SEATTLE – The Seahawks couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the opening of training camp, as a picture-perfect day with temperatures in the mid-70s greeted Seattle on Tuesday morning.
But instead of taking to the field at the VMAC for their first football activity of the 2020 season, Seahawks players instead headed there for COVID-19 testing.
NFL players will be tested Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and must have three negative tests before being allowed to officially take part in football activity inside the VMAC.
After testing on Tuesday, players then logged into a Zoom team meeting and offense and defense meetings.
That will be the general schedule Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursday will be a quarantine day also filled with meetings.
Players will take physicals Saturday and Sunday and then embark on an eight-day strength and conditioning period beginning Monday.
A gradual ramp-up period follows from Aug. 12-16 that will essentially mirror what teams usually do during organized team activities (OTAs) in the spring offseason program.
Padded practices won’t begin until Aug. 17.
Without preseason games, those 14 padded practices will be especially vital in helping teams make the decisions to cut their rosters from 80 to the regular-season limit of 53.
But if you expect Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to be riddled with worry about it all, then you don’t know Carroll well.
During an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Monday night, Carroll said he’s confident the season will go as planned.
“I don’t have any other way of looking at it than like that,” he said. “That’s the only way we go here.”
As for obstacles that will undoubtedly occur along the way – which would include the possibility of positive tests for players – Carroll said he’s equally confident the Seahawks will find a way.
“Everybody is losing out on their normal ways,” Carroll said. “And we have to overcome those challenges and we have to do it with attitude. …
“We are going to try to really champion the cause, being on it and being forward thinking and positive, support one another and make the best of it. We are going to kick butt is really the only way I know to go about it.”
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said he thinks players are entering the process hopeful while also understandably wanting to assure their health.
The Seahawks, Wagner said during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” to announce he’s joining the venture capital firm Fuse Venture Partners, “have done an amazing job making sure they can provide the safest environment they possibly can.”
But Wagner said players also have no choice but to put their health first.
“A lot of us, we want to play,” he said. “We just want to make sure it is as safe as it can possibly be.”
Here’s what else happened on an unusual opening day of training camp.
All draft picks now under contract: The Seahawks officially announced Tuesday afternoon that all eight of their 2020 draft picks had signed their contracts.
Six did so over the last day or so, including first-round pick Jordyn Brooks.
Among those signing on Tuesday were second-round pick, defensive end Darrell Taylor, and a third-rounder, guard Damien Lewis.
Tight end Colby Parkinson and receiver Freddie Swain signed their contracts earlier.
The others who are also now under contract are defensive end Alton Robinson, running back DeeJay Dallas and receiver/tight end Stephen Sullivan.
All will get four-year contracts with salaries and bonuses determined on where they were taken in the draft.
The most meaningful impact of the contracts being signed is that their bonuses count against the salary cap.
Seattle began the day with a listed $17.2 million in cap space remaining for the 2020 season, via OvertheCap.com.
Getting all of the rookies signed will bring that down to a little under $15 million.
Adams trade official: Seattle’s trade for Jamal Adams became official Tuesday when both Adams and Bradley McDougald passed their physicals. The Jets made an official announcement of the trade becoming official Tuesday afternoon.
Adams had posted via social media that he had landed in Seattle on Monday night.
Adams is listed as wearing No. 33 for the Seahawks, the same jersey number his father, George, wore in his playing days.
George Adams, a running back, played six seasons in the NFL with the Giants and the Patriots from 1985-91.
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