The Seahawks have surely never had a roster like this before? Getting it down to 53 is going to be agony.
The hardest part seems to be weighing up necessary depth versus superior talent. There’s unlikely to be any Michael Bennett’s out there (cut by Seattle in 2009) but there will be a number of teams ready to pounce in waivers.
Can John Schneider pull off a few last minute trades as teams try to jump the line? We’ll see. Out of the players I cut in my own prediction, I struggled to identify many that have genuine trade appeal. The extended playing time for Brady Quinn against Green Bay was probably more of a showcase opportunity for the player rather than any attempt to drive his trade value (it’s non existent, even with teams like Buffalo suddenly needing a veteran quarterback).
Here’s how I think it might go down…
Quarterbacks (2) – Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
Running backs (5) – Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael, Robert Turbin, Michael Robinson, Spencer Ware
Wide receivers (6) – Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Stephen Williams, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Harper
Tight ends (3) – Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Sean McGrath
Offensive linemen (9) - Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, Breno Giacomini, Alvin Bailey, Michael Bowie, James Carpenter, Lemuel Jeanpierre
Total number of offensive players: 25
Defensive linemen (6) – Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Michael Bennett, Jordan Hill, Tony McDaniel, Jaye Howard
LEO/Pass rushers (4) – Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, O’Brien Schofield, Benson Mayowa
Linebackers (5) – Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith, Heath Farwell, Allen Bradford
Cornerbacks (6) – Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Antoine Winfield, Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane
Safety’s (4) – Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Chris Maragos, Jeron Johnson
Total number of defensive players: 25
Special teams (3) – Jon Ryan (P), Clint Gresham (LS), Steven Hauschka (K)
Total roster: 53
Players not included
Suspended: Bruce Irvin
Injured: Percy Harvin, Tharold Simon, Jesse Williams
Key cuts: Brady Quinn, Derrick Coleman, John Lotulelei, Will Blackmon, Winston Guy, Clinton McDonald, Mike Morgan, Phil Bates, Mike Person, Jared Smith, Ryan Seymour, Mike Brooks, Sealver Siliga, Kyle Knox, Ty Powell, Cooper Heflet
I suspect the Seahawks will stash Spencer Ware and carry five running backs. Seattle carried two quarterbacks last year which means Brady Quinn will almost certainly be gone. Chris Harper gets the redshirt treatment at receiver. The Seahawks would have a tough decision to make if/when Percy Harvin returns. I have Sean McGrath beating Cooper Heflet to the third tight end spot. Nine offensive linemen seems about right with Alvin Bailey and Michael Bowie showing in pre-season they can cover at guard or tackle. Mike Person is the odd man out. Lemuel Jeanpierre must be retained as the backup center.
Not including Bruce Irvin for the first four games helps the Seahawks keep another body on the roster to start the season. Benson Mayowa makes it because I suspect the team has seen enough potential there to keep him on board. Clinton McDonald was a difficult cut and Mike Brooks has shown enough to get a chance elsewhere. I think the team will IR Jesse Williams to work on his knee problems. Sealver Siliga could make it as another ‘big’ tackle but time might be against him. Malcolm Smith, Heath Farwell and Allen Bradford have all flashed more than John Lotulelei for me. Smith is a solid backup while Farwell and Bradford will take on key special teams roles. I wanted to keep Mike Morgan too. I really hope Kyle Knox and Ty Powell make it to the practise squad and get another camp next year. Will Blackmon was a difficult cut, another player you’d ideally keep.
The Seahawks could carry just four running backs and hope that Spencer Ware makes the practise squad. That would enable them to keep another lineman, such as Mike Person. I cannot see them giving up on Chris Harper this early. They could cut a linebacker to carry an extra defensive lineman, such as Siliga or McDonald. They could cut Mayowa to keep a player like Mike Morgan. Several people have suggested the possibility of keeping John Lotulelei over Heath Farwell for the cost saving. Farwell’s cap hit for the next two seasons is $1.6m.
Changes during the season
When Bruce Irvin returns it’ll provide an interesting angle. If they like Benson Mayowa enough to stash him whether he has an impact or not, it could spell danger for one of the linebackers. Alternatively, Mayowa could be presented the challenge of proving his worth over the first four games prior to Irvin’s return. I’m not convinced we’ll see Percy Harvin this year, but if he does return much will depend on Stephen Williams’ ability to have an impact. Ditto Jermaine Kearse. If Chris Harper does get a redshirt year, he has to show gradual improvement during the week even if he’s not getting much time on the field. And if Williams and Kearse are playing well, Harper might be sacrificed anyway.
If there’s going to be any further John Moffitt-style trades, tight end and defensive tackle appear to be the likely targets. The Seahawks could also look at the cuts around the league to make additions here, just as they did with Evan Moore a year ago.