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Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas Ends Holdout; Reports to Team

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has ended his holdout and will report to the team Wednesday according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.

Arriving today means that Thomas will not miss out on any regular season checks, which in his case means $500,000 dollars per week on his scheduled $8.5 million base salary for 2018. The 29-year-old Pro Bowl safety had previously said he would not report without a new deal but the Seahawks have a history of holding firm with holdout safeties in the past, as Kam Chancellor didn’t get extra money when he tried this in 2015. And the Seahawks did not seem inclined to give in to Thomas’s demands that he be traded even as word surfaced that the Dallas Cowboys had upped their offer from a third-round pick to a second-rounder.

While it appears that Thomas will now play out the final year of his deal in Seattle, he made it clear he still feels bitterness towards the organization. In an Instagram post showing him working out, Thomas wrote the following: “I worked my whole life for this. I’ve never let me teammates, city or fans down as long as I’ve lived and don’t plan on starting this weekend. With that being said, the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten. Father Time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career.”

It seems pretty obvious Thomas will be wearing a different uniform in 2019. And it still seems possible that a trade will be worked out at some point this season so that the Seahawks get some kind of compensation for their star safety.

Seahawks 5th Round Pick Shaquem Griffin Looking Impressive in Camp

Fifth round Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin was the feel-good story of the 2018 NFL draft, inspiring people across the nation as he reached the professional level despite losing his left hand to amputation at age 4 due to a congenital birth defect.

Griffin’s new teammates want to broadcast a different one: This kid can play, Nate Davis of USA Today reports.

“Shaquem is definitely one that stands out to me,” fellow linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “All the people that doubted him because he doesn’t have a hand? He’s a great player. He’s flying around making plays, he picked off Russ, he’s batting down passes, making sacks.”

The interception of star quarterback Russell Wilson in a previous camp practice, as noted by Wagner, is important on several levels. It shows Griffin — undersized for his position at 6 feet and 227 pounds — can play with first stringers. It also provides further evidence that the former American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year can handle a scheme that will demand he play in space and likely put him in pass coverage far more often than at the line of scrimmage, where he frequently lined up for Central Florida while collecting 18½ sacks over his final two college seasons.

“He’s playing surprisingly really good,” Seattle defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. told USA TODAY Sports, clarifying his surprise is a nod to how quickly Griffin has grasped his new assignments.

“I mean, this kid is fast, he’s really smart, he’s really physical, he doesn’t make the same mistake twice, and he shows up every day. He’s for real. We understand that he’s missing a hand — and everybody focuses on that note — but he’s a real football player.

“He’s a joy to coach.”

Griffin has impressed on special teams, too, and already earned first-team reps alongside Wagner when veteran K.J. Wright has rested.

Still, Griffin knows now is no time for complacency.

“I got a lot to prove. I got to prove myself every single day, I’m not going to get comfortable where I’m at. I’m blessed and happy to be here, but the work is not done. Far from done,” he said Friday, while thanking Wagner and Wright for all they’ve done to mentor him on and off the field.

“I’m just here to learn more and be the best player and be the best teammate I can be.”

He became an overnight fan favorite, which has put pep in his step considering twin brother Shaquill, a cornerback, is beginning his second season with the Seahawks and poised to assume departed Richard Sherman’s role as the club’s top corner.

“Well, I don’t walk around too much. But, definitely the fans are just amazing, they show love wherever we go,” said Shaquem Griffin. “If it’s just going to the store, everybody always is just going to show love. They are happy that I’m here, and I’m glad to be here. I’m extremely blessed. The thing is, I just got to get a better reaction for my brother. He’s not too happy that I moved in with him.”

The Seahawks are thrilled he’s moved into their linebacker room and are expecting Griffin to make a difference for a defense that fell out of the league’s top-five overall ranking last year for the first time since 2011.

“He’s a great rookie, man. He listens. He hits people. It’s fun to watch him,” Wright told said. “He sits right between me and Bobby in meetings and asks us a lot of questions.

“He gets the job done, he’ll be fun to watch this year.”

Schefter: Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin to Miss Most of Preseason

Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin may miss most if not all of the preseason with a knee injury according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Schefter adds that doctors are “hopeful and confident” Baldwin will be ready by the time Week 1 rolls around. At this stage of his career, Baldwin doesn’t need the preseason, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to have the reps to knock off the rust.

For now, consider Baldwin likely to be ready for the opener.

Seahawks Bring Back Offensive Guard J.R. Sweezy

The Seahawks have brought back offensive guard J.R. Sweezy according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

Terms of the deal have not yet been released but the reunion makes sense for both sides. Originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Seahawks out of North Carolina State in 2012, Sweezy spent his first four NFL seasons in Seattle and was the team’s starting right guard during their 2013 Super Bowl season.

