“Everybody’s talking to everybody” — Pete Carroll
That about sums up the state of affairs at the Combine, although Carroll was talking specifically about Earl Thomas there.
Carroll revealed very little about Seattle’s direction with contracts, trades and free agents, but he offered a few little nuggets.
Among the tidbits: He has talked to Thomas; John Schneider is talking to other teams about possible deals; the franchise tag is still an option for Sheldon Richardson; the team has talked to DeShawn Shead about playing safety again; Carroll has not talked to Michael Bennett; and Carroll would love to keep Jimmy Graham (and every free agent).
Thomas has made it clear he wants an extension that makes him the highest-paid safety in the league and has said he would hold out if he does not get it.
“Last year at this time he had retired, so I’m not sure where to put that right now,” Carroll cracked, adding that he has talked to Thomas about non-contract things. “He’s a great competitor, he wants to take it as far as he can, and I admire the heck out of him.”
Asked about possible trade talks involving Richard Sherman, Carroll said, “John is doing all the talking right now, doing all the conversations about everybody. This time of year we are listening to everybody about everything, like we do. Nothing specific.”
Of course, the news that Sherman had surgery on his other Achilles probably ends any trade possibilities — even though the cornerback is expected to be ready to roll for training camp.
Asked about using the franchise tag on Richardson, Carroll said coyly: “All of those choices are out there.” However, the Seahawks are not expected to use the projected $14.5 million tender by the deadline next Tuesday.
With Kam Chancellor unlikely to play again, the Seahawks need a strong safety, and they are considering Shead for that role. Shead likely would be cheaper than Bradley McDougald, who probably is the preferred starter if he is affordable.
As for Bennett, Carroll said he hasn’t talked to the defensive end “in a while now” — making it sound like the defensive end’s future with the club is indeed in question. UPDATE: An ESPN report later indicated the Seahawks are shopping Bennett.
Carroll reiterated he would like to keep Graham, but the tight end is expected to get a better offer from another team.
“We love Jimmy; we love what he did,” Carroll said. “He had a very effective year for us last year. We’d love to have him back. We’ll see how it goes and see how the competition is for him.”
All in all, the coach revealed very little. But that’s more than we had before today.