Thursday's NFL: Seahawks expected to sign DK Metcalf to extension
Renton, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks are expected to sign wide receiver DK Metcalf to a three-year contract extension that will be worth up to a reported $72 million, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the signing. ESPN first reported the deal, which is expected to include $58 million guaranteed and will keep him under contract with Seattle through the 2025 season.
Metcalf is the latest in a string of top pass catchers to get locked up with new deals this offseason. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract after being a second-round pick by Seattle in 2019 and getting him signed was a priority for the Seahawks this offseason.
Metcalf had watched during the first two days of Seattle's training camp and head coach Pete Carroll said after practice on Thursday there was nothing new to report on the contract talks.
Getting the deal done may have taken longer than originally expected and faced some bumps along the way, most notably when Metcalf skipped Seattle’s mandatory minicamp in June. But Metcalf now has contract certainty going forward as the Seahawks embark on an offensive rebuild following the trade of quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver.
Metcalf joins a lengthy list of wide receivers that have cashed in on big contracts this offseason. Cooper Kupp, A.J. Brown, Stefon Diggs, Terry McLaurin, Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Chris Godwin, Mike Williams and Michael Gallup all signed extensions that are north of $50 million in potential total value.
Metcalf made $911,914 last season, a year where he had 75 receptions and a career-high 12 touchdown catches despite playing through a foot injury for most of the season.
His breakout season came in 2020 when Metcalf became a full-time starter and finished the year with 83 receptions for a franchise-record 1,303 yards receiving and 10 TDs, and was selected as a second-team AP All-Pro.
Metcalf was set to make about $3.99 million in the final year of his rookie contract. Metcalf had been around the Seahawks for stretches of the offseason workouts while rehabbing from foot surgery, but was surprisingly absent when the team gathered for its mandatory minicamp in early June. The message was clear that Metcalf didn’t want his contract status lingering and he wanted long-term stability.
Carroll agreed that a deal needed to get done before training camp arrived. And while that didn't happen, Metcalf only missed a couple days of on-field work.
Emotional K.J. Wright steps away after 11-year NFL career
Renton, Wash. — Before he stepped to the podium, K.J. Wright was hopeful he’d be able to keep his emotions in check.
It took only a couple of minutes for the tears to start.
“I gave this game every ounce I had in my body. I gave it my heart and my soul. I put my body on the line. I made sacrifices in my personal life. It’s safe to say, I’m on empty right now,” Wright said on Thursday.
The 11-year NFL veteran announced his retirement a day after signing a one-day contract so that he could step away from the game with the team that drafted Wright in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.
He grew into being a stalwart for the best teams in Seattle’s history, a Pro Bowl selection and 10-year anchor as part of the Seahawks’ defense.
It was an emotional 25 minutes for Wright that included calling his mom, dad and wife onto the stage to express his appreciation. He directly thanked Seattle general manager John Schneider, coach Pete Carroll, former teammates, coaches, equipment staff and athletic trainers for their roles in his career.
Wright arrived in Seattle before the Seahawks ascended to being a dominant force in the NFC, playing in consecutive Super Bowls and winning the first title in franchise history with one of the more dominant defenses in recent history.
He was integral to the foundation of those title teams. And even as others cycled in and out of Seattle, Wright remained.
“From where he started out and all that but where he showed himself so early to be such a factor on our team, mentality and culture and all of that,” Carroll said. “He will always hold a special place.”
Wright said of all his seasons, he was most proud of 2018 when an ongoing knee issue led him to play in only five games and start to believe his career was going to be over. He also was concerned about his future going into the 2020 season. Wright had shoulder surgery just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and with his rehab options limited, was worried he’d pass his physical.
He did pass and went on to start all 16 games.
But the following offseason was when Wright started to consider retirement. He’d reached his goal of playing 10 seasons, but figured after his 2020 performance — even if Seattle was ready to move on — there would be options in free agency.
“My phone was so dry. Coming off my best year, my 10th year I thought, ‘somebody’s about to call,’ but that didn’t happen. That ... sucked,” Wright said.
Wright eventually signed with the Raiders and appeared in every game for Las Vegas. But his family remained in the Seattle area and the separation cemented that if there wasn’t an opportunity back with the Seahawks, it was time for Wright to step away.
He said he still plans to attend as many Seahawks games as he can this fall, but “in the suite sipping on tequila.”
