Salk: DK Metcalf’s Seahawks minicamp absence not a big deal — yet
Star Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf made some headlines Tuesday when he didn’t report to mandatory minicamp, opening himself up to fines from the team as he seeks a new long-term deal while rehabbing from offseason foot surgery.
Metcalf, 24, is one of the brightest young stars in the NFL and arguably the new face of the Seahawks franchise now that Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner are no longer on the team.
“I’m not freaking out today about DK Metcalf not being at Seahawks mandatory minicamp. I don’t think it’s a huge deal yet,” Salk said. “Could it eventually turn into a bigger deal? Yes, of course.”
Salk admits that he wishes Metcalf would report to minicamp because it’d be better for both sides, but he thinks there are a number of factors in play that have him pumping the brakes on just how much should be read into Metcalf’s absence.
“First of all, this is just part of the process, right?” he said. “I’m glad it’s happening now and not in training camp. I think that’s a lot more important than what happens here at minicamp. He’s hurt anyway. He’s rehabbing his foot. So even if he were here, he wouldn’t be practicing, and he’s been here through the voluntary OTAs at times so it’s not like he’s been completely absent or checked out or anything like that. He’s been around, in fact, quite a bit.”
“Yes, I understand that he won’t take the field until he has a new deal,” Salk later added, “but if you remember, (Seahawks coach) Pete Carroll said that they want him here and they see him here long-term. So the Seahawks have shown some of their cards that they’re not ‘hardcore negotiating’ … They want him here long-term.”
Metcalf recently told FOX Sports’ Shannon Sharpe that he thinks a deal will happen, as well.
“I will say I think we’re gonna get something done. I do think I’m going to be in Seattle for the next coming years,” Metcalf said.
“I think they will get something done,” Salk said. “I think that the market is being set right now for (top) wide receivers, and DK is one of them and he’s going to be somewhere in that range. And (he and the Seahawks will) argue a little bit about should they go a little higher or a little lower and this and that as they go through the negotiation process. But if they got something done with (safety) Jamal Adams last year, they’re definitely going to get something done with DK Metcalf.”
While Salk does wish Metcalf would “hold in” instead of hold out, he understands why a player goes that route.
“I think players should be there. But I think there’s a big difference between ‘I just don’t feel like coming’ and ‘this is my negotiating tactic to try to get a deal done for a contract,'” Salk said. “This is really the only thing that is open to these guys as leverage.”
Salk also thinks Metcalf has handled the process well as he seeks his new deal.
“DK chose not to play the social media game with the Seahawks or the war of words or anything like that,” Salk said.
Because of the overall “tenor of the conversation” between the Seahawks and Metcalf, Salk is confident a deal will get done soon.
“I think they do need to get it done before training camp. I just also think they will,” he said, adding later, “I feel like the Seahawks are trying to get it done and that it’s all happening in good faith and that something will get done. So again, I’m not freaking out today.”
What about a fine?
Because Metcalf is not reporting to mandatory minicamp and his absence is reportedly “unexcused,” he can be fined “upwards of $93,000,” per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Salk doesn’t think that’ll be an issue for either party.
“They could, but they won’t,” he said of the Seahawks potentially fining Metcalf. “And even if they do, the $93,000 compared to the $100-plus million he’s about to receive is probably not going to be the biggest deal. But I’d be shocked if he ever receives any of that fine because they’ll write it off when he eventually signs. They’ve done that before and I think they would do that again.”
When Wilson was traded and Wagner was released in March, the Seahawks appeared to be undergoing a rebuild of their roster. As such, Metcalf’s name was thrown around in trade rumors because the Seahawks could presumably get a haul of draft picks for him since he’s a young star.
With Metcalf not having a new deal yet, does Salk think trade rumors are going to start swirling again?
“Now’s not the time to trade DK Metcalf,” he said. “So if you’re not going to trade him and you didn’t do so before the draft, then sign him and get it done. Spend the money. You’ve decided he’s your guy. You made that decision when you didn’t trade him at the draft, so now move on and sign the guy. That’s sort of the situation that you’re in and I think they will get that done because I think that’s what they believe.”