Unfortunately, injuries have since derailed the 29-year-old’s career. After signing a five-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he missed the entire 2016 season with a back injury and then suffered through an injury-plagued 2017.

Sweezy had to sit out OTAs while continuing to recover from a broken leg and the Bucs finally threw in the towel on the free agent bust in early July. If Sweezy can get and stay healthy, he could provide interior line depth for a Seahawks O-line that has been the team’s achilles heels in the past few seasons.

Bobby Wagner Seems To Know Earl Thomas’ Pain in Terms of His Holdout

It’s easy to connect the two dots and say, as many do, that Earl Thomas is under contract thus he has an obligation to be at all mandatory Seahawks events.

That includes training camp that begins in 2 1/2 weeks. The three-time All-Pro safety may be for the start of camp what he’s been for every other team event since Seattle last played a game seven months ago: absent. Thomas is protesting not having a new deal beyond his that ends after 2018.

Bobby Wagner
outlined why he and some of Thomas’ teammates don’t blame him for skipping out on the Seahawks so far, Gregg Bell of the Tacoma Tribune reports.

Wagner said he understands if the 29-year-old Thomas continues his principled stance of staying away from training camp that begins with players’ reporting day July 26, staying away until he gets top dollar on a new Seahawks deal.

Such is life for players under the NFL’s non-guaranteed contracts.

“You’ve got to do what’s right for you,” Wagner told KJR. “Because at the end of the day, whenever you are done they don’t care about you. You’ve got to get what you’ve got to get while you can. Because as soon as you can’t play… ”

“As soon as you get hurt,” Avril interjected.

“Yeah,” Wagner responded. “As soon as you can’t play and they don’t want you no more, it’s over. So you’ve got to make the best of your opportunity.”

This could be Thomas’ last one to get top-of-the-league money, a deal with tens of millions in guaranteed cash for many years to come.

Seahawks Give a Fond Farewell to an Original Employee from 1976

The Seahawks today said good-bye to one of their oldest tenured employees, Sandy Gregory, as she retired from working from the team after 42 seasons.

The team announced the retirement on Twitter, and also former players on the team said ‘so long’ to Gregory on Twitter as well.

Happy Retirement Sandy!

Seahawks Charging Season Ticket Holders Additional Fees For Hard Tickets

It looks like the Seattle Seahawks are the latest NFL team making the move to mobile tickets, with the team announcing last week via an e-mail to season ticket holders that the team is “excited to introduce an expanded mobile ticket offering for the upcoming 2018 season!”

While mobile ticketing is nothing new, the Seahawks have taken it a step further, actually penalizing those fans who want to receive their season tickets in physical form, with a $35 add-on fee. (Whether that’s $35 per ticket/game or $35 for the entire season is unclear, but we’re hoping it’s the latter)

Naturally, the team is using “security” as the reasoning behind this switch, saying that print-at-home tickets were rife for fraud and counterfeiting. But in reality, they likely want to keep tabs on how their tickets are being used (and resold), as they attempt to keep seasons out of the hands of the big bad ticket brokers.

Given that mobile tickets have had their share of issues (like the Falcons debacle last fall when Ticketmaster’s systems went down), some fans are voicing their displeasure with this move.

“Come on, Seahawks! We gotta keep those hold-in-your-hand tickets. It’s traditional. It’s real,” wrote Peter House, a season ticket holder since 1997 in an email forwarded to the Seattle Times. “Ticketless entry just turns one more good thing into those ephemeral pixels on a screen. It will take all the fun out of giving tickets to my friends and family. What will I do now? Send them an e-mail?”

Furthermore, single-game tickets are also going mostly mobile. Only tickets purchased at the box office in a one-time event in July will be paper this year.

Not sure how this fares for those who don’t have a smartphone (yes, there are plenty of folks out there rocking 2005 Nokia’s, I actually saw someone using one yesterday), but it should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

What do you think of the Seahawks’ mobile ticketing initiative?

Report: Seahawks to Ink Former Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds

The Seahawks will sign Keenan Reynolds, who rushed for 4,559 yards operating Navy’s famed triple-option offense, the most of any quarterback in FBS history, as well as 88 touchdowns, also an FBS record, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports.

Reynolds was then given permission to play immediately as it was determined he could fulfill his commitment to the Navy by serving in the Navy Ready Reserve and was taken in the sixth round of the 2016 draft by the Ravens at 182 overall. With the Ravens he began a conversion to being a receiver/returner and it is expected he will also be tried by the Seahawks in those roles.

The 5-10, 185-pounder has yet to play in an NFL game but was on the Ravens’ 53-man roster for one game in 2016. He then was waived prior to the 2017 season and spent some time on Washington’s practice squad last season. But he was not re-signed after the season and became a free agent.

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