Chris Clemons was a predictable no-show for the team’s last mini-camp that began today. Clemons is looking for a new contract, and these types of hold-outs are common place in this type of situation.
This news has been taken as some sort of doomsday sign by a least a few Seahawks fans. Holdouts mean players aren’t in football shape when games start, and that means injuries and bad things for the team, right? Well, yes and no. Holdouts do cause those problems, but those are training camp holdouts, not mini-camp holdouts.
Mini-camps are about learning the plays and scheme, not about truly getting into football game shape. Clemons has been playing in this defense for 2 seasons. He’s not really missing anything that he needs to be learning and doesn’t already know. There’s really no reason to be worried about Clemons’s absence.
In fact, Clemons being gone might actually be good for the Seahawks in the long term. Without him, rookie Bruce Irvin is getting all the first team reps. This has the benefit of rapidly speeding up his development, and should have him ready to do some really big things this fall.
Now all of this changes if Clemons’s holdout continues next month when training camp starts. There is simply nothing good that that come from that. When training camp holdouts happen, injuries invariably follow. Luckily, I don’t think we have to worry about this. From everything I’ve read and heard, I expect Clemons to be report to training camp and get get ready for the season.
We need to make things clear. This isn’t trying to get more money for this up coming season. He has a contract that will pay him close to $4 mil, and while that’s underpaid for his level of production, it’s still a good contract. Clemons isn’t looking for a raise so much as he’s looking for an extension. The holdout is about beyond this season. Clemons is vying for an extension that will keep him in Seattle until the end of his career.
I’ve already written that I think that Clemons deserves a new contract. The Seahawks need to get this done before training camp starts. The last thing that need is this hanging over camp, threatening the season.