Aug 2, 2011 9:08 PM by Shane Ewing (KPAX Sports)
SEATTLE- While many NFL superstars are holding out from training camps due to financial disputes, Chase Reynolds isn't being picky about his contract situation.
"Do I care what it says? I just want it to have a place to sign my name," he said with a laugh in Seattle Tuesday afternoon, 30 minutes after being told he would be offered a free agent contract with the Seahawks.
While his new team was out on the practice field, Reynolds sat waiting to hear the team's decision on his fate after he worked out in a Pro Day style exhibition for Seattle coaches Tuesday morning.
"They called me up yesterday (Monday) and said 'Hey, we want to get you down here and work you out. If we like you, we'll sign you.' So I flew down here and obviously couldn't sleep last night," he said with more than a hint of exhaustion.
"We did a lot of drills, a lot of cutting with the running backs coach (Sherman Smith) and we did some passing and catching."
After the drills, Reynolds found himself caught in a waiting game with his competition for roster space standing by his side. But in the end, the Seahawks had lost a running back, and that was the position they decided to bolster.
"It was me and another guy, a linebacker who played for the Redskins and we were sitting down there and he got the call and was like, 'Alright, I'll be back.' And he went up there and came down and said, 'Well, hey, I'm headed out of here.'
He didn't make it so that's when I just really started panicking there and I started thinking about what I could have done differently."
For 15 minutes, Reynolds tried to decipher what the plans were on the other side of the walls. Whether or not the Seahawks would open their doors to Montana's all-time leading touchdown scorer.
He was left alone, haunted by questions: If he had gotten 4 more rushing yards, and could have told the Seahawks brass he was the school's all-time leading rusher, would it matter? Were they skeptical of his ability to play special teams because his alma mater had kept him off the field for ST to protect him all these years?
Finally, his answer came.
"Some guy came in there and said, 'Hey can I talk to you for a minute?' And I was thinking like, 'Oh, this is not good.' And he said, 'Hey, we're going to sign you.' I was like, 'What?' He said, 'Yeah, we're going to sign you.' And it was just a great feeling, man."
Reynolds says the Seahawks have never been his favorite team, more of a second favorite, really. Proximity helps. It allowed him to step on Qwest Field once before.
"I was a little kid doing punt, pass, and kick," he remembered.
"I actually came out 4 years and did that. At the old Kingdome, and once at the new stadium. So they've always been kind of a favorite. The Seahawks hadn't really been a team I had thought about too much but they called, and made everything come true."
Details still need sorting out. The contract dictates Reynolds be in camp on Thursday for the first day free agents can report in pads.
But Reynolds has always had more to take care of than his athletic career. His wife, Kila, and two children, Talen and Peyton, will be making a change as well. But as of right now, the family doesn't know exactly what that will be.
"It's tough. I've still got to make the 53 man roster and do all that stuff and that's something I haven't talked to them about. You know, what they truly think... It's hard. You don't know if you bring your family out here and enroll your kids in school and stuff like that. I'll talk to my wife about it and see what she thinks, after we know more about the contract."
Reynolds will use that uncertainty about his family as motivation as he enters training camp. He says he's prepared to work his way on the team so he can bring his family some clarity. Even security. The league minimum $375,000 he is expected to sign is a nice place to start.
And while Seattle's Qwest Field is known for being the loudest environment in all of the National Football League, if he gets his chance on the field, he'll also be hearing the cheers of Griz Nation back home.
"This is a great opportunity. And Missoula is great. Hopefully I can do some things here and make them proud back home, and these guys proud to have me."