By John Boyle
The Seahawks preseason is over following Thursday’s 22-6 win over Oakland. That means cuts are coming, so as many of us like to do, let’s take a guess at the final roster.
Of course, this won’t be dead-on, because even if I nailed Saturday’s cuts perfectly (which I won’t), the Seahawks likely will find somebody on waivers who they like enough to make another couple of moves on Sunday. But what the heck, let’s give it a go anyway:
Keep: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
Cut: Brady Quinn
The Seahawks have kept just two quarterbacks in three of the past four seasons under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, and there’s no reason to think they’ll use a valuable roster spot on a third QB who isn’t part of the team’s future. The one time they did keep three was to hang onto Josh Portis, who they saw as a potential long-term developmental project.
Keep: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Spencer Ware, Michael Robinson.
Cut: Derrick Coleman
One of the toughest positions to sort out, especially given the situation with Robinson’s mystery virus. Many have speculated Robinson, who is due $2.5 million, could be a cap casualty, and while that’s definitely a possibility, I’ve yet to see a good enough replacement to convince me the Seahawks feel comfortable making that cost-saving move. That being said, don’t be shocked if it happens. If the Seahawks were to cut Robinson, Derrick Coleman would move ahead of Ware in this projection because he’s the better true fullback. Ware will have a hard time getting touches, but has made some plays on special teams and his ability to play fullback in a pinch also makes him valuable. The injury situation on the defensive line could lead to the Seahawks carrying just four in this group.
Keep: Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Stephen Williams
Cut: Phil Bates, Arceto Clark, Chris Harper, Bryan Walters
The first four are easy, and while Williams doesn’t have much special-teams value, he’s just been too good for the Seahawks to let him go. Harper, a fourth-round pick, might have had a chance before last night, but two big drops likely will send him to the practice squad.
Keep: Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Sean McGrath, Sean McGrath’s beard.
Cut: Darren Fells, Cooper Helfet.
Hopefully for the Seahawks McGrath’s beard won’t count toward the 53-man roster count. Kidding aside, this is the easiest position group to predict, although it could change if an attractive option hits the waiver wire this weekend.
Keep: Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, Breno Giacomini, Alvin Bailey, Mike Person, Lemuel Jeanpierre, James Carpenter.
Cut: Rishaw Johnson, Ryan Seymour, Jared Smith. Michael Bowie to IR
Bowie’s injury sounded fairly serious, so I’m guessing he ends up on injured reserve. The last spot could come down to Johnson and Person, and while Johnson might be better at his primary position, Person’s versatility, as well as his involvement in Seattle’s “jumbo” six-OL packages give him value.
Keep: Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Chris Clemons, Jordan Hill, Jaye Howard, Clinton McDonald, Mike Morgan.
Cut: Benson Mayowa, Michael Brooks, Sealver Siliga. Bruce Irvin suspended
The DL/LB numbers are a bit misleading, because with the Seahawks new scheme, it might make more sense to break it up to traditional LBs/pass rushers/big DL, but either way, I see the Seahawks keeping a total of 16 front-seven players, though they could decide to keep one more given the injury situation up front. Clemons could still land on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, freeing up a spot somewhere else, but the fact that he didn’t go on PUP last week, and the way Carroll keeps talking about Clemons makes it sound like he’s close enough to returning that, even if he won’t play in the opener, he’ll be back soon. Mayowa was one of the toughest cuts to make, but it could be an either-or situation with him and Mike Morgan, and while Mayowa has flashed in the preseason, mostly against backups, Morgan is the more complete player.
Keep: K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, Allen Bradford, O’Brien Schofield, John Lotulelei.
Cut: Heath Farwell, Ty Powell.
Farwell is one of the Seahawks best 53 players in my opinion, especially when you factor in his special-teams value, but whether anyone likes it or not, a player or two will get cut for money reasons this weekend, and if the Seahawks think Bradford and Lotulelei can contribute, it could cost Farwell a job.
Defensive backs (10)
Keep: Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Antoine Winfield, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos
Cut: Winston Guy, Ron Parker, DeShawn Shead.
Shead is another tough cut, as his versatility to play safety and corner gives him value, and he was also in the mix at KR. He or Parker could be an option if the Seahawks want to save money here by cutting either Maragos or in what would be a bigger surprise, Winfield. Winfield has done everything right, but the play of Thurmond and his ability to make it through camp healthy could make Winfield expendable if the Seahawks need to free up some cap space to roll into 2014.
Keep: K Steven Hauschka, P Jon Ryan, LS Clint Gresham.
No surprises here after Hauschka and Gresham beat out their respective challengers in training camp. Had Gresham not been willing to re-do his deal, however, he could have been a cap casualty if a cheaper option came available, but a new, more cap-friendly contract mean’s he’ll stick around.