Earl Thomas, tailbacks top Seahawks' training camp storylines

Earl Thomas' holdout is one to watch as he looks for an extension with the Seahawks. David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

The Seattle Seahawks open training camp on July 26 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington. Here's a closer look at the Seahawks' camp:

Top storyline: When and how will the Earl Thomas situation be resolved? The All-Pro free safety has said he will not report until his contract is taken care of. There's been no indication that the Seahawks are interested in extending Thomas with a year still left on his current deal. Leverage tends to favor the teams in these situations, especially now that they can impose exorbitant fines for training camp holdouts. As for the possibility of a trade, the best chance of one seemingly passed with the draft, but perhaps the Dallas Cowboys' offer and/or Seattle's asking price changes with the season opener drawing nearer.

QB depth chart: A large part of what drew the Seahawks to new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was his hands-on approach to working with quarterbacks. They feel he can help Russell Wilson take the next step as he enters his seventh season. Incumbent Austin Davis and rookie seventh-round pick Alex McGough are vying for the backup job. Davis was the steadier of the two during organized team activities and minicamp, but McGough has more upside. It may work in McGough's favor that Wilson has never missed a game in his career, perhaps lessening the need for a backup with experience.

Bubble watch: Brandon Marshall is the most accomplished of any receiver on Seattle's roster and bigger than most of them. But he's also 34 years old and coming off surgeries on an ankle and toe, which is why the one-year contract Seattle gave him in May includes only $90,000 guaranteed. He did only light work during OTAs and sat out of minicamp because, according to Carroll, the team didn't want Marshall to re-aggravate another injury to his hamstring. Marshall said his goal is to be in midseason form by camp. Ideally, he would replace Jimmy Graham as Wilson's big target, but the combination of his age, injuries and Seattle's history with veteran stopgaps points to Marshall being anything but a lock to make the team.

This rookie could start: It's a sign of the times in Seattle that perhaps as many as six of the Seahawks' nine draft picks conceivably could either start or see significant playing time right away. That's what happens when a team experiences as much top-of-the-roster turnover as Seattle did this offseason. The marquee position battle involving one of those draft picks is at running back, where first-rounder Rashaad Penny is competing with Chris Carson for the starting job that Carson won last year before he got hurt. As is usually the case with rookie running backs, Penny will have to prove that he can be trusted in pass protection first. And he'll have to pry the job away from Carson, who has looked determined to keep it.

Can Shaquem Griffin find a role on defense? While Shaquill Griffin has a new role on Seattle's defense, switching from right to left cornerback, twin brother Shaquem is looking to earn any role on that side of the ball. The rookie fifth-round pick is backing up former Pro Bowler K.J. Wright at weakside linebacker, so barring injury, any playing time he gets this season on defense likely will come in a sub package. Keep in mind that he racked up 18.5 sacks over his final two college seasons, and the Seahawks think he can provide some occasional pass rush as a blitzer in the NFL. Pass rush is arguably the area where they need the most help, too. Training camp and especially preseason games will provide a gauge of how realistic that might be.

Kicking competitions. Veterans Sebastian Janikowski and Jason Myers are vying for the place-kicking job, while rookie punter Michael Dickson is trying to unseat Jon Ryan, the longest-tenured Seahawk. Janikowski's one-year, $2.015 million contract includes a healthy $600,000 guaranteed. That suggests the job is his to lose, though the 40-year-old is coming off a back injury that sidelined him all last season and he was slowed over the offseason by a hip injury (Myers has no money guaranteed in his contract). The fact that the Seahawks traded up to draft Dickson in the fifth round tells you he's more likely than not to be their punter, but comments from the team have indicated that both competitions will last into the preseason. Undrafted rookie Tanner Carew is battling Tyler Ott for long-snapping duties. That means the Seahawks could have an all-new trio of specialists in 2018.