Seahawks Insider

Hawks, Clemons reach multi-year deal

Post by Eric Williams on July 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm with 52 Comments »
July 23, 2012 5:17 pm

First reported by ESPN’s Mike Sando, I confirmed that the Seattle Seahawks have reached agreement on a multi-year deal with defensive end Chris Clemons.

Clemons’ agent, Don Henderson, confirmed the two sides had reached an agreement this afternoon, but did not provide details of the contract.

The 30-year-old defensive end missed most of the team’s offseason workout program, including a mandatory minicamp to show his displeasure over a lack of a contract extension.

Clemons, who led Seattle in sacks the past two years with 11 in 2010 and 2011, was in the final year of his deal, and was scheduled to make $3 million in base salary in 2012.

Because he skipped the mandatory minicamp, Clemons missed out on a $100,000 workout bonus, and could have been fined up to $73,000 by the team.

According to Brian McIntyre of, Clemons also suffered a $1 million deceleration in the final year of his deal due to missing the minicamp, meaning he would have made $4 million in base salary had he showed up in June.

But it’s assumed Clemons has recovered that money now that he’s received a contract extension.

Clemons posting 11 sacks in back-to-back seasons is the first time for a Seattle player since Michael Sinclair finished with double-digit sacks of 12.0 and 16.5 in 1997 and 1998.

Getting a deal done with Clemons before training camp was important for Seattle because the University of Georgia product is the team’s only proven pass rusher

General Seahawks
Leave a comment Comments → 52
  1. jarred767 says:

    Great news for our defense!!! Can’t wait to see what happens on passing downs with him and Irvin are on the field at the same time, could be a scary pass rush!! Let football begin already!!!

  2. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    Phew!!! I was really worried that Clemons would hold out into training camp. All I know is that after all this drama he better not get hurt!

  3. Ewalters7354 says:

    Yea Buddy!!

  4. Now he can head back to Atlantic City and make it rain!

  5. raymaines says:

    CC is a bit of a hot head (we love that in a player) but he has an agent that gets paid to keep a level perspective on things, and the SeaHawks tend to keep things business like so we knew this would get done. I’m glad it was sooner rather than later though.

    With a GREAT secondary and at least average linebackers, I think the D-Line with CC, Jason Jones, and Bruce Irvin will get their fair share of sacks this year.

    Geoux SeaHawks

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Very good. Now here’s hoping his play becomes more consistent with the addition of Jones and Irvin.

  7. dirtbiker_joey says:

    How about that, both the Seahawks and the Mariners make moves to get better on the same day!

  8. Palerydr says:

    Well the little brat stomped his feet and wouldn’t let the other kids play with his toys to get his way. I’ll be cheering when he gets the sacks but I’m gonna let him hear it if he doesn’t produce.

  9. RDPoulsbo says:

    I’m glad that alls quiet on the contract front, but I’d like to see what the contract is about before I jump for joy. 22 sacks in the past 2 years is still mostly from poor o-lines in a niche position. I still think the Hawks should have called his bluff on this one.

  10. raymaines says:

    I’m interested to know the details. How many years and what’s guaranteed? I’m just guessing of course, I’m thinking that when all the dust settles, and when push comes to shove, it’s two years and 10-12 million.

  11. Yeah, It’d be nice to get more details, but I’m happy he’s back. Hopefully with the addition of BI, and Jones we can keep him fresher late into the season. Wish he’d produce against SF and start going for the strip more on QB’s, would like 5 depending on if he sniffed Cam Wake money

  12. bbnate420 says:

    I agree dirtbiker_joey, great moves IMO. Any CC haters/doubters wanna eat some crow?? Maybe the holdout helped him, maybe it didn’t. We will never know.

    He may play a niche but, the fairly prevalent thought on this blog that you could just pluck some scrub of another team to take his place is foolish IMO. He plays a role at least somewhat akin to a DeMarcus Ware or another ROLB in a 3-4. You cannot just get any scrub to play the position! That said, I don’t really believe he is a top 5-10 pass rusher in the league. He is good but, is not elite. We have NOTHING else proven as a pass rusher so we needed to keep him around for a few years. I’m happy! :-)

  13. bbnate420 says:

    BTW, I doubt the deal is is a huge contract. PC/JS haven’t shown the propensity to overpay or keep players that aren’t producing to the level of their contract.

