Malik McDowell disputes Seahawks’ decision to not let him play


Former Seahawks defensive lineman Malik McDowell has taken his disagreement with the team’s refusal to clear him to play public.

In a series of tweets posted Saturday, McDowell argues that a neurologist gave him the OK to resume his career after a 2017 ATV accident left him sufficiently injured to miss two NFL seasons.

“The Seahawks had [their] own reasoning for not letting me play but my head was not issue,” McDowell said.

Whatever the reasoning, it had nothing to do with the effort to recover more of McDowell’s $3.198 million signing bonus. As explained by, the Seahawks originally tried to get all of the signing bonus, but ultimately were restricted to the amounts applicable to 2017 and 2018, the first two years of the four-year deal.

Cutting McDowell after the 2018 season extinguished the ability to continue to recover his signing bonus; in theory, they could have tried to get the signing bonus allocations for 2019 and 2020. To do that, they would have had to keep him on the roster — and they undoubtedly would have faced at some point a full-blown grievance regarding whether he is or isn’t medically cleared to play, with the team’s neurologist battling McDowell’s neurologist before an arbitrator.

Regardless of whether the Seahawks’ doctor cleared McDowell, he’s now free to sign with any team having a doctor who would clear him to play. The Cowboys reportedly were planning to meet with McDowell in March. As of June 1, he continues to be available to be signed.

Of course, publicly complaining about the last team that employed McDowell may not be the best way to persuade a new team to employ McDowell.

6 responses to “Malik McDowell disputes Seahawks’ decision to not let him play

  1. Malik should sign medical waiver and have his Doctors reports on his good health come out. I guess they will be part of the arbitration process if he doesn’t give the money back that the Seahawks think is owed. My guess; if he was cleared, he would have been at the facilities working out with the team the past two years.

  2. McDowell is in denial and owes the money back. However, I think Seattle should let it go. They let the rookie offensive lineman with a heart condition keep his bonus a few years back. They pay CJ Prosise for doing absolutely nothing. He can’t pay it back anyway.

  3. Seattle would have absolutely no reason to not let him play other than protect him from further even life threatening injury.

    After McDowell hurt himself before the season Seattle traded a 2nd rounder for Richardson. Drafted another pass rusher in the 3rd and 1st round of the last 2 drafts. They obviously see pass rusher as a position of need.

    Malika McDowell blew his chance at the NFL.

  4. All this attention over a guy who has never even played a down and probably never will.

  5. They could have cut him after the accident, so they were hoping that he was able to recover and play.

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