After weeks of speculation, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll finally confirmed that his veteran defensive end, Chris Clemons, is rankled over the lack of a contract extension heading into the final year of his deal.
Carroll said he talked with Clemons last week and expected the 30-year-old to show up for the mandatory minicamp that began Tuesday.
However, Clemons was an unexcused no-show.
“In communication with Chris, I thought he was coming,” Carroll said. “So this was kind of a late development that he’s not. I’m a little bit surprised that he’s not here.”
According to the new collective bargaining agreement, Clemons can be docked as much as $10,000 for the first day of minicamp he misses, up to $20,000 for the second day and as much as $30,000 for the final day.
That’s $60,000 Clemons can be fined for missing all three days of camp. It’s up to the team whether he is fined.
Agent Donal Henderson had not returned repeated calls or messages left regarding his client.
Clemons, who turns 31 on Oct. 30, is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $4 million in base salary in 2012. He led Seattle in sacks the past two seasons, with 11 sacks each year.
However, the Seahawks drafted defensive end Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall in April to serve as Clemons’ eventual replacement.
“We’ve had open communications with the agent and with Chris,” Carroll said. “And we feel like everything’s been on the up-and-up and very amicable and all that. So it continues to be one of our priorities and we’d love to get him back. But it doesn’t look like he’s going to show up for the rest of the camp.
“He’s got another year on his contract, so we’re talking about future potential stuff. That’s something we’ve had our eye on for some time with him. He’s done a very good job for us for the first couple years with us, and we’re real pleased with his play and his work habits.”
With Clemons out, Irvin continues to get the majority of the reps at defensive end with the first unit. Carroll doesn’t know if Clemons’ holdout will linger into training camp, but Irvin is benefitting from having the extra reps at camp.
Carroll believes the West Virginia product could be ready to step into the role as the team’s starting defensive end if need be.
“We grabbed him to do that,” Carroll said. “We didn’t grab him to be a specialty pass-rusher. We grabbed him to play, and it’s up to him to see how far he takes it in the competition of it. So if Clem was hurt, he’d go.”