Besides wet Junes, parched Augusts, Seafair, and every major road and freeway under repair, one of the great traditions of summer in Seattle is a major Seahawks player holding out of practice, seeking more dollars.
Hall of Famer Walter Jones was so consistently excellent at malingering, he was nearly nicknamed for an unlimited hydroplane: Slo-Mo-Shun.
This year’s ritual is shaping up to have SS Jamal Adams as the drama king. He’s in the final year year of his deal the Seahawks inherited from the Jets, is 25 and has the Seahawks over a barrel the size of Babe The Blue Ox.
This week anyway, the Seahawks aren’t playing along with the tradition.
Adams isn’t at the three-day mini-camp this week that is supposedly mandatory. But he has a hall pass that says “excused” to deal with an undisclosed family matter.
That’s no fun for him, nor for those of us steeped in tradition.
And the excuse has backup.
Because Adams underwent three surgeries — two fingers and a shoulder, injuries the Rams knew all about when they ousted the Seahawks from the playoffs in January — coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday that even if Adams had showed up, he wouldn’t have been a full participant.
“We would be very careful with (the recovery) at this time, so he he wouldn’t be involved,” he said. “He’d be in the walk-through kind of stuff, but he couldn’t get the the full-speed work yet.”
So we can’t call it a holdout. Not until the first day of training camp July 31. Too bad.
I miss the days when Marshawn Lynch, a master of the ju-jitsu of negotiation and a sometime-holdout of practice, would do things like showing up one day wearing jersey No. 31, which belonged to FS Kam Chancellor, who was holding out and needed some support against management.
Besides being a blunt-force player, Lynch was also sublime at passive-aggressive protest.
Instead, we had a spontaneous moment Tuesday when Russell Wilson, subject of a months-long controversy he instigated over his future with the Seahawks, intruded on Carroll’s Zoom call with media. Reaching his right arm around Carroll’s shoulders for a hug while mugging into the camera, he smiled and said: “We’re still friends!”
Carroll laughed his way out of the embrace.
Way too much tra-la for my taste.
Still friends ✌️ pic.twitter.com/ayFmDCs3HF
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) June 15, 2021
Carroll sounded as if were expecting a similar giggly outcome with the Adams negotiations.
“It’s been amicable throughout,” he said. “It’s a big contract process. He knows he’s been treated with a lot of respect and he’s been very respectful towards the club as well. It just hasn’t been able to get settled at this point. But it’s coming. We expect him for camp.”
Adams is owed a guaranteed $9.8 million this year, but he’s expecting to be extended with a new deal that reflects his status as one of the NFL’s premier defenders, a point he underscored last season by setting an NFL record, 9.5, for sacks by a defensive back.
The NFL’s highest paid safety is Denver’s Justin Simmons ($15.25 million), but Adams likely thinks his penchant for sacks puts him him in an elevated category of around $18 million-plus.
Since the Seahawks are currently $8.3 million below the salary cap, Adams will have to take a cut for 2021 but reap the benefits down the road, conditions he’s is not guaranteed to accept.
“I don’t know that,” Carroll said of his seeming certainty about Adams’ presence for the start of training camp. “But I know that we’re counting on him being back. It can happen and he wants to be at camp too. We’re gonna do everything to make that happen.
“The intricacy of your fingers . . . that’s that’s something we got to make sure that he gets right. There’s a lot going on there. But his shoulder should be in great shape. I’m not concerned at all that he won’t be ready.”
Also Tuesday, another Seahawks star, LT Duane Brown, cleared his contractual throat.
The Seahawks’ best offensive lineman since he pulled on the jersey for the last half of 2017, Brown, a bit surprisingly, was reported by the NFL Network to want an extension, now that he’s in the final year of a $32.5 million, three-year deal, in which he’s owed $10 million.
He turns 36 in August. A popular assumption was that he will have had enough after 14 seasons. Apparently not, in light of his quality play. Pro Football Focus had him 11th in its rankings of the top 32 offensive linemen entering 2021.
Carroll was certainly open to the idea.
“He’s a remarkable player, a remarkable athlete and takes great care of himself,” he said. “It has given him an extended career beyond where most guys can make it. We love him. He’s big part of what we’re doing, and we’re counting on him being with us.
“He’s been a great part of our program. His leadership, his toughness, what he stands for as a man . . . he’s just a remarkable guy. We would love for him to be with us if he wants to keep playing.”
A re-done deal that reduces his current salary would be a help in signing Adams. But the hope is that he or Adams kick up a fuss this summer. We need simmering tension, awkward pauses, fans complaining about greedy athletes and inept front-office maneuvers.
If we have no traditions, who are we?