Seahawks’ sixth-round pick Garrett Scott has rare heart condition
Garrett Scott, an offensive lineman from Marshall, is expected to be paid most or all of his rookie salary and signing bonus despite a heart condition discovered during his physical exam.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON – When the Seahawks announced the signing of sixth-round draft pick Garrett Scott on Thursday, it appeared the offensive lineman from Marshall was finally ready to begin his NFL career.
Scott had missed Seattle’s rookie minicamp last week, with the team saying he had yet to pass his physical.
Instead, the signing came with the knowledge of both the Seahawks and Scott that his football career might be over.
Friday, the Seahawks announced they had waived Scott, who was the 199th overall selection in the draft, after he failed his physical due to a rare heart condition.
“After undergoing an extensive physical with our medical staff last week, Garrett’s examination revealed a rare heart condition that will prevent him from any on-field participation in the near future,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement.
By signing Scott on Thursday, the team assured he received a signing bonus estimated at just more than $100,000 and that he will also likely get at least a hefty portion of his first-year salary. The rookie minimum for 2014 is $420,000.
Assuming he clears waivers, the Seahawks will likely put him on the Non-Football Injury list, allowing him to be paid for his rookie season.
“We think highly of Garrett as a person and as a football player,’’ Schneider’s statement read. “The team is committed to supporting Garrett in the months to come and will continue to help him determine his next steps.’’
As Schneider’s statement indicates, it is expected Scott will remain connected to the team for now, though unable to play. It’s expected more tests will be conducted to determine if a return to the field is possible.
The Seahawks drafted Scott, who started 35 of the 41 games he played at Marshall, with the hope of developing him as a left tackle.
Instead, the Seahawks detected the heart issue during routine physicals before players sign contracts.
Scott did not attend the NFL combine, when players are also put through rigorous physicals. He also did not make a pre-draft visit to Seattle, with a Seahawks scout instead working out Scott at Marshall in late April.
After the draft, Schneider praised Scott as an “under-the-radar guy, really quick hands. … competitive guy, just stays in front of people.’’
In comments to Seattle media, Scott noted that he got the call from the Seahawks during a celebration for his graduation from Marshall.
Later, Scott told The Register-Herald in Beckley, W.V., that getting drafted by Seattle was “a dream come true, definitely. … I’ve had a dream of playing in the NFL since I was a little kid. It’s a great day.”
Scott was one of nine players Seattle selected in the draft and one of two offensive linemen. The other, second-round choice Justin Britt, is expected to play at right tackle.
Without Scott participating in rookie minicamp, the Seahawks often used undrafted free-agent signee Garry Gilliam of Penn State at left tackle with the No. 1 offense.
Carroll later said Gilliam’s play stood out.
“He’s an extraordinary athlete,’’ Carroll said. “He was a tight end coming up and was moved late in his career at Penn State. He has really good mobility, he has the left tackle type of quickness (and) he’s over 300 pounds. A big, solid, well-balanced kid, and he did very well. He looked very good at the spot, so that’s a real plus for us. We need the competition there.’’
Seattle also this week signed offensive lineman Nate Isles from North Carolina A&T after he impressed as a tryout player in the rookie minicamp. And there was a report this week in The Wilson Post of Lebanon, Tenn., that the Seahawks are expected to sign offensive tackle A.J. Harmon of Cumberland University as an undrafted free agent, likely filling Scott’s spot on the 90-man roster.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699