RENTON — Cut day came and went without any big surprises for the Seattle Seahawks, who like the rest of the NFL trimmed their roster to 53 players Saturday.
Maybe people thought running back Spencer Ware would make the cut, or that veteran tackle Eric Winston, a starter for his entire career before signing with Seattle this summer, would stick around, but when you’re talking about backups not making the team, that constitutes a pretty uneventful cut day.
The Seahawks did, however, make a trade, sending a 2015 sixth-round pick to Indianapolis for cornerback Marcus Burley. Burley, who went undrafted out of Delaware in 2013, will serve as Seattle’s fifth cornerback.
The Seahawks kept just three running backs, Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, and one fullback, Derrick Coleman, things can change in the next few days as teams look at players released around the league.
With just two quarterbacks—news of Terrelle Pryor’s release came out Friday—and four backs, the Seahawks had room to keep seven receivers, an unusually high number: Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Kevin Norwood, Ricardo Lockette, and Phil Bates. Bryan Walters was the odd man out, which means Earl Thomas will indeed be the primary punt returner, as Walters had been the No. 2 option in the preseason.
Norwood was something of a question mark, not because of his ability, but rather because the fourth-round pick underwent foot surgery during camp and still hasn’t returned to practice. Another player returning from surgery, Bruce Irvin, is also part of the 53, meaning he should be back soon (the Seahawks could have left him on the physically unable to perform list to save a roster spot, but that would have meant Irvin missing the first six weeks of the season).
By releasing Winston, Seattle saves some money by keeping undrafted rookie Garry Gilliam instead, and if Winston isn’t picked up by another team, the Seahawks could look at bringing him back. That’s a common move with veteran players who are on the bubble because vested veterans’ contracts become guaranteed for the season if they’re on the roster at the start of the season, but not if they’re signed after Week 1.
Gilliam a former tight end who converted to tackle, was one of two undrafted rookies to make the team along with Brock Coyle, the middle linebacker from Montana who was one of the bright spots of camp. They join five draft picks who made the roster: Richardson, Norwood, Kevin Pierre Louis, Cassius Marsh and Justin Britt, making it seven rookies on the 53. A couple draft picks were released: defensive tackle Jimmy Staten, a fifth-round pick who missed almost all of camp with a hamstring injury, and fullback Kiero Small. Both seem likely candidates to land on the practice squad if they clear waivers.
The Seahawks can establish a 10-man practice squad Sunday, which means several of the players waived Saturday will stick around.
Here’s the full list of cuts.
Terminated veteran contracts: CB Phillip Adams, T Eric Winston.
Waived: TE RaShaun Allen, CB Akeem Auguste, RB Demitrius Bronson, WR Arceto Clark, QB B.J. Daniels, G Caylin Hauptmann, T Nate Isles, C Patrick Lewis, WR Chris Matthews, DE Benson Mayowa, S Terrance Parks, TE Morrell Presley, QB Terrelle Pryor, DT Andru Pulu, FB Kiero Small, DT Jimmy Staten, S Steven Terrell, LB Korey Toomer, WR Bryan Walters, RB Spencer Ware.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.