“I want to take this fall to enjoy life, to enjoy myself, enjoy my family,” Wright said. “And I know at the end of the day, when I do get ready, I want to come and serve this organization. And not in coaching. Let’s just get it understood, not in coaching. But I want to serve this organization.”
Adams leaves Seahawks to seek medical opinions on fingers
Renton, Wash. — The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Jamal Adams for an unknown period after he left training camp to seek additional medical opinions about the surgically repaired fingers on his left hand, coach Pete Carroll said Thursday.
Adams participated in the first day of training camp Wednesday but was absent on Day 2. Carroll said Adams “wasn’t right” and left to visit specialists.
Carroll said he doesn’t know yet if another surgery was going to be a consideration.
"I don’t have anything to advance today other than us exchanging conversation last night," Carroll said. "But he’s looking into some stuff and he’s trying to get things figured out.”
Adams underwent multiple surgeries last offseason. One surgery repaired a shoulder injury that cost him the final five games of the season. Adams also underwent a procedure to fuse two fingers on his left hand after suffering repeated dislocations over the past two years.
Adams is in his third year with the Seahawks following his trade from the New York Jets before the 2020 season. His biggest impact with the Seahawks has come as a pass rusher after recording 9 ½ sacks in 2020. He was used less as a pass rusher last season but is expected to be used in a more aggressive role with Seattle’s defensive scheme changes for this season.
“Anybody that comes back from the surgeries, we’re always concerned and see how they move back in and all,” Carroll said. “He just felt something that didn’t feel right and so he’s got to get checked out. He’s really concerned. He’s really upset that he has to miss anything. But we jumped at the chance to have us take care of it and see what’s going on right now.”
Buccaneers C Ryan Jensen carted off field with knee injury
Tampa, Fla. — Tampa Bay Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen injured his left knee and was carted off the field near the end of practice on Thursday.
Neither coach Todd Bowles nor general manager Jason Licht would speculate on the severity of the injury, which occurred with players wearing shorts, shirts and helmets during a non-contact two-minute drill on the second day of training camp workouts.
“It’s unfortunate right now because there was nothing fancy going on in there,” Bowles said. “We’ve got to look at the tape and see what happened. It didn’t look like anything.”
Licht said it could be a few days before the Buccaneers learn how long Jensen might be sidelined.
Second-year pro Robert Hainsey replaced Jensen for the remainder of the drill. Another backup offensive lineman, Nick Leverett, will also take some snaps in practice while the starter is out.
“Right now, we feel terrible for Jensen. Don’t have any update on that. We won’t for some time,” Licht said. “We have some tests you have to wait a couple of days before you can get them. You have to wait for swelling and things like that to go down.”
Jensen, a ninth-year pro beginning his fifth season with Tampa Bay, was a first-time Pro Bowl selection in 2021.
He was the first player the Bucs re-signed after Tom Brady ended a brief retirement in March, with the 31-year-old center agreeing to a three-year, $39 million contract rather than relocating in free agency.
Chiefs signing veteran DE Carlos Dunlap to 1-year contract
St. Joseph, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs are signing defensive end Carlos Dunlap to a one-year deal, giving them an experienced pass rusher opposite Frank Clark and providing first-round pick George Karlaftis with another veteran presence.
Dunlap's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN.com on Thursday that the contract will be worth up to $8 million.
“I don't know if there's pen to paper. I know I talked to that particular player yesterday,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said after the second full-squad workout of training camp at Missouri Western State University.
"It was a good chat," Spagnuolo said. "I’m always happy to add big, long guys with experience in the league.”
The 33-year-old Dunlap was released in March by the Seahawks, who acquired him in a trade with Cincinnati in 2020 and had signed him to a two-year deal. Dunlap rotated with other defensive ends in Seattle, much like he's expected to do with the Chiefs, and had 8 1/2 sacks along with eight tackles for loss while playing 38% of snaps last season.
Dunlap was a second-round pick of the Bengals in 2010, making back-to-back Pro Bowl trips in 2015 and ‘16, and is among the NFL’s active leaders with 96 career sacks. He also has 117 tackles for loss across 13 seasons in the league.
“I trained with him this summer in Miami. We’ll accept him with open arms,” said Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, who has been their best at pressuring the quarterback in recent years. "I always told him I would love to play with him.”
