Seahawks waive Michael Bowie, Browns claim him

Michael Bowie has a shoulder injury — serious enough it seems to end his 2014 season.

The Seahawks put him on the waived/injured list. The unwritten rule in the NFL is this usually allows you to stash the player on injured reserve when he goes unclaimed. Teams back off and don’t go cherry picking.

Not any more it seems. Last week the Patriots claimed running back Tyler Gaffney after Carolina put him on the waived/injured list. Technically they didn’t do anything wrong. A few eyebrows were raised, but there was plenty of, “that’s why they’re winners” sentiment. Belichick’s ruthless streak was applauded by some.

Now Cleveland has taken Bowie off waivers despite the fact he may not feature in 2014 and requires serious shoulder surgery (trying saying that quickly).

Right now the Seahawks are fashionable. Any young player drafted, developed and trained by this team is hot property. It was a chance the Browns couldn’t pass up.

It’s been quite a change in fortune for the 2013 7th round pick.

Last season Bowie showed some promise as a deputy right tackle and was praised by the coaching staff. Personally I felt he struggled badly at times too — he looked out of his depth in the Cardinals and Rams road games. But he was a 7th round rookie facing two elite defenses. It wasn’t a surprise.

As the year went on he grew into his role, before the inevitable return of Breno Giacomini saw a return to the bench.

In a shock move at the time he replaced James Carpenter at guard for the New Orleans playoff game, only to be displaced the following week against the Niners.

Despite the promise, clearly the Seahawks weren’t totally convinced he was the long term answer at right tackle. Why else would they spend a second round pick on Justin Britt? Mere depth?

Local media observers reported team displeasure with Bowie’s physical condition. Perhaps that played a part in the decision to take Britt — and perhaps by the summer the writing was on the wall, we just didn’t know it.

It does create an interesting dynamic going into 2014. Is Eric Winston a good enough stop gap if Justin Britt isn’t ready to start as a rookie? Winston struggled for the most part in Arizona, albeit on a shocking offensive line. If your two guards and your left tackle aren’t good enough — it’s pretty hard for the right tackle to work effectively.

But Winston has bounced around since a productive spell in Houston. Is scheme familiarity enough to make this work? Or is this the early signs of a problem position for the Seahawks?

Britt is an unknown commodity at this stage. Winston is only 31 but was unemployed until last week — and there are plenty of teams out there with O-line issues who could’ve used a serviceable tackle.

It’s a muddled situation it has to be said — although the news on Bowie was out of their hands. They couldn’t by rule put him straight on IR until the first round of cuts because of his status as a second year pro. They also used the same move (waived/injured) on Anthony McCoy and Jesse Williams. Both players went unclaimed.

Losing Bowie is just one of those things. The wider issue could be the line’s performance in general and whether they put enough focus on what was an injury-hit (and at times struggling) group in 2013.

The Seahawks can ill-afford the O-line to regress in a defensively stacked NFC West. And it’s within the NFC West that their playoff destiny could easily be decided. Bad offensive line play almost cost Seattle games in St. Louis and Arizona. Losing those games would’ve meant losing home field advantage last year — and potentially a safe passage to the Super Bowl.


  1. Colin

    Everything I’ve heard out of the Seattle media is that JR Sweezy could be really, really good this season. I hope that is the case, it’s time for him to step up. Carp is in much better shape and Unger and Okung should be back to health by the time the season comes around.

    Eric Winston could thrive at RT despite struggling last year. He played really well in Kubiak’s offense, and their blocking scheme is derived from Alex Gibbs. AZ offensive lines the last few years have pretty much sucked since Warner left, and Palmer doesn’t offer them a ton of help.

  2. bigDhawk



    I’m flummoxed as to why he has not received even a peek at RT yet. I think he is the best candidate for the job, actually – certainly on passing downs. Heck, start Bailey at RT on passing downs and Mt. Isles on running downs. If Cable doesn’t like Bailey’s run blocking I’m sure Isles could be the best run blocker on our OL by just standing still, he’s that big. Britt might need a year and the thought of Winston being our best option at RT this year is at best uninspiring.and at worst McQuistan all over again on the right side. Did I say?..



  3. Adog

    Perhaps okung….moves to right tackle when he returns.i think he played there in college . They seem reluctant to put baily over there . Maybe from a zbs standpoint it is more efficient to have a better run blocker on the right side.

