Finally, football is back.
Maybe I’m too excited for a team that has won only nine games in two years, but there is nothing better than starting a fresh season in the National Football League.
Renton was busy today; two separate practices in the morning and afternoon meant non-stop traffic between the Landing and the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Local businesses proudly displayed posters featuring Seattle’s trademark “12″ and eager fans filled sidewalks wearing Seahawks apparel.
The morning opened with several stories, but none more surprising than Sean Morey’s retirement.
Sean Morey had been signed by the Seattle Seahawks last March after spending three seasons with division rival Arizona. Morey, a highly regarded special teamer and former Pro Bowl selection, was expected to improve Seattle’s coverage units this season.
Morey’s decision leaves the Seahawks with only eleven receivers in camp, but his contributions weren’t expected to be as an offensive player. With his departure, it creates a potential opportunity for another player who is in camp with the team.
While Morey would have been beneficial for Seattle’s special teams, his retirement isn’t necessarily the worst thing that could have happened to the franchise.
With Morey’s retirement, the Seahawks are expected to receive a compensatory draft selection in the fourth round next year. The complicated calculations reimburse Seattle with draft picks for losing Nate Burleson at wide receiver; prior to Morey’s retirement, the compensation would have been reduced because he is also listed as a receiver.
So maybe there is room for optimism in this story.
Morey, however, is a good guy. He has excelled on the football field, but is a real ambassador for the game off the field. It is unfortunate the Seahawks lost him before his tenure in Seattle even began.
Morey, who was co-chairman of the NFLPA’s brain-injury committee, has been very concerned with long-term safety risks associated with football. Morey is one of three NFL players – Lofa Tatupu is another – who have agreed to donate their brains to be studied following death.
Hopefully, Morey retired early enough to avoid any long-term problems from concussions or other head injuries. His work in improving player safety and brain-injury awareness is selfless and invaluable.
The Seahawks will receive future draft compensation, but Morey’s off-field contributions are much more important and long-term.