The Chiefs managed just 31 sacks last season, better only than Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta, and their inability to put pressure on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was a factor in a second-half collapse in the AFC championship game.
Painfully aware of the situation, the Chiefs reworked Clark's contract in the offseason rather than letting him go, even though he managed just 4 1/2 sacks last season. They also spent the second of their two first-round picks on Karlaftis, an edge rusher out of Purdue whom the Chiefs hope can develop into a long-term solution.
In the meantime, they hope Dunlap can fill a role similar to what Melvin Ingram did for Kansas City last season. He was acquired midway through it from Pittsburgh as the Chiefs were trying to bolster their pass rush for the playoffs. And while he had just one sack in nine regular-season games with them, Ingram had two more during the postseason.
The Chiefs hoped to bring Ingram back this season, but he ultimately signed with Miami in free agency.
Cowboys sign WR Turpin, 4 years after assault case at TCU
Oxnard, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys signed receiver and kick returner KaVontae Turpin on Thursday, adding the former TCU player who was kicked off the team in 2018 before pleading guilty to assaulting his girlfriend.
Turpin was MVP of the United States Football League with the New Jersey Generals this spring after that league completed its first regular season since 1985. The 25-year-old led the league in receiving yards and had the only kick return for a touchdown.
Turpin was one of the best kick returners in the nation while at TCU. He returned a punt for a touchdown in each of his four seasons. Turpin averaged 28 yards on 71 kickoff returns with two touchdowns during his career.
While playing for the Generals, Turpin led the USFL with 540 receiving yards in 10 games, with a league-best 316 of those yards coming after the catch.
The speedy Turpin had eight touchdowns receiving as a freshman at TCU in 2015 and finished his career with 13. He averaged 12.1 yards per catch.
Turpin played seven games for the Horned Frogs in 2018 before he was arrested after witnesses told police they saw Turpin drag his girlfriend across a parking lot as she resisted and screamed for them to call 911.
After initially being suspended, Turpin was kicked off the team a few days later when a previous assault charge against him emerged in New Mexico. He was sentenced to deferred adjudication probation and ordered to attend an abuse intervention program.
The Cowboys released fullback Nick Ralston to make room on the training camp roster for Turpin.
Ex-NFL player Kevin Ware charged in girlfriend's killing
Houston — A former NFL player was charged with murder Thursday in the killing of his girlfriend, whose remains were found months after she was reported missing last year.
Kevin Ware, who played tight end in 2003 and 2004 for Washington and San Francisco, is also charged with tampering with evidence, specifically a corpse, in the death of Taylor Pomaski. If convicted of murder, he faces up to life in prison.
Pomaski, 29, was last seen in April 2021 at a house party in the Houston suburb of Spring. Her remains were found in December.
“We encourage anyone who has knowledge about what happened between Kevin and Taylor to come forward,” said Lacy Johnson, the prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office handling the case.
Ware, 41, has been jailed since June 2021 in neighboring Montgomery County on unrelated drug and gun charges.
Ware's attorney, Coby DuBose, didn't immediately reply to a phone message or email seeking comment.
Commanders owner Dan Snyder testifies before House committee
Ashburn, Va. — Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder has begun testifying before a congressional committee investigating the NFL team’s history of workplace misconduct.
A spokesperson for the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform confirmed Snyder began giving his deposition Thursday morning virtually and in private. The hearing is not public.
The spokesperson said in a statement on behalf of the committee: “Snyder has committed to providing full and complete testimony, and to answer the Committee’s questions about his knowledge of and contributions to the Commanders’ toxic work environment, as well as his efforts to interfere with the NFL’s internal investigation, without hiding behind non-disclosure or other confidentiality agreements.”
Snyder, who is in Israel, agreed to testify voluntarily after committee members worked out some issues with his legal team on the terms of his deposition. The committee had previously agreed to have Snyder testify under the terms of a subpoena it had initially issued.
The committee has the discretion to decide what, if any, information it releases from Snyder’s deposition. The hearing is not being recorded, though a transcript is expected.
Snyder is testifying a month after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appeared before the committee via Zoom to discuss Washington's workplace culture and the league's investigation into it. Snyder was invited to testify at the same hearing and, through a lawyer, declined.
The committee launched this investigation last year after the league fined Washington $10 million following its review of workplace misconduct but did not release a written report of attorney Beth Wilkinson's findings.
Washington opened training camp on Wednesday in Ashburn, Virginia.