators" and "or fail."

Then "I see all them bogus (rear end) comments" and "But to the real fans" with the "100" emoji signifying genuine respect and admiration.

Through the chaos, it’s obvious all this Seahawks’ cap manipulating and veteran contract restructuring to add Pro Bowl players is the most win-now moves of Schneider and Carroll era. With the NFC up for grabs, they are going for it.

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