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Team Analysis

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 Seattle Seahawks Team Analysis:

INSIDE SLANT
It was almost easier to detail who attended the Seattle Seahawks' first Organized Team Activity Tuesday than those who did not.

The list of those absent was star-studded --- quarterback Russell Wilson, tight end Jimmy Graham, defensive end Cliff Avril, running back Marshawn Lynch, linebacker Bruce Irvin and defensive end Michael Bennett.

The reasons were also varied, including tragedies that struck people close to Graham and Avril.

Graham, the tight end acquired in an offseason trade with the Saints, was in Miami attending the funeral of Tamara Meyerson, a 45-year-old woman who died Friday and was described as his personal manager and a surrogate mother.

Wilson decided Monday night to also attend the funeral with a team official causing a rare absence from a Seattle workout for the team's fourth-year quarterback.

Avril was absent following the death of his father over the weekend.

"Devastating losses and we send our heart and prayers to those guys," said coach Pete Carroll. "Obviously, they're going to take some time taking care of the family business right now. We know that there's really nothing we can do, but we're trying to show the love and see if we can help out in any way."

Bennett and Irvin sat out while apparently continuing to make a statement about issues they have with their own contract situations.

Bennett also sat out an earlier two-week conditioning phase as he continues to try to have the team redo a four-year, $28.5 million contract he signed in March, 2014. Irvin has been known to be upset that the team did not exercise an option on his contract for the 2016 season that would have paid him $7.8 million.

Carroll did not publicly express any disappointment in their decisions, noting that the workouts are voluntary.

As for Lynch, his absence is in keeping with his usual routine this time of year as Lynch has rarely attended voluntary workouts.

Wilson may also miss other workouts this week to attend the funeral for Avril's father. Carroll said Wilson had the support of the team to be gone due to the reason for his absences, and it was made clear that it was not due to his continuing efforts to get a long-term contract extension from the team.

Carroll called Wilson deciding to go to the funeral for Meyerson "a good idea."

As for contract talks, Carroll said he had nothing to report and did not want to talk about where the two sides may be.

"Hopefully we get something done," he said. "But if we don't, we'll just have to deal with it."

Despite the absences, though, Carroll said he was happy with the work the team has done in an offseason in which Seattle has been one of the more scrutinized teams in the NFL after losing the Super Bowl in historic fashion.

"Each year we challenge ourselves to put together the best offseason we can put together," he said. " It starts with the individual and then the guys bring that to their position groups and then to the team. We've had no exception to that. We've had great work and the attitude has been on it. That's all we could ask for. It's been five weeks now coming to this point and you see the result today. We went out and practiced and ran around and guys knew what they're doing and flying around, communicating well and we're off and running. It's exactly the kind of tempo we anticipate seeing if we're on it. So that's a credit to all the work these guys have put forth so far."

NOTES, QUOTES
--Seahawks defensive tackle Jesse Williams has been diagnosed with cancer and will undergo kidney surgery.

The 24-year-old native of Australia who played college football at Alabama and was Seattle's fifth-round pick in 2013 was diagnosed with papillary Type 2 cancer.

"Although disappointing, I am a fighter and will handle this," Williams said via a statement released by the Seahawks. "I am going to focus on my health and fighting this battle with a return to football as my ultimate goal. Thank you for your thoughts and support. Go Hawks!"

Knee injuries have sidelined Williams the past two seasons. He has yet to play in a regular-season game.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider released a statement Monday saying, "Jesse is an extraordinarily tough individual who has overcome a great deal in his life and we will support him in any way possible. He is in our thoughts and prayers."

--A few days after the draft, the controversial selection of defensive end Frank Clark was still a topic of conversation.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the franchise was comfortable it had all the information available on Clark, who was kicked off his college team two days after a domestic violence arrest.

Clark, 6-foot-2, 277, was accused in a police report of punching his 20-year-old girlfriend, Diamond Hurt, in the face at their hotel room at a water park in Ohio. Hurt's younger brothers said the same thing. The Seahawks said Monday they did not talk to witnesses who found Hurt, yet their final assessment was that Clark had not punched the woman.

Lis Babson, 44, and Kristie Colie, 43, who were in the room next door with their young daughters, told the Seattle Times they ran to Clark's room pounding on the door when there was loud banging and screaming. Clark eventually opened the door.

Hurt, half-dressed and motionless on the floor, was just on the other side, the women told the Times.

"She looked unconscious," Colie said. "She looked like she was knocked out."

Clark settled the case with a plea deal.

Carroll said there are always two sides to every story, and because he has four older sisters, he is sensitive to the strong backlash against the pick. General manager John Schneider said the Seahawks did do a "ton of research" before selecting Clark.

