NFL notebook: Wilson gives Seahawks April 15 deadline

Reuters

Quarterback Russell Wilson has told the Seattle Seahawks that he wants a new contract by April 15, the first day of the offseason workout program, the Seattle Times reported Tuesday.

It is believed Wilson's side and the Seahawks have met recently.

Wilson, 30, is entering the final year of a four-year, $87.6 million contract signed July 31, 2015, and he is scheduled to earn a base salary of $17 million in the 2019 season.

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While the Seahawks tend to finalize contracts the summer before the season begins, Wilson wants to move up the timeline to remove the distractions of contract talks like the ones he endured before signing in 2015.

--The New England Patriots and newly acquired Michael Bennett agreed on a reworked contract that gives the defensive lineman a raise heading into the 2019 season, ESPN reported.

The base value of the final two years of Bennett's contract increases from $15.7 million to $16.75 million and includes a $4 million signing bonus, according to the report. Bennett, 33, will earn $3 million this season with $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses. He stands to earn a base of $7 million in 2020.

The move also frees up about $700,000 in cap space for the Patriots this season, giving the club $18 million overall.

--The Denver Broncos began their offseason workout program without Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

The conditioning program is voluntary, but Harris' absence is noteworthy because the eight-year veteran has never previously skipped a voluntary workout.

The Broncos exercised their $1 million option on Harris last month and the 29-year-old has one year and $7.8 million remaining on his contract. His no-show most likely indicates he wants to see his contract extended sooner rather than later.

--Houston Texans safety and cancer survivor Andre Hal announced his retirement, saying his decision was not health-related.

Hal was diagnosed last June with Hodgkin lymphoma after experiencing blurry vision while practicing. Four months later, with the cancer in remission, he returned to the Texans and played in eight regular-season games and their playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

"My health did not have anything to do with my decision," Hal wrote Tuesday. "I am completely healthy. Thank you to the Houston Texans organization for giving me the opportunity to live my childhood dream. I also want to thank my family and friends for all of their support. I truly appreciate it."

--The Texans have hired Jack Easterby, the Patriots' former "character" coach, as their executive vice president of team development, the team announced.

The Patriots hired Easterby in 2013 to help the team cope with the murder charges against tight end Aaron Hernandez. Easterby's contract expired this winter, and he decided to pursue other interests.

He left the Patriots in February. After his departure, the Boston Globe reported Easterby thought his job "had run its course," but he also wasn't comfortable with the solicitation charges against team owner Robert Kraft.

--The Dallas Cowboys extended defensive end Randy Gregory's contract for one year and $735,000, NFL Network reported.

Gregory was set to enter the final year of his contract, but it's unclear if he will be eligible to play in 2019 after being suspended indefinitely in February, his fourth suspension under the league's substance abuse agreement.

--The Jacksonville Jaguars signed running back Benny Cunningham, one day after reaching an agreement with running back Alfred Blue.

Both visited the team on Monday, and now both will back up Leonard Fournette on the depth chart. No terms were disclosed.

--The Indianapolis Colts claimed safety Derrick Kindred off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.

Kindred, 25, was cut by Cleveland on Monday. A fourth-round pick in 2016, he has two interceptions and 12 passes defensed in 42 career games (17 starts).

--The Kansas City Chiefs signed free agent tight end Blake Bell, multiple outlets reported.

Bell, 27, was a college quarterback at Oklahoma. He has 30 catches for 357 yards in 50 games (12 starts) with three teams through four NFL seasons.

--Field Level Media

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