    • Arias

      I think that’s a really bad idea. You want your best offensive lineman protecting the quarterback’s blindside. And when healthy that man is Okung.

  4. Bjammin

    I miss Breno. I bet the fo office does too about right now.

  5. Bjammin

    Front office. Sorry

  6. HD

    There’s more to all of this than meets the eye…before camp Cable said that RT was Bowie’s position to lose…suddenly we pick up Winston early last week. I find it hard to believe that Seattle didn’t have Bowie examined in detail when he first hurt his shoulder…I think they’ve known the situation and that’s why they picked up Winston out of the blue. Now that Bowie is gone…maybe the rotation at RG with Isles and Bailey…give Gilliam a look as well this preseason. I think it’s safe to say that Seattle is going to be keeping a close eye on the wire at the cutdowns…joel bitonio is looking pretty good at the 32nd pick in the 1st round…now the Browns have him and Bowie.

    • Robert

      I think Britt will be a better NFL lineman than Bitonio in the short term and over the course of their respective careers. Gilliam will be a stud after they put 20 pounds of weight/strength on him!

      • Rob Staton

        We’ll see on Britt/Bitonio. For me Bitonio was one of the most underrated players in the last draft and a steal for Cleveland.

  7. CC

    Well, let’s hope the O line stays healthy or we will have trouble. It is too bad that Bowie didn’t listen to his coaches – yes, he’ll get paid, but he’ll have to play for the Browns. I guess if guys get cut for salary purposes in the next few weeks, one of those guys could end up in Seattle.

    I trust PC and JS – but I sure hope Britt can step in, if someone gets hurt.

    • AlaskaHawk

      I feel sorry for Bowie. He went from Superbowl Champ to injured to the Browns. Man what a slide! At least he didn’t end up in Oakland.

      For the Browns, it seems like a move they made out of spite. Surely they can find a healthy cast off from some other team. Why pick an injured player who was a backup to begin with? It just doesn’t make sense.

    • Robert

      We started Sweezy as a rookie and he had never played OL before. Britt we be fine with a few rookie hiccups and a much higher ceiling than Giacomini.

  8. Arias

    Why is it that offensive line is such a difficult position group for this team to improve upon?

    • woofu

      Maybe it is Cable.

    • Colin

      We don’t know that it hasn’t improved.

    • JeffC

      Hawkblogger wrote an article that he thinks it’s perhaps Cable’s belief that he can take any ole Joe and turn him into a good NFL olineman – and it’s catching up to us…

    • Robert

      It is likely that Sweezy and Carp will both have a good season. Unger’s pectoral is healed. And if Okung starts all 19 games, our OL play will be much improved over last years injury plagued campaign. We will laud Cable as a genius next February!

  9. dean

    I love Cable but its hard not to be critical and ask questions if Britt doesn’t pan out(way too early obviously). I’m undecided on how we have drafted and developed players on the Oline. I do think improved offensive weapons with Harvin healthy and PRichardson will keep one less player close to the line which should help.

    • cha

      The first and probably foremost factor is OL health. These guys just have not been healthy in the entire Cable Seahawks tenure it seems. What would the OL look like with a consistent 5 and a couple really strong rotational guys instead of the patchwork it’s been?

      But secondly, I think Cable’s system leans so far toward the run side of the equation that pass-blocking skills are less emphasized for potential Seahawk draft picks than most standard NFL teams. It’s a generally accepted principle that college OLman have better-developed run blocking skills and the pass blocking skills are what needs work to succeed at the NFL level. When you have a prospect who can flash high levels of skill in both areas you have a top 10 draft pick like an Okung.

      But Cable seems to frequently appear to ‘reach’ on OL draft picks because he values run blocking at a higher rate than most organizations. It appears that the Hawks have accepted that their pass blocking will never be one of their elite strengths as a team. You can see that in their development / limiting of playing time for Christine Michael, due to his lack of pass blocking and/or not grasping their blocking concepts. It’s seems more critical that the RB block on Seahawk pass plays than other organizations since the OL are pass blocking champs.

      I am going to be very interested to see all this put to the test this year. If the Hawks plan to have RW throw the ball more in 2014, they better find a way to improve their pass blocking. Perhaps a generous dose of the Percy Fly Sweep will keep rushers honest to their assignments.

