A day after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the NFL must lift the lockout on its players, individual teams were instructed by the league to allow them into facilities around the league.
Apparently the Seattle Seahawks chose to handle those instructions differently.
Seahawks players, including running back Justin Forsett, receiver Deon Butler, defensive back Roy Lewis and linebacker Anthony Heygood, attempted to enter the building. The players were allowed past a security gate into the players’ parking lot, but were reportedly rebuked by security and denied access into the team’s Renton headquarters.
“Yesterdays decision was BIG for the #NFL- but If the #lockout has been lifted, why are the doors still LOCKED? #letusplay,” tweeted Seahawks defensive back Roy Lewis.
“Just tried getting in the facility #Fail,” tweeted Justin Forsett.
Butler (leg), Lewis (knee) and Heygood (Achilles) all are rehabbing injuries.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider refused to comment on his team not allowing players into the facility.
“I can’t talk about that, I’m sorry,” Schneider said.
This scene at Seahawks headquarters was similarly played out across the country, as the NFL appeared ill-prepared and did not have a uniform response to Judge Nelson’s decision.
The New York Giants opened up their weight room to returning players, while a player in Jacksonville reportedly was shown the door.
Many players showed up for work with the hopes of starting the clock on potential workout bonuses they could earn during the offseason.
While not addressing the lockout issue, Schneider and Seattle head coach Pete Carroll did spend some time talking about the upcoming draft on Thursday.
Carroll once again emphasized his team’s need to get stronger up front on both sides of the ball.
“It would be a really good aspect of this offseason if we were able to do that,” he said. “But we have a lot of issues that we’re trying to attend to, and I’m excited about and looking forward to it. We’ve just kind of got to wait and see, and see what’s offered to us.”
Both Schneider and Carroll continue to state that they wouldn’t mind moving down in the draft and picking up another draft pick. Seattle only has eight picks in the draft, and no third-round pick because of the Charlie Whitehurst trade last year.
Schneider joked that Seahawks’ fans attending draft parties might not have anything to cheer about on Thursday because of the team’s efforts to trade out of the first round.
“Somebody said to me the other day in the marketing department, ‘Hey we’ve got 5.000 people showing up for the draft party.’ And I said, “That’s on Friday, right?’”
Carroll reiterated that soon-to-be free agent Matt Hasselbeck is still in play, and that reserve quarterback Charlie Whitehurst – currently the team’s only quarterback on the roster – will get an opportunity to compete for the starting job this year.
“We had a good dialogue to get started, and we just went up to the time frame that we had available, and so that’s all we could do and it ended,” Carroll said about negotiations with Hasselbeck. “We weren’t able to get anything done at that time. So when opportunities arise again when we can get going on it again we’ll get after it, and we’ll see where it all fits.
“Some time has passed now and there could be some things that have changed. We’ll have to see when we start to re-open the conversations and all.”
Carroll also addressed the talk of this year’s draft – this year’s quarterback class, and which ones Seattle possibly will target with the team’s first-round pick.
“You have a number of guys that are capable and this great quest to find the quarterback – which guy’s going to emerge?” he said. “There’s only a couple guys a year that usually turn out as being big time quarterbacks, so it’s still a mystery. But you do have a wide range of styles of guys to go with this year.
“If you had your pick at all of them, it would be very difficult. It’s going to take some shape as it goes. Obviously some guys are going to come off the board and we’ll have to see how that goes. We don’t know any more than you guys know about that right now, so we’ll have to just wait.”