Seahawks Insider

Clemons goes back on his word, skips first day of minicamp

Post by Eric Williams on June 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm with 22 Comments »
June 12, 2012 4:31 pm

He said he would be here.

That was the word from Seattle head coach Pete Carroll, when asked about the absence of veteran defensive end Chris Clemons from the first day of minicamp.

“In communication with Chris, I thought he was coming,” Carroll said. “So this was kind of a late development that he’s not. So I’m a little bit surprised that he’s not here.”

This week’s minicamp is mandatory for all players, and Carroll indicated Clemons’ absence is not excused. Clemons was present for the first week of the team’s offseason workouts, but missed all of the OTAs reporters were allowed to watch.

According to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Clemons can be docked as much as $10,000 for the first day of minicamp he misses, up to $20,000 for the second day and as much as $30,000 for the final day of minicamp.

So Clemons can be fined a total of $60,000 for missing all three days of camp. It’s up to the team whether or not Clemons is fined.

Clemon’s agent Donal Henderson has not returned repeated calls or messages left regarding his client.

Clemons, who turns 31 years old on Oct. 30, is in the final year of his contract that will pay him $4 million in base salary in 2012. He led Seattle in sacks the past two seasons, with 11 sacks each year.

However, the Seahawks drafted defensive end Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall to serve as Clemons’ eventual replacement.

“We’ve had open communications with the agent and with Chris,” Carroll said. “And we feel like everything’s been on the up and up and very amicable and all that. So it continues to be one of our priorities and we’d love to get him back. But it doesn’t look like he’s going to show up for the rest of the camp.

“He’s got another year on his contract, so we’re talking about future potential stuff. That’s something we’ve had our eye on for some time with him. He’s done a very good job for us for the first couple years with us, and we’re real pleased with his play and his work habits and all that stuff.”

With Clemons out, Irvin continues to get the majority of the reps at defensive end with the first unit.

“He’s doing everything that we thought he would do,” Carroll said about Irvin. “And being very diligent about the work aspect of it and doing a great job.”

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. Maybe he should have been smart enough to sign his last contract for one less year so he would have been a free agent at 30 instead of 31 (so he could get better odds on his last contract)?

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Well, if he’s trying to force then into renewing his contract, he’s going about it all wrong. Is he trying to force a trade? He would seem to be scheme specific, so there’s going to be a limited market for him (and that doesn’t take his age into it).

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I’m all for trading him! We now have some good young talent so no need to give in to any big contract demands.

  4. OregonHawk says:

    Trade him

  5. Ewalters7354 says:

    I agree with Duke.Clemons fits THIS SCHEME!Prior to becoming a Hawk he couldn’t get any playing time at all.It would be very good if he returns soon but if not I believe the Hawks pass rush will be better either way this year though.IMO

  6. Clem is going to do what he is going to do – I wasn’t dissappointed at all that he missed OTA’s he doesn’t need them and it gave Irvin a chance to get more reps but now…. will IMO he is digging his own big hole.

    Every Rep Irvin gets may mean that Clem is less valuable to the team – (I believe he is still very important to this team) Just think what his numbers could be if Irvin is getting doubled on the other side during passing situations. Just sayin :)

    The more he holds out the more Irvin can get on the field and potentially steal some time from him

  7. raymaines says:

    In the short term, Clemens has a little leverage, but not much. Long term, he has none. Like, you know, zero. He’s getting bad advice. Absolutely no team is going to want to deal with a 31 year old malcontent who has only flourished because he was in a weird defensive scheme.

    I’m generally in favor of the players. God knows NFL owners have every advantage and anytime any player can leverage a better deal I’m all for him, but I don’t think this is one of those times.

    Chris Clemens is soon to be 31, is under contract for next year, and has a first round draft choice to worry about. He made his point by missing the OTA’s and now belongs in camp. He should be playing with more intensity than ever before and hoping for good things next year.

  8. I love when players say they have outperformed their contract, if that is the case for Clem, pay him what he thinks he deserves then put in clauses that if you don’t outperform your 11 sacks, tackles, etc last year then you pay the team back the majority if not all the extra $$$ you got. I understand players want to get all they can but we have seen too many times players get paid then under perform or not perform at all.

