Seahawks know speculation about Clark will swirl until draft
By TIM BOOTH
RENTON, Wash. (AP) Seahawks general manager John Schneider knows there is going to be speculation about Frank Clark's future at least until the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday since the defensive end would seem to be the most viable trade commodity that could land Seattle the draft picks it covets.
"This time, and the trade deadline, there's some speculation about a lot of players. We're involved in a lot of deals. We take a lot of pride in that. We wouldn't be doing our jobs if we weren't listening to everybody," Schneider said Monday.
"I get it, people need to speculate this time of year. Watched something this morning where everybody figured it out for us. We take a lot of pride in having relationships through the league and understanding what's going on as much as we possibly can."
Seattle resolved one long-term issue last week when it signed quarterback Russell Wilson to an extension that made him the highest-paid player in football and would keep him with the Seahawks through 2023. But the deal may also have priced Seattle out of keeping Clark, who is set to play the upcoming season on the franchise tag after the sides were unable to come to agreement on a long-term deal. Clark will make $17.1 million if he signs his franchise tag tender.
Keeping Clark around also becomes more difficult because Seattle needs to try to sign defensive tackle Jarran Reed and All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner to extensions. "Feasible, very challenging," Schneider said when asked about getting long-term deals done for all three.
Seattle's meager supply of picks is a big reason Clark's future is such a big topic, however. The Seahawks have only four picks and have no selections in the second, sixth and seventh rounds. Most expect the Seahawks to try to trade out of the 21st overall pick to acquire picks in later rounds. A deal involving Clark could provide Schneider the freedom to make bigger moves and get more picks.
Seattle is also on track to have a significant amount of picks in 2020 depending on compensatory picks. Some of the picks for next year could be part of deals this year to make up the deficit.
"I think people recognize that we're obviously open to moving back," Schneider said. "This year is unique having four picks. Rookie free agency is going to be huge for us, because it's not like you just pick up the phone and people are like, `OK, yeah, we'll come up.' It's a process that starts several selections ahead of where you're currently sitting. But our guys do a great job of calling everybody trying to get scenarios all set up - they're trying to figure out where we can go and move back to. I think the fact that we have done it a lot, I would think invites people a little bit."
NOTES: Coach Pete Carroll said WR Doug Baldwin underwent surgery for a sports hernia earlier this month and has been at the team's facility for rehab. "He's working at it every day. He is here in the building and I didn't see him today but he was here and he is working at it and making good progress. It's a long haul," Carroll said.
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Updated April 22, 2019