McDowell was drafted in the second round by Seattle in 2017 but never played for the team after suffering a head injury in an ATV accident that summer. The Seahawks waived McDowell with an injury designation earlier this month. He has since visited the Dallas Cowboys.
Rosenhaus, speaking from the owners meetings, said of McDowell: "We are confident he is going to be back and playing this year."
"His doctors believe he is ready to go," Rosenhaus said. "So we've got experts that are saying he will be cleared. So hopefully he will be able to continue his career, possibly with [Dallas]. In any event, he has been cleared independently. But the Seahawks, they tried their best to work with him, and unfortunately they didn't feel that he could continue to play.''
Seahawks general manager John Schneider declined to comment on McDowell at the scouting combine. That was in keeping with the team's refusal to publicly discuss any specifics of McDowell's situation, which is in part due to privacy laws, as McDowell was injured in a non-football activity.
Coach Pete Carroll has also been mum on McDowell's situation but at one point described the injury as a "really bad concussion."
"Unfortunately, Malik got injured and [it] was a brain injury, a head injury," Rosenhaus said. "And the Seahawks, they did a wonderful job of exhaustively checking to see if they could get him cleared to play. Ultimately, their doctors were not comfortable clearing him. He has since been cleared by independent doctors.''
Asked if the Seahawks considered keeping McDowell until he could be cleared, Rosenhaus said: "I don't think they were comfortable with the medical side of it. I think he is going to have to play for somebody else. ... He has doctors who have cleared him independently, so we are in the process of meeting with teams. He went to visit the Cowboys last week. We are trying to get that done.''
It's not clear whether the Seahawks are attempting to recoup a portion or the entirety of the $3.2 million signing bonus they gave McDowell after drafting him 35th overall out of Michigan State. The Seahawks paid McDowell only $5,000 while he spent his rookie season on the non-football injury list. That dropped his salary from $465,000 to $85,000. The team did not pay McDowell while he was on NFI in 2018.
McDowell's injury had a significant ripple effect on the Seahawks. Once it became clear that he wouldn't be able to play in 2017, the Seahawks acquired Sheldon Richardson from the New York Jets in exchange for a 2018 second-round pick and receiver Jermaine Kearse (the teams also swapped seventh-rounders). Richardson left in free agency after an underwhelming 2017 season in Seattle.