A GRIP ON SPORTS • Here it is, the middle of June. In the Spokane area, school is still in session. And yet the hot topic in the state’s professional sports ranks is a football holdout. Seems the Seahawks’ DK Metcalf would like a contract extension.
• Attendance at summer minicamps is a “mandatory” part of an NFL player’s contract with their team.
That doesn’t mean every player always shows up at everyone. Some veterans are given excused absences as they nurse injuries or for some other unexplained reason – as was the case for running back Chris Carson and tight end Will Dissly on Tuesday. Other veterans have a more basic reason for not being in attendance. They feel it is time for the team to pony up more cash.
Which is where Metcalf is these days.
The breakout star of the Hawks’ 2019 draft class, Metcalf believes he is one of the NFL’s better receivers. And he should be paid like it. Problem is, he’s still playing under his rookie contract. That means he made about a million dollars last season. He’ll make around $4 million this year. After that, he hopes to enter the salary realm of the best receivers in the league. How much is that? Well, Davante Adams just signed a five-year deal with the Raiders worth $141 million.
That’s a bit different than what Metcalf will make. Unless he and the Hawks can come to agreement on an extension.
Just last year the Seahawks and Tyler Lockett, the other end of the team’s wide-receiver pairing, agreed on a four-year, $69 million contract that guaranteed Lockett at least $37 million. As that was agreed to before the market was reset at the Adams’ level, Metcalf will want more.
Is he worth it?
In an NFL sense, yes. Few in the league stretch the defense vertically as well as Metcalf. His speed and size make him a threat on every play. He must be accounted for each snap, giving others better opportunities.
And then there is the star power, a key element in the league. Metcalf is larger than life, a media icon that is poised to become the face of the franchise – at least until the Hawks find their quarterback of the future.
With all that being said, it is surprising Metcalf isn’t at camp, even if his offseason foot surgery gives him an injury-out. It seemed just a few days ago he was confident a long-term deal would be struck, telling Fox’s Shannon Sharpe “I think I’ll be in Seattle for the next coming years.”
Then he’s not there in June.
Should Seahawk fans worry? Not yet. Usually, the Hawks and players in Metcalf’s situation find a way to strike a deal during training camp. There is a press conference, both pledge undying loyalty to each other and there are smiles everywhere. Until someone else signs a bigger conference elsewhere.
And the process begins again.
• For most of the offseason, woe-is-us has been the Washington State basketball fan’s go-to mantra. After all, the Cougars were losing players faster than the Mariners were losing baseball games. And that wasn’t good.
Maybe not. Or just maybe it’s the way of the college hoops world these days.
After what happened Tuesday, the Cougar roster doesn’t look all that bad.
Mouhamed Gueye, one of the two bigs Washington State thought it was losing, is coming back, according to a report from CBS’ Jon Rothstein. No NBA, no transfer portal. Not anymore. He will be part of a rotation of four inside players that include returnee Dishon Jackson and incoming freshmen Adrame Diongue and Mael Hamon-Crespin.
That’s big news. And pairs nicely with the other nugget. Tennessee guard Justin Powell, a 6-foot-6 point who was pretty darn good his truncated freshman season at Auburn, is headed to Pullman.
The Cougars could use help at the point and Powell is eager to provide it. He told ESPN it was the main reason he chose WSU.
Three months before school starts again, the Cougars look to be set. After a few months of teeth-gnashing.
WSU: We linked Colton Clark’s stories on Gueye and Powell above and do so again here. … Around the Pac-12 and college sports, we mentioned Ryan Leaf being on the Hall of Fame ballot this year. The next player up should be Rien Long. … Jon Wilner also takes a look in the Mercury News at the conference’s football recruiting. … Washington has a bunch of breakout candidates for this season. … Stanford’s regional comeback should give it momentum in the baseball Super Regional matchup with Connecticut. … Oregon State will also be hosting a Super Regional. The Beavers face Auburn. … Arizona wants to add pitching depth by next season.
Gonzaga: Around the WCC, BYU may not be losing the conference’s best women’s basketball player after all.
Idaho: The Vandals have added a junior college transfer to their basketball roster. That news leads off the S-R’s latest local briefs column.
Preps: Baseball is unique in that it holds feeder games for an all-star weekend later this month in Yakima. Dave Nichols was at the Spokane-area one held yesterday. He has this story.
Indians: Dave also has this story on Spokane’s 7-1 loss at Eugene in the first of their six-game series.
Mariners: What is that old saying about momentum only lasting as long as tomorrow’s starting pitcher? Well, Justin Verlander was the Astros’ starting pitcher yesterday and the M’s momentum disappeared in a 4-1 loss. … Houston reliever Hector Neris will disappear for four games. He was suspended for intentionally throwing at Mariner players Monday night.
Seahawks: One “famous” player – at least around these parts – who is at the minicamp is offensive tackle Abe Lucas. Our buddy Dave Boling has this column on Lucas’ first day. … The Metcalf situation garnered many of the headlines this morning. … Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs are not completely healthy yet but they were at camp and participated in their own way. … Could Carson’s career be over?
Storm: Jewell Lloyd can be a scoring machine. She was last night as Seattle pulled itself over the .500 mark with a 72-60 win over the Atlanta Dream.
Kraken: Playing for your country can lead to an injury as easily as playing professionally. Now Seattle will be without its goalie for the next few months.
Golf: Joel Dahmen has qualified for the U.S. Open. He was out looking for a home to rent near the Boston-area course the other day, using Twitter as his real estate agent. Jim Meehan has more in this story. … By the way, Tiger Woods won’t be playing due to his injuries.
• If you are like us and have trouble sleeping occasionally, this time of year can hold some unexpected delights. Today’s discovery: birds begin chirping, loudly, before 4 a.m. Mainly because, we’re sure, the sun is just over the horizon. Made us wonder: do birds chirp 24 hours straight in Alaska? We need to drive up and find out. Until later …