Seahawks Notebook: Contractual questions
WR Jackson says deal wasn't what he agreed to
Saturday, July 30, 2005
By DANNY O'NEIL
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

CHENEY -- Darrell Jackson was at training camp yesterday, participating in drills and preparing for a rosy future as the Seahawks' top returning wide receiver.

As for his contract, that remains somewhat of a thorn.

"We made a couple of deals with Bob Whitsitt, and he kind of shorted us when we went to sign the contract," Jackson told reporters after the afternoon practice.

That's an indirect explanation for why Jackson missed the team's voluntary minicamps the past two offseasons.

The contract was agreed to in 2004. It ended up being for six years and $25 million, with an $8 million signing bonus. That apparently didn't match up with what Jackson expected, though he would not specify how much more he believed the verbal agreement was for.

Jackson said he still signed the contract because he liked playing in Seattle, loved the fans and his father -- who has since died of cancer -- wanted him to stay put.

Jackson caught 87 passes last season, more than twice as many as any other Seahawk. His 1,199 yards receiving was also tops on the team.

The issues over his contract predate president Tim Ruskell, who was hired in February after Whitsitt was fired following last season.

Before Jackson spoke with reporters, Ruskell was asked if Jackson's happiness was a concern to him.

"I'm just really getting to know Darrell," Ruskell said. "I remember him from the Florida days, always a happy-go-lucky guy and loves playing football. And just starting to talk with him, we want to get him back to that.

"I think we can do that. He has a real good rapport with Mike (Holmgren), and yeah, that's a goal. To get him in the fold and happy and productive. That's just better for everybody."

URGENT BUSINESS: Signing top draft picks Chris Spencer and Lofa Tatupu will come down to dollars and cents, but Ruskell applied different measurements yesterday.

"It's a matter of hours, days," Ruskell said. "But it doesn't feel like it's going to be any long, long (process)."

Ruskell said the team was close to reaching agreements. Tom Condon, the agent who represents Spencer, said yesterday he wouldn't speculate on how close a deal was, but that the sides are continuing to work diligently to get a deal done. Condon was in Seattle earlier this week. Condon represents four first-round picks, and two have already signed: No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith (QB, *****) and the 30th overall pick, Heath Miller (TE, Steelers).

BABY ON BOARD: Shaun Alexander's arrival at training camp has been delayed by another arrival. His wife gave birth to their second daughter, Trinity, on Thursday morning. Holmgren said he expects Alexander to arrive in camp tomorrow, maybe Monday.

It's the second time a birth has bumped into football business for Alexander. His first daughter, Heaven, was born in September 2003, hours before the Seahawks played the Rams. Alexander missed the start of the game because he was en route from the hospital.

QUICK KICKS: S Ken Hamlin still isn't practicing after offseason shoulder surgery. Holmgren said the hope is Hamlin will play in the third preseason game, which means he would begin practicing the week before. ... Four Seahawks did not practice yesterday: Hamlin, DT Cedric Woodard (knee), rookie LB Cornelius Wortham (hamstring) and WR Alex Bannister (collarbone). ...

CB Kevin House and P Ryan Dutton are listed on the Seahawks roster, but are injury exemptions from NFL Europe. House has a fractured forearm and Dutton has a shin injury.