Quarterbacks take center stage and other things we learned on Day 2 of Seahawks minicamp

RENTON — The second of three mandatory Seahawks minicamp practices on Wednesday looked like the first on Tuesday.

There was still no sign of DK Metcalf, who seems to be sitting all over the minicamp as he prepares for a new contract. But there was the sight of safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs on the pitch again on the first visit – getting their first job since injuries that ended their 2021 seasons – before sitting out during away drills at full speed.

Here’s what stood out again on Wednesday:

QBs take center stage

Wednesday marked the first opportunity since the start of the offseason program for the media to speak to quarterbacks Geno Smith and Drew Lock. During the 11-on-11 visit that kicked off practice, Smith again led the first team and Lock the second. For much of the rest of training, all the QBs rotated working with different formations, which is common at this time of year, but that means Lock works with the first teams and Smith with the second, so there is a familiarity between all the players.

Lock threw an interception in a seven-on-seven drill at Ugo Amadi, and noted the two got to know each other during practice for the 2019 draft and spent some time earlier this week watching a movie.

“I can attribute this choice today to the fact that we’re watching (the movie),” Lock said with a smile. “…No need to watch a movie together anymore. We’re done with that.”

On a more serious note, Lock said he felt more and more familiar with the offense and “I feel like I can go out and play a game tomorrow and be successful.”

Smith has held the top of the depth chart throughout the offseason program thanks in large part to his previous three years with the Seahawks and his work last year in coordinator Shane Waldron’s new offense.

Smith noted that it’s nice to have a lot of extra shots “with the ones (the first team), with the guys that I’m really going to play with in games. But as far as my mentality is concerned, it still remains the same. I’ve always prepared myself the same way since day one.”

For now, all that’s clear about the quarterback competition is that it’s far from over.

Smith’s things will work out with DUI

Wednesday marked the first time Smith has spoken to the media since he was arrested on suspicion of impaired driving on Jan. 10. A decision on the charges has not yet been made as prosecutors await the results of blood tests from the State Patrol Crime Lab, which can take up to 10 months.

Said Smith: “These things will be settled. But I am extremely confident. These things just have a timeline and they have to be worked out. But I don’t see anything, no problem.”

Depending on the outcome of the case, Smith could face disciplinary action from the NFL. Players can be suspended for up to three games without payment for a first DUI offense.

O-line keep mixing

As noted, this is the time of year when mixing and matching rosters are common, and that’s how the Seahawks used modified offensive line combinations throughout practice Wednesday versus to what we saw on Tuesday.

The Seahawks went with sophomore Stone Forsythe at right tackle with starters instead of Abraham Lucas and Jake Curhan at right guard instead of Phil Haynes. Lucas and Haynes each worked with the second team at right tackle and guard, respectively.

Forsythe getting so much time at the right tackle is an interesting development as this location has been seen as a competition between Lucas – a WSU third-round pick – and Curhan, who started the final five games of last season there. Forsythe, a sixth-round pick a year ago from Florida, had played at left tackle, supporting first-round pick Charles Cross.

As has been the case throughout the offseason, Cross was the left tackle with the starters, Damien Lewis the left guard and Austin Blythe the center.

Haynes was the starter at right guard throughout the offseason with veteran Gabe Jackson sitting (Jackson is present but hasn’t been on the field).

The Seahawks also had Dakoda Shepley at center with second unit and Kyle Fuller at guard. Those spots were reversed on Tuesday.

It had the second OL looking like this from left to right – Greg Eiland, Fuller, Shepley, Haynes and Lucas.

The Harris deal reworked to save space on the ceiling

In a move designed to free up space on the salary cap, the Seahawks restructured the contract of defensive lineman Shelby Harris, who was acquired as part of the Russell Wilson deal.

The restructuring doesn’t change the fact that Harris has two more years left on his contract or can earn up to $16.9 million.

Harris is now receiving a large portion of his 2022 base salary in the form of a signing bonus, giving the Seahawks $3.27 million in additional cap space this year.

Harris was to receive a salary of $7.5 million for 2022. With the restructuring, he now receives $6.54 million in the form of a signing bonus, which can be prorated over the two years of the deal, reducing its cap to $4.709 million.

That leaves the Seahawks with $17.08 million remaining in cap space for the 2022 season.

While there was inevitable speculation as to why they would free up cap space now, the indications were that it was not in anticipation of an imminent move, but the Seahawks creating additional flexibility for the rest of the season.

Quick Observations

  • Although Metcalf hasn’t been on the field during the offseason program and is sitting at a minicamp with an unjustified absence, Smith said the two talk “all the time.” Smith added: “He’s rehabilitating his injury, getting his things together and we would love him to be here, but we understand he’s not and we’ll let him and anyone else decide. Assuming Metcalf doesn’t participate in the final minicamp practice on Thursday, he could face fines of more than $93,000.
  • Metcalf, running back Chris Carson (injury) and tight end Will Dissly (illness) were not seen for a second straight day. Another absentee on Wednesday was backup security Ryan Neal, who had an excused absence. All the others on the list of 90 men were present.
  • With Metcalf out and Dee Eskridge and rookies Bo Melton and Dareke Young all sidelined, receivers typically deeper on the depth chart got important work with starters. Fourth-year Cody Thompson, who spent last season on the practice squad, may have benefited the most. Lock revealed that Thompson was among the receivers he practiced with in Dallas for a few days before the team reported for the offseason program in mid-April. “He plays the ball really well,” Lock said. “…I think he deserves a little more respect than he could get, I’ll say it.”

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