|Engram in Seahawks camp, top rookies still out|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 24 July 2008 15:03|
The Seahawks got off to a backward start to training camp Thursday.
A team spokesman confirmed that Engram, Seattle's leading receiver last season coming off a career year, reported for a late-afternoon meeting.
After setting the Seahawks' season record with 94 catches in 2007, the 35-year-old Engram skipped two voluntary minicamps in the spring and dropped a letter on the desks of team president Tim Ruskell and coach Mike Holmgren stating he wants more than the final year and $1.7 million he has remaining on his deal.
The Seahawks have refused to re-negotiate with Engram. Yet Holmgren and the Seahawks expected Engram to report on time and be on the practice field for Friday's first drills, mainly because they could have fined him as much as $15,000 per day had he held out.
Both Jackson and Carlson have already professed how happy they are to be in Seattle. It make take another day or so before they sign, but the Seahawks are optimistic both deals will be done soon. Since they are not under contract, they can't be fined.
Jackson, a speedy defensive end from Southern California and the team's top pick, was getting closer to signing his contract as of Thursday evening. His agent, Sean Howard, wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press that ``we're still discussing terms with the Seahawks.''
Teams and agents wait to see what money other first rounders get and then negotiate based on those figures. The rookies drafted immediately ahead and behind Jackson have signed: cornerback Antoine Cason by San Diego (No. 27 overall) and Kentwan Balmer by San Francisco (No. 29). Cason received a five-year deal worth $12 million. Balmer reportedly signed for five years and $11.5 million, with $6 million guaranteed.
Howard and the Seahawks were undoubtedly looking hard at that deal: Balmer is also a defensive end.
Carlson's negotiations are likely being complicated by his agents knowing the Seahawks are counting on the rookie from Notre Dame to start this season at tight end, a position that is key to Holmgren's offense but was largely a black hole last season with injuries and the ineffectiveness of fading veteran Marcus Pollard, who was not re-signed.
They also know Seattle traded up in the second round on draft day to get Carlson, who is 6-foot-5 and known for dependable hands.
Because of that, Carlson's representatives are likely seeking money closer to that of a late first-round choice than of the 38th overall pick.
Fourth-round draft choice Red Bryant and fifth-round pick Owen Schmitt were in camp Thursday night with contract agreements in place, though they have yet to formally sign.
When practice begins Friday morning, the Seahawks are expected to place wide receiver Deion Branch, defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs and punter Ryan Plackemeier on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Branch had reconstructive knee surgery soon after being injured in January's playoff loss at Green Bay and might not be ready for the season opener Sept. 7. Tubbs had arthroscopic surgery in the spring on the same knee he had reconstructed last fall. Holmgren has said Plackemeier could be out into late August. He had surgery last month for a torn pectoral muscle.