  14. bird_spit says:

    Whew! Now we can get back to demanding ML’s head on a platter.

  15. nidhighe says:

    “Clemons posting 11 sacks in back-to-back seasons is the first time for a Seattle player since Michael Sinclair finished with double-digit sacks of 12.0 and 16.5 in 1997 and 1998.”

    This is why we need Clemons. He may not be an elite pass rusher, but he’s been a good one for the Seahawks and something we haven’t had since last century.


  16. Any CC haters/doubters wanna eat some crow??

    About what? nobody said anything other than the thought he was stupid – PC admitted way back when they were working to extend him at the whole beginning.

  17. Eat crow? What? Man bbnate, you just love to stir it up huh? I’m happy that he’s signed and since it’s not my money I don’t really care what they spent as long as it doesn’t prevent us from locking up the youngsters we really need to take care of (Earl, Kam, Sherm, Baldy, etc.). Nice move nonetheless, I’m sure PC and JS still know what they’re doing.


  18. Often was literally the ONLY guy on the team who could put pressure on the QB last year – he deserves some credit. It’s likely his last contract, I don’t have a problem w/his holdout, esp now that a deal has been worked out.

    Hopefullly Irvin is the real thing too – but we need another good year from Clemons to keep this team on an upswing.

    No more Hass, no more Ichiro, Sonics long gone – Seattle sports pretty devoid of legends these days. I guess it’s the way it goes, but still always a little sad to see eras come to an end. I remember the excitement every time he’d come to the plate in his prime.

  19. Well the little brat stomped his feet and wouldn’t let the other kids play with his toys to get his way.

    Mike Williams signed a contract that wasn’t honored, where is your faux rage for that?

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Actually I wouldn’t mind seeing Clemons sack number decline so long as the team sack numbers increase.

    I will never forget Ichiro’s first year in Seattle. A special year for him the Mariners, and the fans! Dam Yankees!!!

  21. RDPoulsbo says:

    What crow? They extended a contract to a guy who’s going to be 32 when his contract is up at the same time you’re going to see some of these young guys hitting FA for the first time in just a couple years. Eventually, they’re going to need to pay franchise money to a QB, so the cap is going to get hit pretty significantly soon.

    There is no reason to be throwing money at aging players, especially given the track record of this FO in the draft on defense.

  22. pdway, Hasselbeck was a sports legend?

    I think Wilson has a higher than normal shot at becoming a legend. Of course legendary status requires either ability above other outstanding performers or something to overcome. Wilson appears to have some of both.

  23. Palerydr says:

    What are you talking about Josch? Williams came in and worked for a contract. He underperformed either due to inj or lack of motivation and was cut. Clemens was traded for and put up decent #’s for a couple of years then decided he wouldn’t honor the terms of his contract and held out. I don’t have rage of any kind over either situation. I personally think Clemons is an entitled self important prima donna. I realize he can’t just be replaced by anyone but he can be replaced.

  24. Palerydr says:

    Wilson has a shot at becoming a legend? How about he start a game in the NFL at least before anointing the guy legend status.

  25. bbnate420 says:

    Crow? Yes crow, as in MANY people on this blog commented that he had no leverage and was going about it the wrong way. He got his contract, eh!

  26. If a guy is an overpaid free agent, we love him and believe when he says he came here to win, nevermind that most teams offered him less money, too (we’ve had some of these through the years, not necessarily this regime, mind you). If a guy holds out, we hate him and he’s evil (until he makes a few good plays, then we love him again). lol

    I wonder the terms of the contract? If it’s 5 year and $100 million, I doubt I’ll be a fan of Clem the DE (already know I’m not a fan of him from his wife cheating and “alleged” physical abuse and the beat guys like Ryan talking about he’s about as big of an ass as there is – although he did say he likes Clem better than Milton Bradley).

  27. And, no, I don’t really think it’s a $100 million contract (although I’m sure someone would think I was serious).

  28. Dukeshire says:

    Even those, and I am among them, who feels he didn’t have any leverage, didnt think he would hold out indefinitely and simply be allowed to walk. I felt he would sign eventually. I don’t think he handled this correctly, but in order for any of us to know that for certain, we’d have to know how far Seattle came, or didn’t come, to meet his demands. At this point it’s just as likely he caved as the front office. Regardless, I’m happy he’s in the fold.

