Just when a football fan thinks the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement might bring an end to training camp holdouts, up doesn’t pop Chris Clemons.
The ninth-year defensive end, who led the Seahawks the past two seasons with 11 sacks each, wasn’t in Renton Tuesday for the first of three days of a camp that will be the last formal workout until training camp opens in late July.
Coach Pete Carroll said he was “surprised” Clemons, 30, didn’t show after indications were that he would participate in the mandatory camp after skipping the voluntary workouts. Clemons has a year left on his contract, but was known to want an extension.
“I thought he was coming,” Carroll said. “We’ve had open communication with Chris and his agent. It’s very amicable. It’s one of our priorities but it doesn’t look like he’s going to show up for the rest of camp.”
It’s a poor time for Clemons to hold out, given that that the Seahawks used their No. 1 draft choice on Bruce Irvin, who plays Clemons’ Leo position. His absence allows Irvin more reps, and he has been impressive in his brief time in Seahawks workouts.
“He’s making terrific progress,” Carroll said of Irvin. “He’s learning very well. He’s doing everything we thought he would do, and been very diligent.”
“Clem would have helped Bruce by showing him stuff. That would have been a better example. The other end of it is, he’s getting force-fed with the first group. He can handle it. You can’t wear him out. But I would have liked to have had Clem here.”
Clemons has had tumultuous personal life. His wife, Veranetta, filed in 2010 for divorce, citing adultery, and was granted by a jury in March a settlement that included $500,000 in cash, a luxury car and use of the couple’s Georgia mansion.
Carroll said the three-day, padless camp was mostly a review, “a kind of test each day of the stuff we’ve installed.”
The three quarterbacks, incumbent Tarvaris Jackson, free agent newcomer Matt Flynn and third-round draft choice Russell Wilson, will get an equal number of reps over the three days, with Jackson taking the first team Tuesday.
Another position, wide receiver, has a shortage. While Sidney Rice was working out after concussions sidelined him Nov. 30, his practices are limited. Mike Williams, coming back from a broken leg, isn’t ready for full participation. Golden Tate had a small bone fracture in his right hand. All three are expected to be ready for fall camp in late July.