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Headliners missing from start of Seahawks OTAs

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RENTON, Wash. — It was almost easier to detail who attended the Seattle Seahawks’ first Organized Team Activity Tuesday than name those who did not.

The list of those absent was star-studded — quarterback Russell Wilson, tight end Jimmy Graham, defensive end Cliff Avril, running back Marshawn Lynch, linebacker Bruce Irvin and defensive end Michael Bennett.

The reasons were also varied, including tragedies that struck people close to Graham and Avril.

Graham, a tight end acquired in an offseason trade with the Saints, was in Miami attending the funeral of Tamara Meyerson, a 45-year-old woman who died Friday and was described as his personal manager and a surrogate mother.

Wilson decided Monday night to also attend the funeral with a team official, causing a rare absence from a Seattle workout for the team’s fourth-year quarterback.

Avril was absent following the death of his father over the weekend.

“Devastating losses and we send our heart and prayers to those guys,” said coach Pete Carroll. “Obviously, they’re going to take some time taking care of the family business right now. We know that there’s really nothing we can do, but we’re trying to show the love and see if we can help out in any way.”

Bennett and Irvin sat out while apparently continuing to make a statement about issues they have with their own contract situations.

Bennett also sat out an earlier two-week conditioning phase as he continues to try to have the team redo a four-year, $28.5 million contract he signed in March 2014. Irvin has been known to be upset that the team did not exercise an option on his contract for the 2016 season that would have paid him $7.8 million.

Carroll did not publicly express any disappointment in their decisions, noting that the workouts are voluntary.

As for Lynch, his absence is in keeping with his usual routine this time of year as Lynch has rarely attended voluntary workouts.

Wilson may also miss other workouts this week to attend the funeral for Avril’s father. Carroll said Wilson had the support of the team to be gone due to the reason for his absences, and it was made clear that it was not due to his continuing efforts to get a long-term contract extension from the team.

Carroll called Wilson deciding to go to the funeral for Meyerson “a good idea.”

As for contract talks, Carroll said he had nothing to report and did not want to talk about where the two sides may be.

“Hopefully we get something done,” he said. “But if we don’t, we’ll just have to deal with it.”

Despite the absences, though, Carroll said he was happy with the work the team has done in an offseason in which Seattle has been one of the more scrutinized teams in the NFL after losing the Super Bowl in historic fashion.

“Each year we challenge ourselves to put together the best offseason we can put together,” he said. “It starts with the individual and then the guys bring that to their position groups and then to the team. We’ve had no exception to that. We’ve had great work and the attitude has been on it. That’s all we could ask for. It’s been five weeks now coming to this point and you see the result today. We went out and practiced and ran around and guys knew what they’re doing and flying around, communicating well and we’re off and running. It’s exactly the kind of tempo we anticipate seeing if we’re on it. So that’s a credit to all the work these guys have put forth so far.”


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