With the season’s final preseason game just a day away, I figure now is a good time to take a stab at guessing what the 53-man roster might look like. Odds are I’ll be wrong on quite a few of these, but it’s a good exercise to break things down position-by-position to see where things stand. Besides, by posting this, my picks are now on record so you can all make fun of me for how many I get wrong.
Comment: No drama here unless the Seahawks decided to take their chances with two quarterbacks. But given Hasselbeck’s injury history, it’s likely that all three make the team.
Comment: Schmitt would seem safe as the team’s only true fullback, but Ganther can play the position, and the Seahawks’ new offense uses more two-tight-end sets, shrinking the role of the fullback. So Schmitt could be a victim of the numbers crunch. It’s unlikely, but Jones, the most expensive of the top three backs, could be casualty as well if the Seahawks like what they see from Forsett and Washington. Seattle wouldn’t cut both Schmitt and Jones, however, barring the addition of a new running back.
Comment: Williams has been one of the surprises of training camp, and is not only a near lock to make the team, he’s also looking like a potential difference maker. Some have suggested Houshmandzadeh isn’t a fit in this offense and could be cut, but I don’t think the team will part with last year’s team leader in receptions. Assuming the Seahawks keep six receivers, Obomanu is the guy on the bubble battling Brandon Jones, and perhaps Ruvell Martin, though Obomanu has the edge.
Comment: Carlson and Baker will make the team, that’s the easy part. The position becomes trickier if the team decides to go with three tight ends and not four. Morrah has been more solid in the preseason, but McCoy, a rookie out of USC, has more upside.
T Russell Okung
T Sean Locklear
T/G Chester Pitts
C Chris Spencer
G Max Unger
G Ben Hamilton
G Mike Gibson
T/G Mansfield Wrotto
T Tyler Polumbus
Comment: We don’t yet know much about Polumbus, who the Seahawks traded for Tuesday, but anyone who started eight games at tackle last season has a good shot of making the team given that Okung isn’t likely going to be open for the opener, and Pitts is not yet all the way back from knee surgery.
Update: Just caught a rather dumb mistake here: I forgot about T Ray Willis, who is out after having knee surgery. We don’t know when he will be back, but if it is a long-term recovery, it’s entirely possible that Willis could end up on injured reserve. If they think Willis will be back soon, however, he likely takes the spot of Polumbus, Gibson, or perhaps Wrotto.
DE Chris Clemons
DE Red Bryant
DT Colin Cole
DT Brandon Mebane
DT Kevin Vickerson
DE Nick Reed
DE EJ Wilson
DE/DT Kentwan Balmer
DT Craig Terrill
DT Quinn Pitcock
DE/LB Dexter Davis
Comment: Terrill and Pitcock may be in a battle for the final spot on the line. Terrill is an experienced veteran with special teams value, while Pitcock, a former third-round pick, may be more appealing to the team because he’s younger and cheaper. Both have value, but Seattle’s new defensive system employs some big ends (Bryant, Balmer) who could move inside in a pinch, lessening the need for depth tackle. Davis can play both end and strongside linebacker, which greatly helps his chances of making the team.
Comment: The Seahawks could keep just five linebackers given Davis’ ability to play end and linebacker, and the likely odd man out would be Hagler, though he has had an impressive preseason since joining the Seahawks. Hill’s future in Seattle was very much in doubt, but after restructuring his deal Tuesday, he will almost certainly make the team.
Comment: Tuesday’s trade that sent Josh Wilson to Baltimore made this position pretty simple. Lewis had been on the bubble, but barring an addition to the roster, he will make the team. The big question now is if/when Thurmond can pass Jennings on the depth chart.
Comment: There is a good chance only four of the above five will make the team. Chancellor, a fifth-round pick, has a lot of upsize thanks to his, um, size, and Adams has been solid. Babineaux has been a starter and can play nickel back as well as safety, seemingly making him a valuable part of the team. But Babineaux is scheduled to make $2.45 million this year, which is a lot for a backup safety. It would be a gamble to let him go, but that’s a pretty expensive insurance plan for the starting safeties.
K Olindo Mare
P John Ryan
LS Clint Gresham
Comment: Um, yeah. Not much to say here. The only way this changes is if the Seahawks decided to make a change at long snapper.
But wait, you say. That’s 56 players, they can only keep 53 of them. Or maybe you weren’t counting. Or perhaps you stopped reading this a long time ago. But if you were counting, good job paying attention.
So who of these three are we going to cut?
As detailed in the position breakdowns, there are a few people listed above on various degrees of shaky ground. Since there is almost always a veteran who is either a starter or major contributor that gets cut, we can probably count on some sort of surprise again Saturday. So again, this is just me guess, but I’ll say the three cuts from the list above are Babineaux, Morrah and Pitcock. Now I wouldn’t bet money on Babineaux not making the team; I’d say he has a good shot at making it. But like I said, somebody surprising always gets cut, so for the sake of this blog post, he’s the last man out on my imaginary roster.