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AP source: Seahawks give Jackson $6.1M guaranteed

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) -Lawrence Jackson needed a new truck. His was 12-years old, broken down. The window wouldn't go up. The seat belt didn't work.

Now he's got a new ride.

Jackson, the speedy defensive end and first-round pick of the Seahawks out of Southern California, signed just minutes before Seattle's first practice of training camp Friday morning. The deal was worth $11.25 million over five years, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The contract includes a $6.1 million signing bonus, said the person who requested anonymity because the team did not release the terms of the deal.

"I got the car that I always wanted, an Escalade," the 22-year-old Jackson said, with a huge, satisfied grin. "And I did buy a house (in Seattle's suburbs). Nothing too crazy in size, but it's a very good house.

"It's a very, very solid deal - numbers, as well as structurally. What I expected was the best numbers for my slot. We got the guarantees, and all the other numbers we wanted to hit. ... I'm thoroughly happy with it."

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren was pleased, too.

"I think it's good. We're counting on him," said Holmgren, who began his final season as Seahawks coach Friday.

The rookie drafted immediately before Jackson in April, Antoine Cason, received a $12 million, five-year contract Thursday from San Diego. Kentwan Balmer, taken after Jackson at 29th overall, reportedly received $11.5 million for five years with a $6 million signing bonus from San Francisco Thursday night.

Second-round pick John Carlson, a tight end from Notre Dame expected to be Seattle's starting tight end this season, was still unsigned Friday afternoon and not in camp. His agent did not immediately return messages left seeking comment on the status of those negotiations.

"Well, it's a big deal that he comes in," Holmgren said of Carlson. "I mean, he's a wonderful young guy, a bright guy, but this is important stuff for any rookie - (more) for a rookie like Jackson or like Carlson that we expect to play. It's important that he not miss too much time.

"It's been my experience over the years ... that if a player doesn't come in to camp with a prolonged holdout of some kind, almost every single time he gets hurt. Pulls something. Does something. Loses some more time. And really then, many times, that first season doesn't help anybody."

Jackson missed Thursday night's first team meeting of Seahawks camp while he and his agent worked out the contract.

Patrick Kerney, a Pro Bowl defensive end and now a mentor for Jackson, said veteran teammates won't hold the night's absence against the rookie.

"Oh, we definitely will - jokingly," Kerney said.

"No, it's important for him to get in and get as many reps as he can. I remember my first year (with Atlanta in 1999) was definitely the most difficult work year of my life. I worked so hard, second-team, first-team, scout team. And it definitely paid off.

"There's the business side to this. We all respect that."

The Seahawks also announced the signings of fourth-round draft choice Red Bryant, a defensive tackle from Texas A&M, and fifth-round pick Owen Schmitt, a fullback from West Virginia. They also signed free-agent wide receiver Bryan Gilmore, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.

To make roster room for the signings, Seattle released Mike Green, a former starting safety with the Chicago Bears whose two seasons with the Seahawks were ruined by a severe foot injury and surgeries.

"Everyone loved Michael around here," Holmgren said. "He just couldn't stay healthy."

The team also cut defensive tackle Kevin Brown and fullback Dan Curran.

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