James Carpenter, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2011, will enter training camp as the returning starter at left guard.
He will also enter camp facing something of a make-or-break year after the Seahawks decided Friday not to pick up an option on his contract for the 2015 season.
Under a clause in the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams had until Saturday to pick up a fifth-year option for all players taken in the first round in 2011.
Under the CBA rules, Seattle would have then agreed to pay Carpenter $7.438 million, the average of the 25 highest-paid players at his position, money guaranteed only in the event of injury.
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Instead, Seattle will let Carpenter play the 2014 season and decide his future later. The Seahawks could still re-sign him (or place franchise or transition tags on him), but Carpenter can now become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 season, a year when he is due to make a base salary of $1.417 million.
Carpenter has started 26 games in his Seattle career since being taken with the No. 25 overall pick out of Alabama. But he has also battled injuries and has yet to really cement his role on the team.
Carpenter spent much of 2013 sharing time at left guard with Paul McQuistan, playing in all 16 games, and officially starting 10. McQuistan has since signed with Cleveland, paving the way for Carpenter to take over the left guard spot full time in 2014.
Baldwin offer sheet deadline passes
Friday marked the deadline for restricted free agents — such as Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin — to sign offer sheets from other teams. Baldwin did not sign an offer sheet, assuring that he will remain with the Seahawks in 2014.
The question now is whether he plays under the terms of the second-round tender the team placed on him in March or if he works out a longer-term deal.
If Baldwin signs the tender — which meant any team that wanted him would have had to give Seattle a second-round pick — he will make $2.187 million in 2014 and then can become an unrestricted free agent in 2015. But he can still work out a longer contract with the Seahawks.
Seahawks sign Schofield, Jefferson
The Seahawks also re-signed free-agent linebacker O’Brien Schofield while signing free-agent cornerback A.J. Jefferson, a four-year veteran who played last season with Minnesota. Both signed one-year contracts.
Schofield agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with the Giants in March. But that contract was reneged after the Giants had concerns about his knee.
Jefferson was released by the Vikings in November a few days after being arrested on a domestic-violence charge. He eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended to three days time served.
• The Seahawks also announced that they had named Will Harriger offensive assistant, Chris Morgan assistant offensive line coach and Chad Morton assistant special teams coach, with Nate Carroll now assuming the role of assistant wide receivers coach and John Glenn becoming quality control/defensive coach.
Carroll, the youngest son of coach Pete Carroll, was an offensive assistant last year.
Morton is a former seven-year NFL veteran as a running back and kick returner and spent the last five seasons on the staff at Green Bay.