Kellen Winslow on Seahawks’ decision to release him: ‘You just don’t do a vet like that’

Brian McIntyre

Current New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow had a rocky 2012 season, which was divided between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and, very briefly, the New England Patriots.

Winslow's troubles began when he butted heads with first-year Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, skipping the OTAs before he was traded to the Seahawks. Winslow went through the entire preseason with the Seahawks, but was released in what a somewhat surprising move in early September.

Winslow joined the Patriots, catching one pass for 12 yards on four offensive snaps on Sept. 23 before he was released. Winslow spent the rest of the season as a street free agent, which gave him plenty of time to think about his stint in Seattle.

Most have forgotten that Winslow was even with the Seahawks last year, but that release still bothers Winslow, Kimberly Martin of Newsday reports.

"You know, last year," Winslow said on Thursday. "I don’t know what happened in Seattle. That was on Pete (Carroll). But I’m here now and this is a great opportunity for me.

"What happened in Seattle, I couldn’t control that. They cut me after training camp. That was out of my control. And they cut me over money. So they put me in a bad situation. I’ve never been put in that situation...It’s just frustrating what happened. And I’ll leave it at that.

"You just don’t do a vet like that."

To be fair, the Seahawks didn't cut Winslow over money. The Seahawks cut Winslow over a lot of money.

When the Seahawks acquired Winslow from the Buccaneers, they acquired the three seasons and nearly $16 million that remained on his contract. At the time, Seattle's front office — which included current Jets general manager John Idzik, who managed the Seahawks' cap — did not adjust a deal that called for $3.3 million in base salary (which would have been fully guaranteed if he were on the roster in Week 1) and $550,000 in "per game active" roster bonuses and $550,000 in incentives.

With Winslow missing a lot of practice time during training camp, Seattle wisely did not want to commit that much cash to a No. 2 tight end with a chronic knee issue.

Winslow's frustration is somewhat understandable because instead of earning nearly $4 million in base salary and roster bonuses from the Seahawks, he earned $97,059 (before taxes) during his two-week stint with the Patriots. Winslow got a reminder of his financially disappointing 2012 season in March when he received a $922 bonus from the performance-based pay program for his time in New England. However, reports out of Seattle last September had the team approaching Winslow's camp about a pay cut, which Winslow refused. Had Winslow accepted a pay cut from the Seahawks, he might have remained in Seattle and likely would have earned at least an income in the high six figures.

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