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John Schneider says Seahawks’ top pick Malik McDowell will begin season on NFI

Seahawks rookie DT Malik McDowell hasn't played a snap for Seattle after starting the season on the NFI list. (AP)
LISTEN: John Schneider on Malik McDowell, Richard Sherman and more

Seahawks general manager John Schneider joined “Danny, Dave and Moore” on Thursday. Here are a few highlights:

-Schneider said rookie defensive lineman Malik McDowell will begin the season on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list as he recovers from injuries he sustained in a recent ATV accident. McDowell has been on NFI since reporting to the Seahawks’ facility after the start of training camp. Schneider said the team won’t know “for a little while here” if McDowell will be able to play this season, and his comments about the rules pertaining to NFI further suggested that the team hasn’t ruled out that possibility entirely. (There are also financial implications to being on NFI as it gives the team the option of withholding money from players who are on that list, which could be a factor in Seattle’s plan to place McDowell there to start the season.) In his first public comments since McDowell’s accident was revealed on the first day of training camp, Schneider called it a “very unfortunate situation with him. He had the ATV accident. Not a good situation. He’s back home right now. There’s a lot of things I just can’t get into medically, but hopefully he gets better in the near future and he’ll be coming back here soon and getting back with our doctors.” Schneider’s mention of McDowell being injured in an ATV accident confirms what was reported but never previously stated by the team, which only called it a “vehicular accident.” Schneider echoed recent comments from coach Pete Carroll, who said earlier this week that McDowell will be out for “quite a while.” “We just want him to just get right and it’s going to be a process,” Schneider said. “It’s not something that’s going to happen over night.”

-Asked about how the relationship between the team and cornerback Richard Sherman have returned to normal since the draft, Schneider said, “they were never out of sync, is what I would tell you. We have impeccable communication with all our players and he’s a little bit more of a communicator than others, right? He does a little but more of it, so we were never, ever out of sync. Were there things that both Richard and the club would change in terms of how things were put out in public or whatever? Probably, but I think being honest and forthright in what’s going on is the best way to do it. Maybe not giving out quite as much information, but we were never, ever in a bad place with him.” When Schneider saw what he perceived to be an incredulous look from one of the hosts, he said, “hand on the bible.”

-Asked about how the Seahawks restocked their backfield over the offseason, Schneider said it was important but not something they were hell-bent on doing. Recall that Seattle was linked to Jamaal Charles, Latavius Murray and Adrian Peterson before signing Eddie Lacy to a one-year deal. “With Eddie’s situation, it was really the market dictated it to us,” he said. “We knew we wanted to get a bigger back in to establish that power run game and have somebody compete with Thomas (Rawls) and obviously Alex (Collins). Like I said, Alex did some nice things for us towards the end of the year and had a great offseason, but it really wasn’t one of those things where we were like, ‘We have to get a bunch of runners in here.’ It was just the way things fell for us.” That comments suggests that the Seahawks didn’t necessarily sign Lacy with the expectation that he’d be their featured back.

-Schneider said the Seahawks were negotiating a contract extension with strong safety Kam Chancellor for three months before it was signed early in training camp. Schneider took obvious pleasure in how those negotiations remained largely under wraps.