RENTON — Coach Pete Carroll acknowledged Thursday that the Seahawks were caught off-guard by receiver DK Metcalf’s decision to skip mandatory minicamp as he angles for a contract extension.

But Carroll said “I am not less optimistic” that a deal will get done with Metcalf, who is likely seeking an extension that rivals that of A.J. Brown, his former Ole Miss teammate who recently received a four-year, $100 million deal from the Eagles. Brown and Metcalf share the same agent, Tory Dandy.

Carroll noted that Metcalf showed up for the beginning of the voluntary offseason program in April, which had signaled to the team that he would take part in everything. 

Stone: DK Metcalf’s minicamp holdout a troublesome development for Seahawks, but it’s not time to panic

A source told The Seattle Times that the team considers Metcalf’s absence from minicamp — which ended Thursday — unexcused.

“It was a decision that he had to make,” Carroll said. “And you know, we missed him. He had done a nice job and contributed, being part of everything that we’d done. And then just he’s not here. So I can’t say much for what he hasn’t done here. We’d love to have him with us.”


Carroll said the team has been in negotiations with Metcalf and said, “(we’ve) really intended to get that done [this offseason].”

Metcalf is entering the final season of his rookie contract, due to make $3.9 million in 2022. But it has been the team’s custom to sign players it wants to keep to extensions before the final year of the rookie contract. That occurred with players such as Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman the past decade.

Typically those have been completed in late spring, during the summer or right as training camp begins. Carroll intimated the team was working on a similar timeline with Metcalf.

“There’s been conversations, and we’re in a pretty standard (mode), kind of semi-quiet right now knowing that camp’s coming up,” Carroll said. “These are crucial weeks to get something done. We’ll see what happens and hope that we can work something out.”

Asked if it was his understanding that Metcalf’s absence was solely related to his contract, Carroll said, “We’ve been communicating on that topic, yeah.”

As Carroll noted, had Metcalf been in attendance he would not have done much on the field as he recovers from foot surgery in January.


“I had hoped that he might come in because he was still in the rehab phase — he wouldn’t be able to do all of the work,” Carroll said. “That he would have been here would have been good for us. And so unfortunately he wasn’t here.”

Metcalf sitting out all three days of minicamp practice means he could be subject to fines of more than $93,000. Teams do not have to impose the fines if they don’t want and when Carroll was asked if they would he said only “we don’t talk about that.’’

Metcalf was not on the field for any OTAs the past few weeks, but that was not a surprise given his rehab — players not in attendance had been attending meetings virtually if not in town. 

That Metcalf had shown up to some of the voluntary program and attended meetings and other activities, made it a surprise that he skipped the minicamp.

In several interviews since the end of the season Metcalf had given no indication he had concerns about his future with the team.

“I will say we are going to get something done,” Metcalf said in late April on the “Club Shay Shay Podcast” with former NFL player Shannon Sharpe. “I think I’m going to be in Seattle for the next coming years, yes sir.”


At another point in that conversation, Metcalf said: “At the end of the day once you sit down and make a grown-man decision, yeah, I want to be in Seattle.”

The Seahawks have said they intend to extend Metcalf’s contract. Rumors led to some conjecture that they could entertain trade offers for Metcalf, especially in the wake of the Wilson trade. 

But the passing of the draft without any deal seemed to send a strong indication that a contract will get done.

And it’s known that the team considers Metcalf, 24, as a foundational franchise piece as it enters the post-Wilson era.

Carroll on Thursday, in his first media comments in the past two weeks and maybe his last until training camp, said the team has been able to reach agreements with basically every player in a similar situation over the past decade.

The Seahawks endured a long negotiation last year with Jamal Adams before he was re-signed in mid-August to a four-year deal worth an average of $17.5 million per season, making him the NFL’s highest-paid safety.


“We’ve been through this for years,” Carroll said. “It’s a challenging time, and we’ve had so many high-profile guys that have gone through this process, and how’s that worked out for us? We figured it out in time.”

Metcalf’s situation has gotten more complicated since the end of the season, with a handful of receivers getting deals that helped reset the market — though club execs note that most are in line with an ever-increasing salary cap, especially now that league revenues are going back up after the COVID-19 decrease in 2020. 

Still, this week the Rams signed Cooper Kupp to a three-year extension worth a reported $80 million that gives him a five-year contract overall worth up to $110 million, another deal that could be used as a reference point by Metcalf’s side.

Carroll noted that Seahawks general manager John Schneider “is as experienced as you can get” at handling such situations and added that Metcalf “has got great representation.” Schneider this year spoke of the good relationship he has with Dandy.

But Carroll also noted that there is a challenge in negotiations with players in line for significant contracts for the first time.

“There’s no way of avoiding the first time of this and what it feels like and the experience of it,” Carroll said. “There’s so many classic examples of how guys dealt with it and how the guys got it figured out. It’s unfortunate that nobody ever learns from the guy before them — it’s all brand-new, it’s like the first time again. It’s like [the movie] ’50 First Dates’ kind of thing. You’ve got to go through it. 

“DK is a remarkable person, and he’s a wonderful player, and he has so much to offer the world, and I just don’t want him to miss this opportunity where we can’t figure this out. So we will do everything we can.”