"We can't tell you how much time we spent researching Frank," Schneider said. According to the Seattle Times, the Seahawks' vast research project did not go much further than Clark's version of events.

Carroll said there was a big-time investment made in Clark's character, but allowed that the rush to be the first team to Clark was a factor.

"Holy smokes, I can't even get into it -- several, several months of talking to people, and making sure in talking to other clubs and making sure everybody's stories hold up, and talking to the school and all of those stories hold up," Carroll said. "You guys have heard me say this before, once he was selected he was one of those players that people reached out to us, too. This was going to happen soon. Like all of the other players that we evaluate, we had to figure out where we were going to (him). There's three teams in particular that I spoke to right away that were going to do it."

Schneider said that any player who "punched a woman or struck a woman" would not be on the team's draft board. The Seahawks, in a statement Monday, said their own investigation provided the "organization with an in-depth understanding of the situation and background."

--Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, who did not have his fifth-year option picked up by the team, has taken out his frustration on social media.

Irvin wrote on Twitter with a series of tweets the morning of May 4 -- some of them profanity-laced -- that revealed his feelings about not receiving the option. The Seahawks would have been on the hook to pay Irvin $7.8 million in 2016.

"Worked for everything I got in my life this s--- will b no different!" Irvin tweeted. "I earns my keeps!"

The deadline to pick up the option was May 3. Irvin will play this season at $1.5 million and become a free agent at the end of the year.

"Faced way tougher adversity getting outta them streets coming up!" Irvin tweeted. "That's s--- is nothing!

(EXPLETIVE) THAT OPTION!"

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked after the draft about his plans for Irvin.

"If we pick up Bruce's option it's a great thing, if we don't pick up Bruce's option it only means we aren't picking it up. ... We want him to be here for a long time," Carroll said.

Carroll said he met with Irvin before the draft to lay out the possible scenarios.

"We met with Bruce before we got going, and it went very well," Carroll said. "We discussed what our plan is and what we are planning on doing, still knowing that maybe something could happen that could change the decision. It has nothing to do with the statement of how we feel about him in our program. We expect him to be here for a long time and we will work to get that done."

The 27-year-old Irvin was a first-round draft choice out of West Virginia in 2012. Irvin had 6.5 sacks in the regular season in 2014 and two more in the playoffs. He also had two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns.

"I'm a very blunt person and that won't ever change," Irvin tweeted. "Sorry if u dislike it. Gonna teach bray (his son, Brayden) to be the same way."

--The team continues to work on a contract extension for quarterback Russell Wilson.

In an interview with ESPN during the draft Saturday, coach Pete Carroll said of the talks that "it's going a little slow but it's ongoing."

It's believed Wilson is searching for a contract that would pay him more than $20 million a season. Wilson is entering the final year of his initial four-year rookie contract, which can now be extended because he has completed the third season.

Following the draft, Carroll said "we don't want to talk much about it because there is just a lot of stuff, it's such a crucial thing. We are so excited to get Russell and keep him here forever. But it's a big deal and there is a lot of work to be done."

--After the draft, the team signed long snapper Nate Boyer, a 34-year-old former Green Beret who walked on at Texas and made the team there. The team recently re-signed Clint Gresham, the team's long-snapper since 2010, so Boyer won't have an easy path to a job. But the team thrives on bringing in competition.

"I think he's going to hit somebody," Carroll said. "He's going to be able to hit somebody. It's a great opportunity for us to have a guy come to the program with his background, and all that. We cherish competitors, we cherish tough guys, we cherish guys that can overcome odds, and he's done all of that. And, he's done a good job, too. He's even snapped a football. We'll see what happens. Gresh (Gresham) better get ready."

--In addition to Boyer, the Seahawks reached contract agreement with 11 other undrafted free agents: tackle Jesse Davis, Idaho; wide receiver Austin Hill, Arizona; strong safety Keenan Lambert, Norfolk State; strong safety Ronald Martin, LSU; linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, Georgia Tech; running back Thomas Rawls, Central Michigan; cornerback Trovon Reed, Auburn; linebacker Alex Singleton, Montana State; defensive end Tory Slater, West Georgia; running back Rod Smith, Ohio State; free safety Triston Wade, Texas-San Antonio.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Seahawks running back Robert Turbin is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season after undergoing hip surgery.

The Seattle Times reported Turbin is on schedule for training camp.

Turbin and Christine Michael are the primary backups to Seahawks All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch. Turbin, 25, is entering the final season of his rookie contract.

Turbin played in all 48 regular-season games in his career to date. He has 928 yards on 231 career carries (4.0-yard average).



A closer look at the Seahawks' eight picks

--Round 2/63 - Frank Clark, DE, 6-2, 277, Michigan

The Seahawks made a controversial decision to take Clark, who had been kicked off the team at Michigan following a domestic violence incident. But the team believes he will stay on the straight and narrow and viewed him as one of the best pass rushers in the draft.

