Most NFL franchised go about their business like any other large business that is focused on just one thing, profits...IE making as much money as possible. This week the Seattle Seahawks proved that there are still people out there running companies and in this case an NFL franchise that value the person over how much money they can seemingly stack to the sky.
When Garrett Scott was drafted in the 6th round as an offensive tackle out of Marshall by the Seattle Seahawks it was surely one of the most exciting days of his life. One of those things that he no doubt had dreamed about for many years as most draftees do. While being drafted into the NFL, especially as late as the 6th round, does not guarantee any player anything as far as an NFL career, it does give you a shot at continuing to play the game you love. The players know they will have a chance to at the very least attend an NFL training camp and a legitimate shot at a roster spot or at the very least a practice squad position.
Unfortunately for Scott it was discovered during the Seahawks extensive pre signing physical and medical evaluation that he had a rare heart condition that would prohibit him from on the field activities. Apparently the condition was never noticed during his playing time at Marshall where he started 41 games nor during the physicals that are routinely given as part of the NFL's pre-draft process. This is the point where most franchises would as normal course notify the player that due to his condition and the liability associated with putting a player with that sort of a condition on the field that they will not be signing him and they will waiving his rights.
This is where the Seahawks did the unexpected. They went ahead and signed Scott anyway. Despite knowing that Scott was unlikely to ever play a down for the franchise they signed him to a contract thus guaranteeing him his signing bonus and full first year of salary. The club, thinking very highly of Scott as a person wanted him to go away from the process with some money. Seahawks general manager John Schneider said of the situation "We think highly of Garrett as a person and as a football player. The team is committed to supporting Garrett in the months to come and will continue to help him determine his next steps.". Scott is expected to earn with bonus and salary around $550,000 this year. Immediately following the signing the Seahawks waived Garrett with the "Non football illness" designation.
The Seahawks, following his clearing of waivers, plan to retain Scott's rights and place him on injured reserve so that he will be eligible to receive his weekly paychecks for the 2014 season. He will likewise be eligible for payments from any postseason games the Seahawks participate in. Scott plans to continue to work out with the Seahawks under the supervision of the medical staff with hopes that his condition improves to the point where he will someday be able to make a comeback and play in the NFL. I am sure most NFL fans are pulling for this kid but in the mean time we should applaud the Seahawks for putting people before profits with this unselfish act.