Now that the CBA’s done, there are a lot of dates being thrown around out there. Here, near as I can tell, is how all those dates will affect the Seahawks:
Starting at 7:00 this morning, players can once again go to the VMAC for all their training and conditioning needs. More importantly, the Seahawks can start making some roster moves by making trades with other teams and signing rookies to contracts. With any luck, the new rookie wage scale will help get our draft picks into camp without protracted holdouts -- we need Carpenter and Moffitt to begin gelling with the rest of our new-look offensive line as soon as possible.
Another thing that should help deter holdouts is the final report date being moved up several months to August 9th -- two weeks from today. Under the previous CBA, players could hold out well into the regular season and still accrue another contract year by reporting by week ten or thereabouts, but this year they won’t accrue that year unless they end their holdouts by early August. Man, the more I hear about this new CBA, the better it gets.
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Seattle can also start to negotiate with veteran free agents today, but no team is allowed to actually sign any until 3:00 rolls around this Friday. That delay is heavily in favor of the players and their agents, who will have the luxury of collecting and comparing offers from various teams for the next three and a half days before they have to make anything official.
Teams can begin waiving players this Thursday at 3:01. Why they decided that extra minute was necessary is beyond me, but there it is. I don’t know what other moves the Seahawks might make in trimming their roster, but Stacy Andrews has already been informed that the team plans to release him and his massive, massive contract. Andrews was a failure as a guard last year, and he wasn’t going to get much of a chance to play his more natural tackle position since Okung and Carpenter were slated to be the team’s starting tackles. Besides, he was scheduled to make $5.25 mil next season, which is far too much for a backup offensive lineman. Good luck Andrews, here's hoping you'll finally get the chance to sign with a team who remembers which position you actually play.
Training camp starts up for the Seahawks with a team meeting tomorrow night. Thursday will see walkthrough practices, followed by regular practices beginning on Friday. That’s right: we get to see the players actually start practicing by the end of the week. If that isn’t reason for excitement, I don’t know what is.
Beyond that, the roster cutdown dates this year are August 30th and September 3rd. In recent years, that first cutdown to 75 players was meaningless; when you've only got 80 people in camp, releasing five wasn't too big a deal. Now that training camp rosters have been increased to 90, that date should get interesting again. The regular season roster size has not changed, however, so come early September teams will still need to pare their rosters down to 53 players.