But they’re not expecting to see him at a three-day minicamp that begins Tuesday afternoon at the team’s headquarters, either.
Now, this minicamp isn’t some make-or-break mark in a potential comeback. It is a trio of voluntary practices held more than three months before training camp. But Jones’ participation — or lack thereof — isn’t entirely insignificant, either. While the Seattle Seahawks have not closed the book on one of the best careers in franchise history, the franchise is operating under the assumption that Jones won’t be back next season.
That’s not exactly a shock considering Jones’ last public statement on his future was that he intended to retire. He said that via his Twitter account just before the Super Bowl began.
Jones’ agent has not returned repeated messages about his client’s status, and attempts to contact Jones have not drawn a response. The Seahawks have acknowledged Jones is considering retirement, but were awaiting a firm, final conclusion from Jones.
Seattle’s approach to prepare for life after Jones is the only pragmatic one at this point. Jones is 36, and he has undergone two knee surgeries and missed 20 regular-season games since last suiting up. The Seahawks banked on his ability to come back and play left tackle last season, and when he couldn’t, the offensive line never recovered.
A year later, neither Seattle nor Jones are operating under any such illusions.
Whom the Seahawks will turn to if Jones isn’t in that cornerstone position, however, remains an open question.