  9. bbnate420 says:

    Funny how people are now ready to dump the ONLY proven pass rusher the Hawks have. How quickly people forget. Our pass rush STUNK last year. We have ZERO other players that have had a double digit sack season. If Irvin replaced Clemons and had 11 sacks, which would be great for his rookie year, that still wouldn’t make our pass rush any better than it was last year. How dare Clemons use his leverage to try and get a new deal! NFL teams always honor their contracts. Just ask Lofa and Trufant! ; )

  10. It’s a game of cat and mouse between the player and the organization. Which one will give in? Alot of that has to do with the player’s stats, age, past injuries, scheme, team depth, rebuilding, etc. Player’s agents should be thinking about that as well, I think some of the players agents give bad advice. Only time will tell who gives in between Clem and the organization.

  11. A healthy Dexter Davis and the addition of Jason Jones will improve our pass rush if Clem/Irvin cross cancel each other. The best scenario is to have Clem, no doubt about it. He seems to be too dumb to know that he’s hurting himself (but the team, too).

  12. I like Clem and am sorry it’s going this way. $4 million is a lot of money. No really. $4 million is a ton of money. For one flippin year of work. Bad move, Clem, I think.

    This seems to be the first test of Carroll/Schneider of this kind. I don’t think they can give in. He’s hurting his teammates by not being here. If they give on this, they’re telling everyone else they deal with to try the same thing. There’s no win win here. It looks to me that it’s going to be lose lose.

    There’s a difference between what he’s doing and what the Hawks did with Lofa and Marcus. The Hawks could cut both of them, and essentially did.

    Finally, just to repeat: $4 million is a flippin ton of money.

  13. chuck_easton says:


    Every NFL contract has a clause that allows the team to terminate it at any time right up until the 1st game with no consequences. It’s called a performance clause.

    So when a team cuts a player they ARE still honoring the contract because the contract lets them do just that.

    No NFL contract has language that allows a player to skip mandatory practices. That is why the new CBA has added the incrimental fining system of an additional 10K for each day missed.

    So you are not correct. Clemons is not honoring the contract by not being here. If the team decides to cut his disgruntled buttocks the would be honoring the contract because the contract gives them that power.

  14. Pretty quick trigger for those saying we should trade him. He’s a good player, was often the lone pass rush threat we had the past couple years, and he’s still playing at a high level. He’s also never been reported to be a bad locker-room guy, etc. These things happen every year, with every team, it will work itself out. NFL careers are short, and this deal may be his last meaningful one.

  15. bbnate420 says:

    Chuck, you’re arguing semantics man. Are you going to try and tell me that it is fair and equitable for the team to be able to cut a player anytime but, not ok for a player to do the same because the contract says so? You’re smarter than that. Just because a contract says something doesn’t make it right. Segregation used to be the law of the land. It was LEGAL. That didn’t make it RIGHT!!!!!!!

  16. chuck_easton says:


    Unfortunately holding out is the only real leverage left to the player.

    I don’t like it, but there are times when it is necessary.

    This isn’t one of those times. Clemons is being paid quite well for what he gives. He’s just mad because the team drafted Irvin and he isn’t feeling wanted.

  17. wabubba67 says:

    Had no problem with him missing “voluntary” sessions.

    Now that the sessions are mandatory, let the daily fining begin. Maybe even back Raheem Brock (if available) in the short term just to make Clemons wonder if he isn’t needed afterall.

    If you’re a player, I don’t think you want to play hardball with JS/PC…they don’t care what anyone thinks in any situation.

  18. wabubba67 says:


    This is a business…ran and played by adults. What is fair, equitable, and “right” is negotiated at the expiration of every CBA. What is legal is the ONLY thing that matters.

  19. RDPoulsbo says:

    Clemons is maybe outperforming his contract now, but he certainly wasn’t the first 2 years of his contract. If it weren’t for PC coming to Seattle, he would have been lucky just to have a job period because the Eagles would likely have cut him if not for the trade. He should be thankful, PC saved his $8 mil. He could very well be working for the vet minimum right now. He signed his contract, so he should honor it. Besides, the only time these hardball tactics work is if there’s another team that would be willing to pay what you’re asking. That’s not the case here, so the only thing he’s accomplishing here is getting the people he works for angry.

  20. Stupid way of endearing yourself to the guys who are deciding about your contract. Hey Chris, TEAM comes first….not money, Mr Millionaire. Work hard and you’ll get your due.

  21. Fair and equitable are a pipe dream today. No profit it them.

    And what does “TEAM” mean? Certainly not the people on it. Ask Jake Ballard about that for the most recent example. Work hard and you’ll get nothing if we think we can get away with it.

  22. Considering how short the average NFL career is and how easily a team can jettison a player for any reason, I think Clemons needs to do what he can to improve his situation for a contract extension. This is the time to do it and not during the regular season.

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