Duane Brown ready to play for Seahawks despite no new deal

Sep 8, 2021, 4:12 PM
Seahawks Duane Brown...
Seahawks LT Duane Brown returned to practice this week. (Getty)

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Duane Brown’s stint as a spectator during the Seattle Seahawks’ training camp didn’t get the left tackle what he wanted.

For now, Brown has made peace with the adjustments Seattle did make to his contract, even if it lacks the long-term certainty he was hoping to get.

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“I had my expectations for what I wanted and they had in their minds what they thought they could get done,” Brown said Wednesday. “What we came to isn’t exactly what I wanted but it’s OK. It’s a business, came to a compromise. I’m happy about it, they’re happy about it. Now, I’m ready to get to work.”

Brown will be starting at left tackle Sunday when Seattle opens the season at Indianapolis, leading to a collective exhale from Seahawks fans worried about whether the veteran would be there to protect Russell Wilson’s blindside.

Brown did not participate in on-field activities during training camp in the hopes of seeing his current contract extended beyond this season. Seattle wasn’t willing to engage on an extension for the 36-year-old despite his belief he has more than just this season left in his career.

Seattle ended up converting per-game roster bonuses Brown was scheduled to make this season into guaranteed money as part of a restructured deal. He also received injury protection should he not be able to play in 2022.

But that was as far as Seattle was willing to go. Despite the impasse on his future standing, Brown said there wasn’t any animosity.

“I feel like I’m still playing at a high level and I want to continue to do that here. But didn’t quite work out that way, which is all good,” Brown said. “There’s never been any bad blood on my part and I just want to make that be known. I love and respect everybody in this organization, and the feeling is mutual. It’s always been a mutual respect throughout this whole process.”

Brown is about to begin his 14th season in the league and his fourth full season with the Seahawks after being acquired midway through the 2017 season. He’s been a rock on Seattle’s sometimes shaky offensive line and has continued to play at a high level.

That shaky offensive line was in the headlines shortly after the Super Bowl when Wilson openly complained about being hit too often, calling into question the quality of his linemen. It was the start of an offseason of speculation about Wilson’s future with the Seahawks.

Brown said he had conversations with Wilson shortly after his initial comments.

“We talked, FaceTimed. I won’t talk too much about it, but obviously we’re on good terms,” Brown said.

Brown said there were some who thought he would play out this final year of his contract and retire, but “the people that watched my film thought otherwise.”

Even while he wasn’t participating on the field during training camp, Brown was still active in meetings and walkthroughs. The time spent in those meetings was important for Brown with some of the changes to Seattle’s offensive system, including new terminology.

“In the camp that he had, he was able to put forth, he did all of the learning and he’s really healthy right now,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday when Brown returned to practicing. “I’m thrilled about that for him.”

Brown noted the importance of getting back to practice and picking up some of the game speed reps he missed while sitting out, especially with the strong Indianapolis defense the Seahawks will be facing. Seattle is also expected to play with a quicker offensive tempo.

“Gotta be in shape. This is a crucial week for me,” Brown said. “I’m in good shape but football shape, when you’re playing and actually doing the plays, it’s an adjustment.”

NOTES: Carroll said rookie CB Tre Brown (knee) is dealing with an injury that he’s played through in the past but the team decided to put him on injured reserve to let the knee fully heal before bringing him back. Carroll said CB Nigel Warrior was also placed on injured reserve due to a knee problem.

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