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Seahawks notes: Preseason game matchups released

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said Thursday that it’s time for action to back up recent protests by NFL players. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said Thursday that it’s time for action to back up recent protests by NFL players. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

The Seahawks only get half their former AFC West this preseason, for a change.

The NFL’s schedule of exhibition games came out Thursday. Seattle’s are, in order: at Kansas City, home versus Minnesota, home against Dallas and at Oakland.

The league will set the exact dates of most preseason games later. The Seahawks’ first one will be Aug. 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 at Arrowhead Stadium.

This will be the second consecutive summer Seattle’s first road exhibition is at the Chiefs. The exhibition finale Sept. 1 at Oakland will be the 11th consecutive year the Seahawks and Raiders have met in their last preseason game.

But no Denver and no San Diego this summer. The Seahawks had played the Broncos in five of the previous six preseasons, and the Chargers in three of the previous four Augusts.

The Seahawks are playing two teams outside the AFC West for the first time since 2010.

The first of the two home preseason games will be Thursday, Aug. 18, against the Vikings. It should be, oh, about 85 degrees warmer that evening at CenturyLink Field than it was the last time Seattle and Minnesota played. That was in January’s ice-box wild-card playoff game in Minneapolis, where the temperature was 10 below zero.

Since 2011 Seattle has gone 2-2 or better every preseason. The Seahawks were 4-0 in the summer of 2012 when Russell Wilson won the starting quarterback job, and again in 2013 en route to their only Super Bowl championship.

Baldwin isn’t worried

Doug Baldwin told Seattle’s 950-AM radio on Wednesday the Seahawks have not yet started talks on a new contract for their No. 1 wide receiver.

“We haven’t had any talks. And to be completely honest with you I’m not too concerned with it,” Baldwin told KJR-AM host Mitch Levy and Mike Holmgren, the former Seahawks and Packers coach.

Baldwin got engaged last month. Last season he tied for the NFL lead with a Seahawks-record 14 touchdown catches.

This fall will be his final season on the contract extension he signed before the 2014 season. It is paying the Seahawks’ former undrafted rookie out of Stanford $4 million. That is $500,000 less than the average pay Jermaine Kearse now has after Seattle re-signed its No. 2 wide receiver last month.

The Seahawks would not have done Kearse’s deal without a plan for taking care of Baldwin to avoid what could be a potential “walk” season in 2016.

“I love my teammates. I love the city of Seattle. I’m building a home out here,” Baldwin told KJR. “This is going to be where I spend the rest of my days …”

The team’s talks with Baldwin and his agent, Buddy Baker, aren’t likely to heat up until the summer. The Seahawks need to sign draft picks, undrafted free agents and perhaps a veteran lineman or running back or two first.

Levy asked Baldwin if the potential of free agency “excites” him.

“I haven’t really thought about it,” Baldwin replied. “In this moment, if I had to answer that question does free agency intrigue me I’d have to say as a football player, as a person, of course. Anybody who is in this game would love the opportunity to be coveted by other teams and, you know, shown that much attention and appreciation.

“But at the same time, it’s what you truly value in life. And, you know, what I value is the relationships that I’ve formed here in Seattle and Seattle, the city as a whole. I love it here. So, again, you are right, it’s going to come down to a business decision. When that time comes, I’ll cross that bridge.”

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