--Round 3/69 - Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, 5-11, 175, Kansas State

Seattle made the rare move of trading up in the draft -- swapping third-rounders and giving three more to Washington -- to get a player they regarded as the best returner in the draft.

--Round 4/130 - Terry Poole, G, 6-5, 310, San Diego State

Poole played tackle for the Aztecs but the Seahawks want to use him at guard. He's a former high-school basketball player and the team likes his athleticism and upside.

--Round 4/134 - Mark Glowinski, G, 6-5, 312, West Virginia

Glowinski also played tackle in college but the Seahawks want to move him to guard. Like Poole, he began his college career at a junior college and the Seahawks believe he is just scratching the surface.

--Round 5/170 - Tye Smith, CB, 6-0, 195, Towson

Seattle needed to add some help at cornerback, and view Smith as able to play on the outside.

--Round 6/209 - Obum Gwacham, DE, 6-5, 236, Oregon State

Gwacham was a receiver his first four years at Oregon State before moving to defensive end. He was a standout high jumper at OSU and the Seahawks believe they can turn his athleticism into being a productive speed pass rusher.

--Round 6/214 - Kristjan Sokoli, C, 6-5, 302, Buffalo

Sokoli played defensive tackle at Buffalo. But the Seahawks saw him at an all-star game and approached him about moving to the offensive line. Seattle was impressed by his numbers at his Pro Day and will initially try him at center.

--Round 7/248 - Ryan Murphy, S, 6-1, 214, Oregon State

A cousin of Marshawn Lynch, Murphy was a productive starting safety for the Beavers for three seasons. The Seahawks need depth at safety after losing Jeron Johnson in free agency.



PERSONNEL TRACKER

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

--DL Landon Cohen (not tendered as UFA).

--LB Heath Farwell (not tendered as UFA).

--WR David Gilreath (not tendered as ERFA).

--QB Tarvaris Jackson (not tendered as UFA).

--DT Kevin Williams (not tendered as UFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE-RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED

--DE Frank Clark (2/63): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--WR Tyler Lockett (3/69): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--G Terry Poole (4/130): $2.73M/4 yrs, $450,252 SB.

--G Mark Glowinski (4/134): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--CB Tye Smith (5/170): $2.446M/4 yrs.

--DE Obum Gwacham (6/209): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--C Kristjan Sokoli (6/214): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--S Ryan Murphy (7/248): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

--DE Demarcus Dobbs: UFA; $825,000/1 yr, $80,000 SB.

--LS Clint Gresham: UFA; $2.705M/3 yrs, $300,000 SB.

--C Lemuel Jeanpierre: UFA; $825,000/1 yr, $80,000 SB.

--WR Jermaine Kearse: RFA tendered at $2.356M with second-round pick as compensation; $2.356M/1 yr.

--WR Ricardo Lockette: ERFA; terms unknown.

--TE Anthony McCoy: Potential UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--LB Mike Morgan: Potential RFA; terms unknown.

--DE Greg Scruggs: Potential RFA; $785,000/1 yr, $100,000 SB.

--DB DeShawn Shead: ERFA; terms unknown.

--DT D'Anthony Smith: UFA; $635,000/1 yr, $50,000 WO.

--FB Will Tukuafu: UFA; $825,000/1 yr, $80,000 SB.

--DT Jesse Williams: FA Seahawks; $435,000/1 yr.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--CB Will Blackmon: FA Jaguars; $950,000/1 yr, $80,000 SB.

--TE Jimmy Graham (trade Saints).

--DT Ahtyba Rubin: UFA Browns; $2.5M/1 yr, $1M SB.

--CB Cary Williams: FA Eagles; $18M/3 yrs, $3.5M SB/$7M guaranteed.

PLAYERS LOST

--G James Carpenter: UFA Jets; $19.1M/4 yrs, $2.5M SB/$7.5M guranteed.

--S Jeron Johnson: UFA Redskins; $3.5M/2 yrs.

--CB Byron Maxwell: UFA Eagles; $63M/6 yrs, $6M SB/$25M guaranteed.

--TE Zach Miller (released/failed physical).

--TE Tony Moeaki: UFA Falcons; $745,000/1 yr.

--C Steve Schilling (not tendered as RFA/retired).

--LB O'Brien Schofield: UFA Falcons; $4.7M/2 yrs, $500 SB/$1M guaranteed.

--T Garrett Scott (released/non-football illness).

--LB Malcolm Smith: UFA Raiders; $7M/2 yrs, $2M SB/$3.75M guaranteed.

--C Max Unger (traded Saints).

--WR Bryan Walters: Not tendered as RFA/Jaguars; terms unknown.

 

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