Kam Chancellor “absolutely” will remain a Seahawk in 2016.
Garry Gilliam is moving from right tackle to left tackle in the first step to replace departed free-agent Russell Okung.
General manger John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll are “going to keep staying together” leading Seattle beyond 2016.
And Marshawn Lynch still hasn’t sent the Seahawks his retirement papers while he’s been “out of the country riding camels and stuff” -- but that doesn’t mean anything more than Lynch being Lynch.
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Those were the highlights of what Schneider said to the media at the NFL owners’ meetings in Boca Raton, Florida, on Tuesday, as reported by espn.com’s Sheil Kapadia.
Schneider addressed in Florida Chancellor’s unhappiness with his contract that has two, non-guaranteed seasons remaining on it. The star strong safety is due salaries of $5.1 million in 2016 and $6.8 million in 2017. He held out more than 50 days through training camp and past the first two regular-season games last August and September. The Seahawks lost both games to put themselves in a hole from which they spent the ensuing three months rallying back to the playoffs.
Chancellor missed three other games because of injury and didn’t play consistently at his usual excellence in 2015. Yet he did get voted to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time.
Last week, he went to social media to show he wants to stay a Seahawk:
“Kam is an extremely prideful, spiritual person,” Schneider told reporters Tuesday, according to espn.com in Florida.
When asked if anything had been done financially to make Chancellor more content for the coming season, Seattle’s GM said: “There's a lot of family things that stay in house. That's one of them.
“I can't speak more highly of a guy. It was a tough, tough thing for everybody to go through last year, so I'm glad he feels that way.”
Schneider was asked if there's any doubt Chancellor will be on the team in 2016.
"Yeah, he's a Seahawk, absolutely,” he said.
Okung signed last week with Denver on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth $5 million to potentially $8 million. The Broncos then have a team option for four more years after 2016 for what could be a total contract of $53 million.
Schneider and the Seahawks weren’t going to come close to that, not with only about $8 million or so remaining under their salary cap for 2016 -- with the couple million on next month’s draft picks and subsequent free-agent signings into the summer still to pay. So now they turn to Gilliam. The college tight end for 3 1/2 seasons at Penn State spent his second NFL season as a first-time starting right tackle in 2015. Now, as we’ve discussed and expected here, Gilliam is moving to the left side to compete with Sowell, Seattle’s free-agent signing from Arizona for one year at $1.5 million.
That, again, according to what Schneider told reporters Tuesday in Florida.
That leaves J’Marcus Webb with a shot as Seattle’s new starting right tackle. The Seahawks signed Webb last week to a two-year contract at starter money: $6.25 million total with $2.5 million guaranteed. If Seattle decides to keep Justin Britt, the 2014 rookie starting right tackle, as the starting left guard for a second consecutive season this fall, Webb is in position to start at right tackle. He played three games there for Oakland last season, after 13 starts at guard for Oakland and two seasons as the starting left tackle for the Chicago Bears.
As for Lynch, he’s still on the Seahawks’ roster. The team has yet to put the running back on its reserve/retired list because he has yet to submit his official papers that he is in fact retired -- as he declared during February’s Super Bowl with the hanging-up-the-spikes tweet.
Is there a reason Lynch hasn’t filed his retirement papers?
“Not really,” Schneider told reporters Tuesday, according to Kapadia. “We just haven’t received his papers yet. He’s been out of the country riding camels and stuff.”
Schneider was referring to his retiring running back traveling on a goodwill trip to Egypt last month with a group called American Football Without Barriers.
There are financial benefits to the Seahawks waiting until after June 1 to put him on the reserve/retired list: they could then spread evenly over the final two years of his contract ending after the 2017 season the $5 million left on his prorated signing-bonus. That would have only $2.5 million count this season and $2.5 million count in 2017 instead of all $5 million count this year.
The downside of that is with Lynch still technically on the roster until he submits that retirement paperwork, his $11.5 million charge is still counting against Seattle’s cap for 2016.
Schneider told reporters Tuesday the Seahawks haven’t decided whether to make Lynch’s official retirement move after June 1. He added he’s not sure the team is at a point where it needs to clear a couple million of cap space by playing accounting games with Lynch’s retirement.
For those who think Lynch is not submitting retirement papers in hopes of playing for a team other than the Seahawks in 2016: Seattle retains his contract rights now and will after he officially retires, at least through his contract ending after the 2017 season.
Nothing Schneider said Tuesday indicates the team is expecting anything other than those retirement papers eventually making it to the Seahawks. Knowing the team’s unique parternship with Lynch since they traded for the one-of-kind running back in 2010, he likely just hasn’t bothered getting around to it.
Schneider and Carroll arrived together to build their Seahawks regime in January 2010. They received contract extensions in 2014. Each of those end after the 2016 season. So each keep getting asked about their contract status, as Carroll did last month when I met with him at the combine in Indianapolis.
But their extensions don’t appear to be a matter of “if” but simply “when.” Seahawks owner Paul Allen isn’t about to let the architects of a Seattle’s unconventional way to build a first-time Super Bowl champion, one that’s made the playoffs in five of Schneider’s and Carroll’s six years leading the team, enter lame-duck seasons with their contracts dangling.
“Pete and I have a great relationship, and we are just in a really good spot,” Schneider said Tuesday, according to Kapadia. “We are just going to keep staying together and keep doing what we are doing and see how long we can make it last.
“Both Pete and I, we love doing what we are doing, and we are happy. It's not really a story. We just love working together.”