  29. bbnate420 says:

    A fact, not that facts mean anything. ;-)

    CC will be 31 to start next season.

    Palerydr, JoSCh’s point was clearly that people here don’t whine when the team drops a player and doesn’t pay the entirety of their contract. So why would you whine when a player wants to renegotiate a new deal? Hypocritical anyone?

  30. Hammajamma says:

    The only leverage he had was to withhold services, which while an inferior position was still problematic for the team. What I appreciate about this negotiation was that neither side was using the media to make their arguments. Not signing was an easily comprehensible lose/lose for both. Looks like a quality partnership now.

    I think Nate’s crow comment, no matter how unnecessary, refers to those who found CC “stupid” for the salary forfeiture. Hardly matters now. All is good.

  31. bbnate420 says:

    Duke, you’re at least somewhat right. That’s why I said, “Maybe the holdout helped him, maybe it didn’t. We will never know.”

    He must’ve had some leverage/value or they would’ve just let him play out the last year of his contract.

  32. training camp can’t start soon enough for me, go HAWKS!!! :o)

  33. bbnate420 says:

    Hamma, that’s part of it along with that many people seemed to think his approach wouldn’t work. For the the record, he only missed 3 days of work.

    P.S. All of our comments are unnecessary! The world would keep spinning without them, I believe.

  34. chuck_easton says:


    We will know shortly. When the numbers are announced if it is a reasonable contract but Clem got a decent raise, both sides win. If Clem got close to Cameron Wake money, the team caved. If the new contract comes in at or slightly above what was rumored to have already been on the table then the holdout was a mistake on his part.

    I’m not a fan of holdouts. Sometimes they are the only leverage a player has. This doesn’t appear to be one of those.

    As was said, the good news here is both sides kept it professional and did their talking behind closed doors. We never heard from Clem or his agent. I’ll give him his due for that.

  35. Palerydr says:

    I realize I’m in the minority with my opinion on this subject however I would disagree with people not commenting on dropping players on not finishing contracts. I just don’t want to research the myriad of posts made here on the blog so I’m going off memory. So I’m a hypocrite for not commenting on one situation but commenting on another? really? Generally speaking the vast majority of players cut in the NFL are dropped for inj, making too much money, making too much money and not performing, and too old making too much money. Williams got cut cuz he was inj and making too much money and not performing. Was that just? Were you posting about that injustice? You can call me out and I’m ok with that but it seems to me you are guilty of the same thoughts. You praise Clemons for holding out but as far as I know you couldn’t care less that Williams and the hundreds of others cut for whatever reason and make no posting that I’m aware of on the subject.

  36. bbnate420 says:

    I agree that this is good.

    But we won’t know for sure whether the holdout helped him or not. A REPORTED offer is not a fact. Only people truly privy to the negotiations will know for sure how the negotiations were affected by things such as his holdout. That said, if the deal is incredibly high or low, relative to what the prevailing contract range was, we will have a decent idea.

  37. NYHawkFan says:

    The Seahawks definitely had the most leverage during negotiations, but that doesn’t mean they were ready to let Clemons walk. When the numbers are revealed, we’ll know how much they appreciate his contribution to the team.

  38. bbnate420 says:

    Plenty of people here have praised the team for cutting salary, i.e. players that aren’t performing up to their contract like Trufant or Tatupu. That’s fine. I’m not necessarily criticizing that. But it’s hypocritical to praise the team for that and then criticize players if they hold out IMO. Not sure that you personally did that. Not criticizing you if you just didn’t comment on one but did for the other. I just think that anyone that criticizes players for holding out and then praises the team for cutting players is a hypocrite.

    BTW, I wasn’t praising CC for holding out. I just am not going to criticize him for it.

  39. Palerydr says:

    Ok that works for me. For the record I didn’t comment on the players dropped one way or the other.

  40. chuck_easton says:

    I’m not a fan of hold outs. But if a player clearly has out performed his contract and the team refuses to talk about an adjustment then a holdout is the only leverage available to the player.

    For those that say the team should honor their contracts as well, every contract has an expectation that the player is going to perform to a certain level to justify the pay. If the player doesn’t perform the team has few options just as the player has few options. The team can ask the player to take a voluntary pay cut or they can release the player for failure to perform to the level to justify the pay.

    Neither the players holdout option or the teams cut option seem ‘fair’ but that’s the system in play.

