Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chris Clemons to lose $1M for Seahawks camp absence

In search of a new contract, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons skipped the team's offseason program, including organized team activities and the mandatory June minicamp. Doing so cost Clemons a $100,000 workout bonus and his minicamp absence has him subject to $60,000 in cumulative fines.

By Brian McIntyre
If Clemons does not obtain the new contract he's seeking, and is forced to play out the upcoming season on his existing deal, he will lose considerably more than $160,000.

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By skipping the mandatory minicamp the Clemons forfeited the $1 million in base salary escalation his performances from the 2010 and 2011 seasons had added to his 2012 base salary, a source with knowledge of Clemons' contract said Wednesday. Instead of earning $4 million this season, Clemons' salary has rolled back to its original $3 million, with an additional $800,000 available in an incentive tied to sacks.

Knowing that his failure to appear for the minicamp would result in a loss of 2012 income, either through forfeiture or fines, can be taken as a sign of how serious Clemons is his contract status. Clemons reportedly turned down what was essentially a two-year, $14 million extension (three-years, $18 million overall) from the Seahawks earlier this offseason and it's unclear where the two sides are in talks with training camp approaching.

The Seahawks have some leverage as they could always franchise Clemons in 2013. If the salary cap remains flat, as it's expected to do, the tender for a defensive end has a projected value of $10.835 million next season.

Clemons has started all 32 games for the Seahawks over the past two seasons, totaling 100 tackles and 22 sacks, and another sack in two playoff games. The Seahawks used their 2012 first round pick on West Virginia pass-rush specialist Bruce Irvin, who is expected to play opposite Clemons in 2012 and could be a long-term replacement at the "Leo" position in Pete Carroll's defense.

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