RENTON — A week after star safety Jamal Adams received his new contract and returned to practice, the Seahawks’ other Pro Bowl safety is now “holding in” for a new deal.
Quandre Diggs, entering the final year of his contract, has not practiced over the past week as he seeks an extension from the Seahawks.
“He’s making a bit of a statement now … and he deserves to do that,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday.
Diggs has been with the team for the past month, attending meetings and participating some in early training camp practices. He has only watched from the sideline for the past four practices.
When they’re on the field together for the Seahawks, Adams and Diggs might form the best safety tandem in the NFL.
In his first full season with the Seahawks, Diggs, 28, earned his first Pro Bowl nod last season after leading the team with five interceptions.
Diggs signed a three-year, $18.6 million extension with the Detroit Lions in September 2018. The Seahawks acquired him in a trade midway through the 2019 season, and he’s scheduled to earn $5.95 million this season, according to OvertheCap.com.
The team does not appear inclined to offer Diggs an extension before the season — the same stance the team has taken with veteran left tackle Duane Brown.
Brown, entering the final year of his deal, also has been “holding in” while lobbying for an extension.
Carroll has indicated he expects both Diggs and Brown to return to practice soon and be available for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener at Indianapolis.
“I think this is an opportunity for players in all sports to communicate where they’re coming from, and this is a way to do it,” Carroll said. “Quandre has been great all through camp — he’s had a fantastic camp. He’s in great shape, and he’s ready to go.”
Will starters get to play?
The Seahawks play their final preseason game Saturday night against the Chargers at Lumen Field, and Carroll again played coy about which Seahawks will actually play.
Almost all of the Seahawks starters sat out of the first two preseason games.
“You guys will find out (who’s playing) when we get there and how we’re doing that,” Carroll said. “The decisions that we’re making are for competition and to give guys the opportunity to show everything that they can show to make this club, knowing that we’re coming down to the end of camp here.”
The Seahawks have been outscored a combined 50-10 in their first two preseason games — losses to the Raiders and Broncos.
“This is a chance to finish the preseason on a good note — we’re certainly going for that,” Carroll said. “We didn’t like the first couple (games), so we’re looking to make a better statement about where we are.”
Dee Eskridge making an impression
One intriguing player who might get a chance to play Saturday night is rookie receiver Dee Eskridge.
Eskridge missed the first few weeks of camp with a toe injury, but Carroll has been encouraged by what the rookie has shown since returning to action.
“He came back out here, and he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do, very capably,” Carroll said. “He’s strong, he bursts, he’s in and out of breaks. He’s very comfortable on the deep ball, catching the ball way down the field. Russ (Wilson) hit him for a 60-yarder the other day, and it just looked like it was no big deal (for Eskridge).
“… There’s nothing that’s happened that doesn’t give us all the hope that he’s going to be a big contributor.”
Eventually, Carroll said Eskridge could factor into the mix as a punt/kick returner, too.
Kyle Fuller takes reins at center
Carroll all but made it official that Kyle Fuller has won the job as the Seahawks’ new starting center.
“He’s been able to do everything, and he’s really commanded the line of scrimmage too, and he and Russ get along great with the communications,” Carroll said. “He’s working well with the guards. He has given us no reason to just say that he can’t start. He’s done really well. Well done.”
Incumbent starter Ethan Pocic missed much of camp because of a hamstring injury.
“It’s been unfortunate because we had this big competition going on at center, but (Pocic) hasn’t had chance to show yet,” Carroll said. “Kyle’s done really well. Ethan has done nothing to hurt himself. He just hasn’t been able to take advantage of the opportunities.”