Seahawks general manager John Schneider held his annual pre-draft meeting with the media today in which he mostly talked about, well, the upcoming NFL Draft May 8-10.
But there were a few newsy notes unearthed along the way, so here we go:
— Schneider said “absolutely” when asked if WR Sidney Rice will be available for the start of the season. He also said the team kept in contact with Rice throughout the period after he had been released, letting him know they were interested in bringing him back. Sounds like the team expects Rice to be a full, active member of the team from the start of the season.
— Schneider said Terrelle Pryor was acquired to compete at quarterback. When asked whether Pryor could be used at other positions, Schneider said “right now he’s learning the quarterback position and it’s not (playing something else) even an option.” Schneider said the team made the trade with Oakland to get Pryor for a seventh-round pick because it felt Pryor was a better value than anything it might get at that spot. And he repeated what he has said earlier that he knew there was no way the team would get Pryor on waivers if he was released, so trade was the only option to get him. He said the Seahawks will be open to keeping three QBs on the active roster and that “I think we’ve shown (in the past) that position is open to competition.”
— Asked if the team will be able to sign Richard Sherman to a new contract or extension by the NFL Draft, Schneider said “we’re not sure.”
— Schneider said he did not know if WR Doug Baldwin will sign his second-round tender. Baldwin is a restricted free agent and the deadline is Friday for RFAs to field offers from other teams. Baldwin can negotiate a new, longer-term deal or play on the terms of the tender, meaning one-year, and $2.187 million.
— Schneider also said the team has still not made a decision on whether to pick up the fifth-year option on the contract of James Carpenter, their first round pick in 2011. Carpenter will play this season regardless and the team could always negotiate a different deal later. The deadline for that is Saturday.
— No surprise here, but Schneider said Michael Bowie “would be first up” to replace the departed Breno Giacomini at right tackle with Alvin Bailey also in the mix.
— Schneider said younger players coming off of injuries such as CB Tharold Simon, DE Greg Scruggs and DL Jesse Williams are progressing well and should be ready for the season. Schneider said the team for now will not comment on whether existing members of the team have had off-season surgeries, such as Kam Chancellor or Russell Okung.
— Schneider said it has not yet been decided if Jeff Ireland will stay with the team beyond the NFL Draft. The former Miami GM was hired last week as a consultant through the draft. Schneider noted they worked for three years together in Kansas City and have been friends for years. He said it will be good to have “an experienced draft guy” to help the team on draft day. The team lost senior personnel exec Scot McCloughan last week when he resigned for personal reasons. But Schenider said it was unclear yet if (or more accurately how) he will be replaced.
— As for the draft, Schneider said it was a particular help to the Seahawks this year that it was moved back two weeks due to Seattle’s season being as long as it could possibly be, the team winning the Super Bowl. Schneider said while the Super Bowl run did not impact the scouting staff “personally, I felt like I was behind. … but I’d rather do it this way.”