Marshawn Lynch playfully did some quarterbacking. Bobby Wagner did handstands.
Then the All-Pro linebacker danced with his arms and hands, hula style, and clowned hellos to nearby fans screaming his name.
The 20th and final day of training camp felt like the last day of school for the Seahawks today here in Renton. Veteran players get to spend Wednesday night and the rest of the season at home.
“We get to sleep in the beds we paid a lot of money for,” Wagner said.
Rookies, recently signed free agents and the others battling for roster spots without roots around Seattle just yet will remain in the team hotel. So “the end of camp” is not really any different for them. It’s meetings, weight lifting, practice, meetings, hotel, sleep ... and repeat, day after day.
And it won’t be any different for Seattle’s secondary. It will remain without Kam Chancellor for the foreseeable future. The team leader and strong safety remains in a holdout that has no end in sight. The Seahawks have the right per the league’s collective bargaining agreement to fine him up to maximum of $850,000 – and counting – not that the team will impose those fines.
Waiving the sanctions is about the only “carrot” the Seahawks have to give him in this impasse, since Seattle’s $4,898,519 remaining under the ‘15 NFL salary cap is 27th in the 32-team league (according to overthecap.com). I’m sensing Chancellor knows the team is not going to dock him, which is why he hasn’t reported yet. He’ll remain in his stance against the $4.55 million he is scheduled to earn this year – $4.45 million guaranteed. He’s got nothing guaranteed beyond that on a deal he signed before the 2013 season and runs through 2017.
The Seahawks are in contact but not addressing the contract. So on it goes...
WHAT I SAW IN THE FINAL DAY OF CAMP
▪ Jermaine Kearse made three remarkable catches. His leaping, one-handed one in the back, right corner of the end zone over All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman on a throw over the sideline boundary from Russell Wilson caused the 2,600 fans watching to gasp more than cheer. Kearse also made an all-hands catch on the run out in front of him in traffic over the middle on a pass from R.J. Archer that hit him in stride. His third catch was with one arm, into the crook of his left one inside the elbow, while he twisted around new cornerback Keelan Johnson and toed the sideline.
Kearse signed his one-year tender from the Seahawks as a restricted free agent this spring for $2,356,000. That’s a raise from $570,000 he earned last season, is third since he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 out of the University of Washington and Lakes High School in Lakewood. He isn’t showing signs of resting on that big raise; he had an outstanding camp, one of the best on the team.
▪ Earl Thomas practiced while in a red, no-contact jersey for the second consecutive day. With still more than three weeks until the opener at St. Louis it would at this point be a shock if the All-Pro free safety who had shoulder surgery Feb. 24 doesn’t start in that game. Remember, he hasn’t missed a real one in his first five NFL seasons.
▪ Tyler Lockett’s daily show included one-on-one tutorials with Carroll back deep returning kickoffs, then making a smooth, over-the-left-shoulder catch down the left sideline of the end zone. Doug Baldwin gave him a high-five for that play. The rookie third-round pick ended his day as the final Seahawk out signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans, almost an hour after drills had ended.
“Can’t say no to a 3-year old,” Lockett explained, smiling. The guy has been nothing but quality on and off the field this month.
▪ Thomas again sat out team scrimmaging. Undrafted rookie Ronald Martin was again in his place. Dion Bailey was the No. 1 strong safety for Chancellor. It appears Martin and Bailey will be the starting safeties Friday night in the second preseason game, at Kansas City.
▪ Drew Nowak was again the center, Garry Gilliam the starting right tackle and former right tackle Justin Britt was at left guard for the third consecutive day. So it looks like that will be the starting offensive line, with Russell Okung at left tackle and J.R. Sweezy at right guard, Friday against the Chiefs.
Expect the starters to play about one quarter, if form holds from coach Pete Carroll previous preseasons. The most extensive playing time of the exhibition season for the starters will likely come Aug. 29 at San Diego in the third preseason game.
▪ Here’s why I think Will Tukuafu will make the 53-man regular-season roster: The free-agent pickup from San Francisco in the middle of last season did some pass rushes as a defensive end during one-on-one drills with the offensive linemen, then went to the other end of the field and was the fullback lead blocking for Robert Turbin on run plays with the starting offense during team drills. Carroll loves keeping guys who can do multiple jobs; one man for two jobs means Seattle can keep more players for other positions.
▪ Marcus Burley began practice as the first nickel defensive back with Will Blackmon out for a fifth consecutive practice because of groin strain and Jeremy Lane likely not back until at least October because of his broken arm and knee reconstruction. But Burley sat out the team scrimmaging with an ice pack on his left calf. Rookie cornerback Tye Smith has been getting more time inside at nickel lately.
▪ The scrimmaging in helmets and no pads included more first-team-on-first-team work than recently.
▪ CB Douglas McNeil was back to practice after missing a couple days injured. DT Jesse Williams returned after missing two days with a sore knee. Rookie sixth-round pick Obum Gwacham, still raw at DE after converting from WR while at Oregon State, was also back.
▪ Still out injured: CB Mohammed Seisay, DE Frank Clark (sore ankle), DE David King. DT Jordan Hill was watching team drills. Brandon Mebane got the first-team reps again at NT.