Pete Carroll thought Chris Clemons, the Seahawks’ leader in sacks over the past two seasons, would be on hand as the Seahawks opened a three-day minicamp Tuesday.
Instead, Clemons, who has missed most of Seattle’s voluntary workouts this offseason, was absent from the team’s first mandatory workout, and Carroll said the absence was unexcused.
“In communications with Chris, I thought he was coming, so this is kind of a late development that he’s not,” Carroll said. “So I’m a little bit surprised that he’s not here. We’ve had open communications with the agent and with Chris, and we feel like everything is on the up and up and very amicable. It continues to be one of our priorities and we’d love to get him back, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to show up for the rest of camp.”
If Clemons does indeed miss all three days of the minicamp, he can be fined $60,000 for his absence. Clemons, who had 11 sacks in each of the last two seasons since coming to Seattle, has one year and $4 million left on his contract. Carroll said the two sides have been in talks about a contract, but obviously Clemons isn’t happy with his contract situation if he is not showing up.
“He’s got another year on his contract, so we’re talking about future potential stuff, and that’s something we’ve had our eye on for some time with him,” Carroll said. “He’s done a very good job for us in the first couple year with us, and we’re really pleased with his play and his work habits and all of that stuff, so I’m a little bit surprised that we’re not able to get further than we are, but we’ll see what happens.”
Asked if this holdout could linger into training camp, Carroll only answered: “I don’t know. I don’t know that.”
While Clemons may have out-played his contract, so to speak, over the past two seasons, he doesn’t have a lot of leverage to be making big demands. The Seahawks drafted defensive end Bruce Irvin in the first round of this year’s draft, and see him as the same type of player as Clemons. Ideally, they would prefer to bring Irving along slowly and have him and Clemons compliment each other, but Carroll said Irvin could step into that starting role if necessary.