By John Boyle
The Seahawks could have assured that they kept offensive lineman Michael Bowie had they been willing to keep him on the 90-man roster for a few more weeks before placing him on injured reserve.
Instead they took their chances and waived/injured Bowie — he would have reverted to injured reserve had he cleared waivers — and the Cleveland Browns decided to grab the former seventh-round pick who started eight games as a rookie.
Players with fewer than four years of service time cannot be placed on injured reserve before the first round of roster cuts, which occurs on Aug. 26 this year, so keeping Bowie, who has missed most of camp with a shoulder injury that will require surgery, without subjecting him to waivers would have meant using a 90-man roster spot on an injured player for another three weeks, something the Seahawks weren’t willing to do for Bowie, but the Browns were.
Asked about that decision Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll gave a brief, but telling answer about the team’s feeling about Bowie.
“That’s the decision we made,” Carroll said of using the waive/injured designation. “He came in 20 pounds overweight too.”
It’s pretty routine for players to waive/injure young players who aren’t starters — they did the same with Jesse Williams last week and he went unclaimed — but what’s not normal, not for Carroll, is to volunteer that a player was “20 pounds overweight” without being asked anything about that player’s weight or conditioning. That’s a pretty clear sign that the Seahawks weren’t happy with Bowie, who was expected to compete for the starting job at right tackle with rookie Justin Britt.
As for what happens now at right tackle, Carroll said, “It’s a big competition going on, and there has been since the start of camp. It’s unfortunate that we don’t get to keep Michael, but we’ve got to keep moving and keep going here. This is a very competitive situation with Britt and (Eric) Winston in there, and I think Alvin Bailey will be mixed into this thing too eventually. It’s a really good spot for us in that we do have depth and competition, but unfortunately Mike wasn’t able to hang with us. It’s unfortunate he had to go.”
Bailey, who has been working with the first team offense at left tackle, could factor in now that Russell Okung is working his way back into practice.
“Alvin’s got the flexibility to play a couple different spots,” Carroll said. “He has played guard a little bit too. He’s a valuable spot in that regard.”
With Bailey perhaps factoring into another position battle and with two new additions over the past few days — veteran G/T Wade Smith and T Cory Brandon — Carroll said the Seahawks will take their time sorting out the offensive line.
“We’re hoping that Wade Smith and Cory Brandon can bring us something,” Carroll said. “We want to continue to work to make this position as competitive as possible. We’ve got a lot of young guys in this spot. Wade in particular brings a lot of experience and tremendous flexibility — he has started at all five spots — so that flexibility might fit with us. He’s a good guy and a smart guy and all of that. That helps us as we try to mold this thing together. We have flexibility how we’re going to do it and we’re going to take our time figuring it out.”