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Cornerback Jeremy Lane fails physical, will return to Seahawks

Jeremy Lane, left, is returning to the Seattle Seahawks after failing a physical with the Houston Texans. (Kevin P. Casey / AP)
Jeremy Lane, left, is returning to the Seattle Seahawks after failing a physical with the Houston Texans. (Kevin P. Casey / AP)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane failed his physical with the Houston Texans, according to multiple reports from the Houston Chronicle and ESPN, and will no longer be included in a trade for left tackle Duane Brown.

Instead, the Seahawks will now also send a 2018 third-round pick to Houston as well as a 2019 second-rounder to make the trade work while also getting back a 2018 fifth-round pick. Seattle had initially been scheduled to send a 2018 fifth-round pick to Houston along with the 2019 second-rounder and Lane.

Essentially, Seattle is upgrading the 2018 pick it is sending to Houston from a fifth to a third instead of giving Lane to the Texans, while also getting a fifth-rounder back, with the other parts of the trade remaining the same.

That, though, creates the oddity of Lane remaining with Seattle after having been traded and the Seahawks also having to create room on the roster for Brown – with Lane returning the Seahawks now have 54 players on their active roster (the limit is 53).

While the trade was listed on the official NFL transactions Tuesday, the teams involved were holding off making an official announcement until physicals were completed. The reason for that became clear with the news involving Lane.

Lane played only six snaps in Sunday’s win over Houston, all in the first quarter, with Seattle coach Pete Carroll on Monday saying of Lane that “he got banged on his thigh, got a little thigh bruise. That happened to him.”

Lane, a sixth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2012, had also been dealing with a groin injury that held him out of Seattle’s previous two games as well as a finger issue that had him officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

“He jammed the end of two fingers pretty violently, and he got banged up pretty good there for an unusual play, so we’ll see what happens,” Carroll said on Friday of Lane. “It’s pretty sore today, he was able to practice today, we’ll find out what happens tomorrow and Sunday all the way up to game time.”

Seattle had included Lane in the deal in large part to make it work from a salary cap standpoint – he is due $2.1 million more this season in base salary, which was guaranteed last February.

It had been revealed earlier Monday that quarterback Russell Wilson had reworked his contract to convert $6.26 million of salary to bonus, prorating it over the remaining three years of his contract, to create $4.1 million in salary cap room for this season.

That, plus dealing Lane, allowed Seattle to fit the remaining $4.9 million that Brown is due this season under its cap – Seattle had just $1.4 million in cap room before making the deal for Brown on Monday.

Lane, Seattle general manager John Schneider said on Monday, “had to be part of the deal” to make it work.

The Seahawks were thought to have about $2.6 million in cap space remaining after the Wilson restructure. With Lane back, that number appears to dip to about $600,000.

That figures to mean Seattle will need to do a little more finagling to make all the parts work – since Lane’s salary is guaranteed merely cutting him won’t help. But the assumption is that since the trade is still on, the Seahawks have a plan to fit it all together and create a least a little more cap space. Teams can’t be right at zero this time of year since they need a little bit of money to cover things that could happen down the road.

The amended trade, though, means the Seahawks will not have either a second- or third-round pick in the 2018 draft, the second-rounder having been sent to the Jets in September as part of the Sheldon Richardson trade. Seattle also is not expected to get any compensatory picks in 2018, so Seattle may have just one pick before the fourth round in 2018.

The Seahawks at the moment appear to have their first- and fourth-round picks as well as three in the fifth and two in the seventh.

Seattle also has 11 offensive linemen on its roster with the addition of Brown, so that’s one area where the Seahawks could clear out a player to get down to 53. Or maybe Seattle ends up doing something with Lane, though he can’t be traded anywhere since the trade deadline passed at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

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