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Seahawks Sign Draft Pick With Heart Condition Knowing They’d Immediately Cut Him

garrett-scott-seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks signed a draft choice knowing he would never play a down of football for them, costing them more than half a million dollars.

Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports (“Classy Seahawks sign draft pick before having to cut him due to heart condition“):

Friday’s move by the Seahawks was a little peculiar because it involved them cutting a sixth-round pick just a few weeks after the draft, but ultimately it’ll be a line in the transactions page most people will read and instantly forget.

Seattle Seahawks waived offensive tackle Garrett Scott with the non-football illness designation.

Scott, during a physical with the team, was found to have a rare heart condition that will keep him from playing, the Seahawks said. Scott played in college at Marshall.

[...]

Scott went from the life highlight of being drafted into the NFL to the low of having it taken away in less than a month. He played 41 games at Marshall. Presumably his heart condition wasn’t noticed during any physical tests during the pre-draft process either. Then he was told that the team that selected him didn’t think his heart would let him play football again.

There’s a silver lining. The Seahawks found out about Scott’s condition before signing him but the team signed him to his contract anyway, then waived him. That means Scott receives his signing bonus and first-year salary totaling about $555,000, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. ”So to clarify, they signed him to contract knowing he had NOT passed his physical so he could still get some money.”

Like losing a late draft pick, the Seahawks won’t really miss that money. But it’s a great gesture from a championship organization.

A classy gesture, indeed. And Schwab is wrong: while a rich NFL franchise like the Seahawks won’t miss the dollar value of $555,000, they’ll take that hit in the salary cap, meaning they’ll find it harder to sign a veteran free agent later in the offseason or as an injury replacement later in the season. Nor do they owe any especial loyalty to Scott, who had no choice in which NFL team drafted him and has contributed nothing to the Seahawks organization. So, this was a purely humanitarian gesture by the team, letting Scott fill a life-long dream of being signed by an NFL team and giving him a mighty nice consolation prize.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That’s it…. I am declaring myself eligible for the 2015 draft.

    Snark aside, the Seattle Seahawks continue to show true class as a business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. The Tampa Bay Bucccaneers did the same thing for Eric LeGrand, a Rutgers player who was paralyzed from the neck down on a play in the 2010 season. The fact that LeGrand’s coach at the time, Greg Schiano, was at Tampa Bay when this happened no doubt played a role.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Doug Mataconis: A great gesture by Schiano and the Bucs but all LeGrand got was a uniform and the thrill of a contract. As an undrafted free agent, he didn’t get any money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. DrDaveT says:

    As my wife points out, if Scott’s contract also entitles him to team medical services, the value of the contract could be even higher. I don’t know anything about his condition, but if it’s going to require surgery and/or physical therapy and such, that could get expensive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. John Burgess says:

    Curmudgeonly, I admit, but just how much of that $550,000 will end up being paid by taxpayers?

    I suspect it’s going to end up as a business deduction on the Seahawks’ tax forms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  6. dazedandconfused says:

    Sufferin’ succotash…There’s a turd in every silver lining, isn’t there? Here’s the bad news, Grumpy, there is no special deduction for this it’s a paid contract, the government would’ve gotten some of it back when it was spent anyway, and I think there is someone on your lawn…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. John H says:

    Even this 49′ers fan has to admit, that’s a pretty classy move by the Seahawks organization.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. John Peabody says:

    It’s Bush’s fault!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0