Wednesday, June 13, 2012
What's at stake for Clemons, Seahawks
By Mike Sando
A few thoughts on Chris Clemons' holdout from the Seattle Seahawks' mandatory minicamp:
Note: I've arrived at Arizona Cardinals headquarters and will be attending a two-hour minicamp practice beginning at 11 a.m. local time (2 p.m. ET).
- Setting precedent: Seattle's current leadership hasn't gone through a similar situation since taking over before the 2010 season. The rest of the team will be watching to see how the Seahawks respond. Coach Pete Carroll has made it clear through his public comments that the team values Clemons' contributions. These situations are usually personal from the player's perspective. It's easier to reach a solution when the team takes the high road.
- Timing matters: Teams want to operate on timetables reflecting their own priorities. They don't want to be bullied. Seattle sounds amenable to reaching a new deal with Clemons, but when? Clemons obviously wants one now. How hard can Clemons push before the team considers other options? We don't know the answer to that question. We do know general manager John Schneider's history. Schneider worked for Ted Thompson in Green Bay when the Packers moved on from Brett Favre, a legend. Moving on from non-legends is easier. There's still plenty of time for the Seahawks and Clemons to work through this situation, but every team has its limits.
- Clemons has value: Yes, the team used its first-round draft choice for Clemons' eventual replacement, Bruce Irvin. But the Seahawks wanted two top pass-rushers, not just one. Clemons' 11 sacks weren't enough to make Seattle a consistently effective pass-rush team. Having Clemons and Irvin together has the potential to change that dynamic. For that reason, the Seahawks will want to keep Clemons and probably extend his contract. Clemons already plays angry. I'd expect him to play even angrier if his contract situation remains unchanged this season. If that were to happen, however, Clemons might be more likely to bolt in free agency. The team would have ample time to prepare for that scenario, at least.