      • dean

        I agree with what you’re saying just seems like an odd combination when you have potentially a top 5 QB in the league. You have to protect him at some point….he is too big of an investment.

        I have high hopes for the Percy effect this year. Should be a fun season

        • cha

          Yeah. RW was sacked more times per pass attempt than any other QB in 2013. That’s not good.

          • Rob Staton

            That figure is also influenced by Seattle wanting to be “the best scrambling team in the league” (Carroll’s words, or to that effect). By nature Seattle’s offense will pick up more sacks. They collected three (I think) vs New Orleans in the playoffs and all three were essentially -1 yard runs by Wilson.

  10. HD

    Wade Smith signing adds another interesting twist…more ZBS experience with Houston and also played with Winston…Pete says Bailey may well get a look at RT to when Okun is back…Hauptmann seems to be doing a pretty good job in place of Carp…it will be interesting to see him and Britt in real game situations.

    • HD

      Regarding Hauptmann…we got him from the Browns practice squad last year when Breno and Okung were out…

      • AlaskaHawk

        Was the Browns taking Bowie some payback for last year?

  11. James

    Some of the 53 man roster questions have become more settled due to recent injuries:

    – with Jesse Williams out, the 9 man DL is pretty well set, and no one is the odd man out – Avril, Bennett, Mebane, McDaniel, Williams, Scruggs, Hill, Mayowa and Marsh.

    – if Norwood has to go on the IR, then the 6 WRs will likely be – Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse, Richardson, Bates and Lockette (are there others in addition to myself who worry that Richardson cannot practice more than two days in a row without getting injured?).

    – the loss of Bowie sets the 9 OL as – Okung, Carpenter, Unger, Sweezy, Britt, Winston, Jean-Pierre, Bailey and Hauptmann/Smith/Davis.

    – if the LoB will have 9 guys, Sherm, Maxwell, Thomas, Chancellor, Lane, Simon, Shead and Johnson take 8 slots, leaving Parks/Jefferson/Adams/T Thomas to fight over the final job.

    – the biggest hurt is going to be at LB. Only 6 slots are likely available, with Wagner, Wright, Smith and Irvin taking 4; leaving Pierre-Louis/Toomer/Schofield/Coyle/Miller/Jeffcoat to fight over the final two. Toomer must prove he can get and stay healthy, he is going onto his 3rd year injured. This position will be looted on cut-downs, and not one of these guys are likely to be available for the practice squad.

    • cha

      The DL mix will definitely be worth keep a close eye on. There’s long been talk of Bennett and Avril getting more snaps to replace the departed vets, but Avril pretty clearly admitted on KJR this morning he was the freshest he’d ever felt down the stretch and into the playoffs in 2013 with his snaps less than what he was used to in Detroit.

      Will one of the young players step up and absorb some of those snaps?

      Could be a critical issue – if the offense is at all changing their run/pass mix towards pass, generally that means the defense will see more snaps. Will be worth monitoring.

      And I’m sad Brooks isn’t getting talked about as a potential contributor – I thought he showed some good work in the 2013 preseason as a player who could spell Mebane but haven’t heard a thing about him this year.

    • CC

      Coyle has been getting rave reviews. But I would hate to lose Schofield – he played well for Irvin last year and can line up at LEO for Avril.

    • James

      ….if you can keep only two LBs from Kevin Pierre-Louis, Korey Toomer, O.B. Schofield, Brock Coyle, Horace Miller and Jackson Jeffcoat, who do you keep? Bear in mind that none of these guys will clear waivers and be available for the practice squad. ….Toomer could go PUP, and Pierre-Louis could go IR?

      Projecting ahead of seeing them perform in the preseason, my two would be Coyle, because a good Mike LB is more difficult to find; and Miller (who seemed to be outplaying P-L before he got hurt, based on reports from the VMAC). Toomer to the PUP.

      • Robert

        Miller is one of my favorites. He is going to show well when they start hitting in pre-season games. He is a SPARQ freak and has a lot of Bam! I think team control is a big factor this year. Toomer and Morgan have been groomed in the system. But they are out of time as they are both on the precipice of FA status.

  12. David M

    Good news on Norwood, just a bone spur they took care of in his foot, had surgery yesterday, and is expected to have a fast recovery and be back right around the end of training camp

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