The Seahawks received pleasant news Wednesday with All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas and third-year defensive tackle Jesse Williams each returning to the field. Both players had previously been on the Physically Unable to Perform list with Thomas sidelined due to his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery and Williams having a kidney removed after being diagnosed with cancer.
Frankly, neither player did much on the field for the Seahawks Wednesday with Thomas encouraging fellow defensive backs but not taking part in any drills and Williams only going through initial bag drills and conditioning following practice.
Thomas' recovery is critical to Seattle's hopes at remaining one of the league's fiercest defenses as his speed and reliable open-field tackling are arguably the most indispensable element of the Legion of Boom. Previous injuries have derailed Williams' NFL career, thus far, but when healthy, he's a powerful run-stuffing presence -- something Seattle may be looking for given the recent release of former starting defensive end Tony McDaniel.
Unfortunately for the Seahawks, the holdout of fellow All-Pro Kam Chancellor continues to rage on with no end in sight. Head coach Pete Carroll admitted yesterday that Chancellor's absence had become "an issue of concern."
Chancellor, 27, is under contract through 2017 and scheduled to make 4.55 million in base salary this season as part of the four year $28 million dollar extension he signed two years ago. His salary this year is the lowest of the deal, with his salary bumping up to $5.1 million in base salary in 2016 and $6.8 million in 2017.
Sources inside the team sounded frustrated with Chancellor's holdout and showed no indication that the team would be willing to re-do his deal. The Seahawks seem committed to moving on without Chancellor should he elect to take his holdout into the preseason or even into the year. For now, DeShawn Shead has been practicing in Chancellor's spot as the top strong safety. Former Southern Cal standout Dion Bailey has also made some splashy plays recently.