Pete Carroll hopes Seattle Seahawks, DK Metcalfe can strike a deal, unsure of Chris Carson’s future

RENTON, Washington – Pete Carroll said Thursday that the Seattle Seahawks remain optimistic about striking a deal with receiver DK Metcalfe but they are still not sure if running back Chris Carson will return from neck surgery.

The two offensive players did not attend the mini camp this week for various reasons. Carson had an excused absence as he had not yet been medically cleared, while Metcalfe, standing in line for the massive extension, stayed away in a somewhat abrupt decision. The star receiver earned a commendation from Carroll for his participation in the volunteer portion of the team’s off-season training program amid his precarious contractual condition and recovery from foot surgery.

Speaking Thursday after final practice for the mandatory three-day mini-camp in Seattle, Carroll said he hoped Metcalf would be there and described it as a pity that he wasn’t.

“A decision he had to make,” Carroll said. “We’ve missed him. He did a great job contributing, being a part of everything we did and then he’s here now. So I can’t say much about what he didn’t do here, but we’d love to have him with us.”

The Seahawks considered Metcalf’s absence from the minicamp without excuse, which means he is subject to fines of more than $93,000 for missing over the three days. Carroll was asked if the team planned to impose those fines but declined to answer, citing its policy not to discuss such matters publicly.

Metcalf, 24, is entering the final year of his rookie contract after recording a total of 216 catches for 3,170 yards and 29 touchdowns during his first three seasons. He hasn’t missed a game since the Seahawks drafted him with the last pick for the second round in 2019. His performance, combined with the surging market for wide receivers, has put Metcalfe in line for a deal that could average more than $25 million a year.

Carroll said there were “some” contract talks with Metcalfe’s side. The Seahawks don’t usually end big-budget extensions to players on contract until later in the summer.

“These are crucial weeks to get something done and we’ll see what happens and hopefully we can get something done,” Carroll said. “[We’ve] You really intend to get that done.”

When asked if he’s less optimistic about striking a deal with Metcalf than he was before not attending the junior camp, Carroll noted that the Seahawks have a proven track record of expanding the range of players they want to keep for the long term since he and general manager John Schneider arrived. 2010.

“I’m no less optimistic, no,” Carroll said. “We’ve been through this for years. It’s a tough time. We’ve had a lot of notable people who’ve gone through this process, and how has it been for us? We figured it out in time. John is on it. He’s so much experienced as you can handle this stuff.” And DK has great acting and DK is the heck of a kid. But there’s no way to avoid this first time, the first time he’s looked and tried and all… He’s an amazing person. He’s a great player. He has so much to offer the world and everything, just me. I don’t want him to miss this opportunity to where we can’t see outside. So we’ll do everything we can.”

Carson, 27, played only four games last season with a neck injury that required what Carroll called fusion surgery in December. He still doesn’t have a full range of motion, says Carroll, and hasn’t been medically cleared after a recent evaluation.

Carroll said there is a “major evaluation to be done” when doctors meet with Carson again in a couple of weeks, adding, “They’ll meet again and see where he is and tell us.”

“We’ve been – about 10 days now – here and had a good opportunity to hang out with him and get a feel for him,” Carroll said. “He’s worried because he wants to play and he loves the game and he’s a worker, he wants to work and pay and all that, and there are some things he was still a little bit restricted to do that he wasn’t quite ready to do it all at the time.

“It’s just hard for him. Our guys love this game they grew up playing and when they feel like there might be an end to it, it’s hard. It’s hard and real. We’ll love him through this game and help him as much as we can if that’s the case, as we do with everyone when It’s about his end. It’s inevitable. It’s coming. But it’s always early. We try to fight that and he knows it. He fights. He does everything he can and wants to compete all the way to the last word, and so he strives for that.” .

Carson started all five of his NFL seasons as a start in Seattle. He topped 1,100 yards in 2018 (14 games) and 2019 (15 games), the two healthiest seasons in a career marred by injuries. He’s under contract until 2022 after a free agency test last season and a return to Seattle on a two-year deal worth $10.425 million that includes a guaranteed $5.5 million.

The Seahawks re-signed Rashad Benny in March and drafted Kane Walker III in the second round, cementing their backcourt with future football Carson in the air.

“It was one of my all-time favorite Seahawks,” Carroll said. “I love what he defended and what he brought and we would love to bring him back. He is a very special player and a very special competitor in your team and in person. So we will keep our fingers crossed.”

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