    But to bring the very public professional football alternate reality into real life how many of us would continue to work at our job if we were clearly performing above our pay grade? Further how many of our employers would hesitate to fire our sorry butts if we didn’t do our job to their expectations.

    Only difference here is the numbers are bigger. The drama is more public. I didn’t negotiate my last pay raise in the newspaper or on the National Lawyers News Network. If I get fired when I get back from the lake next week nobody will know and nobody will care.

  41. RDPoulsbo says:

    There is nothing hypocritical about teams that cut players before their contract expires. In fact, the NFLPA agrees to these terms in every CBA. The players have some leverage with cap accounting rules with signing bonuses and guaranteed money. If a team is willing to take a cap hit than keep a player on the roster, it’s all well within the rules of the CBA.

    As for Clemons, yes, he’ll be 32 when any contract EXTENSION comes into play. For a team that’s built on the future, you don’t keep aging players around at a high price. I personally would have held him to his original contract and let him go at the end of this coming season. They drafted a guy 15th overall specifically to take his spot and put a lot of PR capital behind it. That alone all but guarantees Clemons will be seeing less playing time after 2012. We’ll see if this will be a good deal when the contract details come out, but the FO setting this kind of precedent for players that complain about their contract when you have young guys like Baldwin, Kam, Browner, and Sherman getting paid near the minimum is not a good thing.

  42. bird_spit says:

    Unless we see the details of the contract, which we won’t know the fine print, we wont know how much leverage either side had. Hawks knew he was worth more. He knew he was worth more. Evidently, they now know how much he is worth. Pretty simple..

    I’m curious, now that he has been paid, and its his final contract, how hard will he play. THe true man will be measured when he has nothing more to play for, and its for the love of the game.

  43. bayareahawkfan says:

    Only thing if add to the discussion of the merits of teams and of players honoring the contracts they’ve signed is from a conversation I had earlier in the spring with a guy who played for the Redskins last year (David Anderson, slot receiver), and whom I coincidentally read a month ago was at one of the Hawks’ OTA’s, trying to make the team. He was job shadowing where I work for a few days, so I had a moment to talk with him about the differences between professional football and other job environments.

    In any case, one thing he was very clear to point out to me as we talked about this very issue was that the things under which players’ services are retained by teams are not contracts, they’re technically agreements. I don’t recall the further legal distinctions he laid out (though Hamma and Chuck may be able to shed some light).

    But the essential point there is that when a team cuts a player who has signed a 2 year deal – or when a player holds out when he believes he’s outperformed his deal – neither side is technically “failing to honor the contract” they’ve signed. Applying the construct of “contracts”, as we encounter it in our everyday lives to these situations at best confuses the issue, and at worst leads us to ethical evaluations of the concerned parties which are, perhaps, over-enthusiastic.



  44. “pdway, Hasselbeck was a sports legend?”

    True enough, probably not a legend, but an icon around these parts at least, best QB in franchise history, and led us to our only SB. Plus, a pretty prominent guy on the national sports scene. And ichiro was really the last guy left who had achieved that kind of status.

  45. bbnate420 says:

    Chuck, very, very true. See, I don;t just automitically disagree with you. ;-)

    RDPoulsbo, First off, CC will be 31 at the start of 2013. He doesn’t turn 32 until October 30th. Not a huge difference but, you are technically wrong. That’s why I pointed out that he will be 31 before.

    I never said it was hypocritical for a team to cut a player before their contract is up! I believe it is hypocritical for someone to criticize players for using their bargained rights just as the teams do. You know that holding out is allowed by the CBA! There are agreed upon fines that come with it. If a player is willing to pay the fines, lose salary, and potentially not be credited for the year, if they hold out long enough, then they are completely within their rights to do it. If all the contracts were guaranteed, I would be totally against players holding out for more money. They are not. What’s good fro the goose is good for the gander.

  46. bbnate420 says:

    *and October 30th, 2013, in case it wasn’t clear.

  47. Wilson has a shot at becoming a legend? How about he start a game in the NFL at least before anointing the guy legend status.

    Not only do you not understand plain English and basic logic, you don’t even understand what you wrote yourself. Has a shot != anointed.

  48. Palerydr says:

    I don’t appreciate your insinuation I’m some kind of idiot for my opinion. You think Wilson has the potential to be a legend I disagree I think he has the potential to be a capable BU. Time will tell who’s right to assert anything else is just speculation.

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