Seattle Seahawks

NFL fines Seahawks $300,000, takes away 2 minicamp practices in 2015 for too much contact this past offseason

The league has dinged the Seahawks for practicing too hard.

The NFL confirmed to The News Tribune on Tuesday news first reported earlier in the day by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that the league penalized the Seahawks for too much contact during their mandatory veteran minicamp in June.

“The Seahawks will forfeit its (sic) first two days of on-field double practices during its 2015 mandatory minicamp for veteran players and will be permitted a single 21/2-hour on-field practice session on the final day of its minicamp,” league spokesman Randall Liu wrote in an email to The News Tribune. “Seahawks players will be paid for the cancelled practice sessions. The violation was for permitting the club’s players to engage in excessive levels of on-field physical contact during the team’s 2014 mandatory minicamp for veteran players.”

A Seahawks spokesman said: “We will defer to the league.”

The Seahawks had a mandatory veteran minicamp with media availability beginning on Tuesday, June 17 and running through June 19. This violation occurred then.

June 18 was the day wide receiver Phil Bates fought with cornerback Richard Sherman on the field during an OTA practice.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and NFL.com, who was here at Seahawks camp Monday, reported via Twitter that the “NFL requested the tapes of their #Seahawks practices, which included a fight, deemed CBA violations to have occurred. They appealed & lost”.

Article 22 of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with its players specifies that teams are allowed to have one mandatory minicamp that must happen during “phase three” of offseason workouts. Article 21, section II of the CBA specifies what can and cannot happen during phase three of offseason workouts, including “No live contact is permitted.” The CBA prohibits one-on-one or offense-versus-defense drills and pass-rush drills between offensive and defensive linemen in these offseason workouts.

“Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells (almost shoulder pads worn under practice jerseys in less-than-full-contact practices) are permitted,” the CBA states.

The Seahawks haven’t done any full contact or tackling in any of their training-camp or preseason practices. Coach Pete Carroll stated his curiosity in seeing how his team tackles and is conditioning-wise during exhibition games this month, given they haven’t been hitting other than in interior line play during practices.

SEVEN MORE ROSTER MOVES

Injuries and injury settlements are how the Seahawks got down to the NFL’s mandated 75-player roster by Tuesday’s deadline.

They waived-injured defensive tackle Michael Brooks, wide receiver David Gilreath and linebacker Horace Miller.

Seattle also placed backup middle linebacker and 2013 special-teams captain Heath Farwell (groin), cornerback A.J. Jefferson (ankle) and C.J. Davis (calf) on the season-ending injured-reserve list.

Farwell sustained what Carroll said Monday was a major groin injury that will likely require surgery. The 10-year veteran did that while jumping to defend a Chicago Bears pass in the end zone in an exhibition game Friday. The coach said Farwell is heading east to get a second opinion on needing surgery; at 32 years old his career seems to be in jeopardy.

Jefferson severely injured his ankle while getting tackled at the end of his interception during his strong game at Denver in the exhibition opener Aug. 7. Davis got hurt that same night.

Those players will be paid for the season, unless they reach an injury settlement with the Seahawks in the meantime to become free agents.

The Seahawks also placed cornerback Eric Pinkins on their reserve-non-football-injury list.

Seattle’s next roster deadline is at 1 p.m. Saturday, when it has to get the roster down to 53 for the start of the regular season. After a 24-hour waiver period Saturday until 1 p.m. Sunday, the Seahawks and every other team can begin setting their practice squad.

EXTRA POINTS

S Kam Chancellor left the field late in the hot practice and went into the locker room. The team said he got sick. … WRs Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin were excused from practice. … Asked why he should even play a down in Thursday night’s final exhibition at Oakland, after completing 30 of 39 passes in three preseason games, QB Russell Wilson smiled. “Any time you get dressed, lace up with cleats and get out there it’s another experience, another opportunity to learn something,” he said. “I’m excited to go down to Oakland. I haven’t played in that stadium before, just to be in that stadium and to feel that energy of the crowd and the field’s a little bit different. So just to be on that turf is going to be unique. I’m excited about it.”

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