RENTON, WA - After "holding in" for parts of training camp and all of the preseason while seeking a new contract, tackle Duane Brown and safety Quandre Diggs returned to practice as the Seahawks begin preparation for their season opener against the Colts on Sunday. Now, it's obvious why Brown was back on the field.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Seattle agreed to terms with Brown on a revised 2021 contract, converting his per-game roster bonus into guaranteed salary. As a result, he can now make up to $12 million in 2021 after originally being scheduled to receive $10 million. The restructured contract also reportedly includes a $2 million benefit in 2022 as part of a voided year if he isn't able to play due to injury.
Brown is still slated to become an unrestricted free agent next March.
Brown, who turned 36 last month and has one year remaining on a three-year extension he signed in 2018, did not participate at all in training camp practices or preseason games. He also left camp for a brief while to attend a personal matter. However, according to coach Pete Carroll, he has been involved in walkthroughs and team meetings while keeping himself in top physical shape for the upcoming season.
When asked last Friday if he expected Brown to be back for Week 1, Carroll simply said, "I'm counting on him. I'm counting on him being ready."
Sure enough, Brown was seen back on the field on Monday sporting a helmet during warm-ups open to media. He would later tweet "Year 14" with a photo from practice and seems to be happy with his updated contract.
"He's ready to go, pleased to have him. All in all in the camp he was able to put forth, he did all the learning and he's really healthy right now and I'm really thrilled about that for him and it was one of the things we realized about the process of it was that we would not wear him down at all during camp. He's got fresh legs and he wants to play tight end," Carroll joked.
As for Diggs, he reported for camp on time and participated in camp until the final week heading into Seattle's preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers. Carroll initially told reporters the Pro Bowl free safety simply needed a day off, but after Diggs sat out the entire week, he suggested the player was "making a statement" in regard to his contract situation.
Like Brown, Diggs has one year left on his current deal and he's slated to make $6.15 million in 2021, which ranks 20th among NFL safeties. Following a career year in which he produced a team-best five interceptions and 10 passes defensed, the 28-year old defender rightfully believes he deserves a new deal and has been on the record multiple times saying he wants to stay with the Seahawks. But to this point, there have been no contract talks between the two sides.
According to Adam Jude of the Seattle Times, Diggs sat out waiting for an insurance policy to be finalized to protect him against injury during his final season and seeking an extension didn't appear to be his primary motive for holding in. With him back on the field, one would assume that situation was addressed, as the player himself told reporters last week he expected to be back practicing very soon.
With those two players out, Seattle has primarily used Jamarco Jones and rookie Stone Forsythe at left tackle in place of Brown and the duo of Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi have filled in for Diggs at free safety. But even without new contracts in place, both veterans should be in uniform against Indianapolis and ready to play out the final year of their respective deals.