By Scott M. Johnson
SEATTLE – Michael Sinclair is supposed to be one of the fortunate ones. With four years remaining on a contract that could eventually pay him another $17 million, he’s supposed to be one of the Seattle Seahawks who knows he’ll be back next season.
But in the NFL, it’s never that simple. Nothing is guaranteed – most notably the contracts. So Sinclair realizes that Sunday could have been his last game as a member of the Seahawks.
If that’s the case, he went out in style. Seattle’s 32-year-old defensive end was in on 1 1/2sacks, marking the first time he has officially sacked a quarterback since Oct. 14. It also marked the first time he’s had multiple sacks in a game since Dec. 26, 1999 – a span of 32 games.
“If I’m going to go out, I’m going to go out playing hard,” the 11-year veteran said. “I just left it all out there. I flew around, had some fun, made some plays.”
Making plays hasn’t been one of Sinclair’s best qualities lately. After posting an NFL-high 16.5 sacks in 1998, he’s been held to a total of 12 over the past three seasons. Age could certainly be a factor, but a diagnosis of diabetes prior to the 1999 season could also be a factor.
“I’m sure it’s been really rough on him,” teammate Chad Brown said. “He was one of the league’s leading sackers over a three- or four-year period of time, and then …
“I’m not sure if it’s the diabetes or what, but when you’re not able to do the things you used to be able to do, that’s got to be tough.”
Sinclair was in good spirits after his latest performance, but he wasn’t entirely caught in the present. He knows that his future is uncertain in Seattle.
“Who knows?” Sinclair said. “I understand that I’m an older player. I can’t come around the corner like I used to. I understand that. I’m just playing the way Mike can play. Am I fearful? No. I’ve had a good career in Seattle. Who would have guessed a guy from Eastern New Mexico would have made it this far? I wouldn’t be offended. I’ll just thank guys.”
Among the other players possibly playing their final game with the Seahawks were free agents Trent Dilfer, Mack Strong, Christian Fauria and Todd Weiner. Left tackle Walter Jones is also a free agent, but the team has started taking steps toward signing him to a long-term deal.