Seahawks GM John Schneider: Jimmy Graham recovering well, too early for a return date

Feb 24, 2016, 2:51 PM | Updated: 2:58 pm
Jimmy Graham was present along with Thomas Rawls at the start of voluntary offseason workouts. (AP)...
Jimmy Graham was present along with Thomas Rawls at the start of voluntary offseason workouts. (AP)
(AP)

Seahawks general manager John Schneider spoke to the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon. Below are some highlights from his availability.

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Graham progressing well. Schneider said it was “too early to tell” when star tight end Jimmy Graham will be able to return to the field from the torn patellar tendon that ended his 2015 season, but he had good news about the progress he’s made with rehab. “Jimmy is doing great,” Schneider said, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “He’s down in Miami working with some people down there and he’s doing great. He’s got a great attitude about it. Obviously it was a devastating injury for us at the time but he’s a great guy, got a great attitude about it and he’s ready to get after it.” The 29-year-old Graham hauled in 48 receptions for 605 yards and two touchdowns before the Week 11 injury ended his first season with the Seahawks. He comes with a hefty price tag, set to make $8.9 million in 2016 according to OverTheCap.com, which has created speculation that Seattle could cut ties with him before the season. Schneider didn’t add any fuel to that fire, though, reiterating the reasons the Seahawks sent center Max Unger and a first-round pick to New Orleans last offseason to bring the 6-foot-7 former college basketball player on board. “Pete (Carroll) and I thought it was very important to have a tall, athletic tight end that can get down the field, just have the quarterback be able to deliver the ball on time, get the ball out of his hand quick. That was a big issue for us,” he said. “Jimmy’s a mismatch guy. In our opinion there was only four or five of those guys in the league. It was very important for us to make that deal.”

Rawls will have competition to replace Lynch. After a huge rookie season that saw Thomas Rawls rush for 830 yards and four touchdowns, he has been the presumed successor to Marshawn Lynch as Seattle’s first-string tailback. But true to the Seahawks’ modus operandi, Schneider said he will have to compete for the job. “He definitely has the talent to do it, but, you know, we’re gonna get a couple of people in there to compete with him,” he said. There’s also the uncertainty of Rawls’ recovery from his own “significant injury,” as Schneider put it, a broken left ankle that ended his season in Week 13 vs. Baltimore. “He’s doing a great job (working back from the injury). He’s working his tail off and he had a great mentor in Marshawn Lynch to watch and learn from and how the guy attacked the football field. I know he is attacking his rehab just like Marshawn would if he was in that situation … He’s a fun kid and a real talented guy. I just can’t tell you (if he’ll be the No. 1 running back) right now.”

Lynch’s retirement all but official. Though there has been no official statement by Lynch or the Seahawks regarding his retirement, Schneider was confident in saying that Lynch has indeed called it a career, even though he personally hasn’t talked to the five-time Pro Bowler since the end of the season. “He’s indicated to us that he’s retiring,” Schneider said.

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Seahawks GM John Schneider: Jimmy Graham recovering well, too early for a return date