Seahawks' Baldwin set for sports hernia surgery

PHOENIX -- A season full of injuries has led to an offseason full of surgeries for Doug Baldwin.

The Seattle Seahawks' longtime No. 1 receiver will have sports-hernia surgery in April, coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. Baldwin has already had operations on his knee and shoulder since the end of the season.

Carroll didn't have a timetable for when Baldwin would be able to resume football activity and didn't rule out the possibility that Baldwin could have additional surgery.

"I don't know that conclusively," he said. "Still working on some stuff."

Baldwin, 30, dealt with injuries to both knees, his elbow, groin, hip and shoulder dating back to last summer. His 50 receptions were his fewest since he finished with the same total in 2013, and his three missed games marked the first time he didn't play a full season since 2012. His 618 yards and five touchdowns were second on the team behind Tyler Lockett.

"In one respect there's never been anybody that's tougher and more able to come back from whatever challenges have been," Carroll said of Baldwin. "He's been extraordinarily adept at figuring out how to return from and understand the circumstances of being banged up. So if he could, he will. If he could do it, he will. I have no doubt in that. But it's a been a challenging offseason for him. He's had a lot of stuff he's been working on. This latest one is going to take some time again. Whatever he has to do we're going to follow and support and believe in it. If anybody can do it he can get it done."

Baldwin described his injury-filled season as "hell" in November. That was three weeks before his hip injury sidelined him for a Monday night win over the Vikings.

"He's been challenged by it," Carroll said when asked about Baldwin's current state of mind. "Hard year for him. Really challenging year. To be less than he's been in year's past -- he's always done everything, never missed a day of practice, always worked in every drill we've ever had. It was challenging for him to have to deal with that. We had to monitor him throughout the year. I have so much respect for the way he was able to deal with. He was so banged up. He had a number of things that surfaced last year. It's been challenging. Having had to deal with that ... it's not going away. Here he goes he's getting operated on in April again."

The Seahawks brought in Jordy Nelson on a free-agent visit, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. However, it's not believed that Seattle's interest in Nelson is tied directly to any uncertainty with Baldwin. The Seahawks had interest in Nelson last year before he signed with the Raiders. General manager John Schneider has a close relationship with Nelson dating back to their time together in Green Bay.

Carroll said he was surprised that former Seahawks defensive lineman Malik McDowell has been medically cleared by independent doctors, according to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. McDowell was never cleared by the Seahawks' medical staff and thus never played a down for the Seahawks after injuring his head in an ATV accident in the summer before his rookie season in 2017. The Seahawks parted ways with McDowell earlier this month. Carroll called the news from Rosenhaus "great" for McDowell and "a step in his opportunity to return."

Carroll said the Seahawks have "been in communication" with quarterback Russell Wilson about a possible contract extension and added "we're on it" without elaborating on those talks. He offered more on All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who like Wilson has one season left on his contract. Wagner is representing himself in negotiations.

"We have met with Bobby just kind of in prelude to what it takes to do that," Carroll said. "He's an incredible player and been an incredible part of our program and the community and all that. Bobby's going to be a Seahawk."

Carroll said the Seahawks would still like to sign defensive end Frank Clark to a long-term deal that would replace his franchise tag.

"This time of year, in his situation, there's all kinds of speculation," Carroll said when asked about an NFL Network report stating that Clark won't show up to training camp without a new deal. "We'll see what happens. Not worried about Frank at all. Frank had a fantastic season. We're thrilled to have him coming back. We're going to make the most of it."

Carroll said tight end Will Dissly's progress from patellar tendon surgery is going well but that he won't be back until training camp.