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Originally published Monday, June 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Bobby Engram says he might hold out for longer deal

Wide receiver Bobby Engram confirmed Sunday night that a training-camp holdout is a possibility. Engram did not say he would hold out if his contract is not reworked, he only confirmed that a training-camp holdout remains possible.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Wide receiver Bobby Engram confirmed Sunday night that a training-camp holdout is a possibility.

Engram was the Seahawks' leading receiver last season with 94 catches and has one year remaining on his contract. He is scheduled to make $1.7 million, but would like an extension added to the deal. He has not participated in the team's voluntary workouts, which resume for the Seahawks today.

Engram did not say he would hold out if his contract is not reworked, he only confirmed that a training-camp holdout remains possible.

"That's basically the story," Engram said.

Engram was participating in a charity golf tournament benefiting Cedar Park Christian High School, and didn't have time to answer further questions when reached by phone Sunday night. Before teeing off in the golf tournament, Engram answered questions from KCPQ-TV (Ch. 13) and the Everett Herald.

"It's not coming from a place of ego or pride," he said in that interview. "I'm just trying to get something done that will be fair. It's a business decision on both sides, and I understand where they're coming from. But I have to do what I think is best for me in my career."

Engram negotiated his current deal in 2006 when he was coming off a season in which he played in only seven games because of a thyroid condition.

Last season, Engram stepped up to be the Seahawks most consistent and most prolific wide receiver, catching 94 passes for 1,147 yards, both career highs.

Engram is 35 and he is seeking security beyond this season.

Coach Mike Holmgren spoke to Engram before the voluntary minicamps began last month and knew Engram's absence from those workouts was a possibility. Holmgren said last week that he hadn't spoken to Engram since, but expected he would be there once training camp began.

Engram was present for Seattle's three-day mandatory minicamp at the beginning of May, but has not been present in the voluntary sessions held by the team since then. Missing training camp would leave Engram subject to fines. Two years ago, Deion Branch sat out training camp for New England, precipitating his eventual trade to Seattle.

Engram's absence would add to the uncertainty the Seahawks are facing at wide receiver as they prepare for next season. Branch is coming off reconstructive knee surgery and is unable to practice. Holmgren said Branch's recovery is on schedule, but there's no certainty that he will be ready to play when the regular season opens.

The Seahawks let D.J. Hackett sign as a free agent with Carolina. That leaves Nate Burleson as the Seahawks' most experienced wide receiver and he is currently working alongside a quartet of young players. Ben Obomanu caught 12 passes last season, Courtney Taylor caught five and Logan Payne and Jordan Kent spent much of the season on the practice squad.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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