Center Patrick Lewis was the prominent name as the Seahawks made nine cuts Tuesday to get their roster down to 75 players.
The Seahawks had to make nine moves prior to Tuesday’s 1 p.m. deadline to get down to 75. They were:
— Nick Patterson (@NickHPatterson) August 30, 2016
The biggest name on the list was Patrick Lewis, who ended last season as the team’s starting center and whose move into the starting lineup corresponded with the team’s improved offensive play. Lewis made nine starts for Seattle last season, taking over from Drew Nowak for good beginning in Week 9. The Seahawks’ offensive line was under constant fire during the first half of last season as quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked 31 times in the first seven games. However, beginning in Week 9 Seattle allowed just 15 sacks and averaged 32 points per game.
The Seahawks re-signed Lewis as a restricted free agent during the offseason at $1.671 million, so Seattle does get some salary-cap relief from the move. His release opens the door for rookie Joey Hunt, who’s scheduled to make $475,089, to serve as the back-up center.
Two other veterans from last season were among the cuts. Receiver Kevin Smith, who played collegiately at the University of Washington, contributed last season after being elevated from the practice squad. However, a hamstring injury has prevented him from being able to play this preseason. Guard Kristjan Sokoli, a sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft, spent all of last season on the roster. However, the converted defensive tackle appeared in just one game.
There was also one member of Seattle’s 2016 draft class on the cut list. Running back Zac Brooks was the last of Seattle’s 10 picks, being selected 247th overall in the seventh round. Brooks was never a starter at Clemson, but tested well at his pro day, and his background as a receiver made him a possible option as a third-down back.
Among those who survived Tuesday’s cuts was Archbishop Murphy High School alum Taniela Tupou. Tupou, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Washington, is trying to make the roster as a fullback after converting from defensive tackle. He and veteran Will Tukuafu, just re-signed last week, are the only fullbacks currently on the roster.
Tuesday was the second straight day Seattle cut a prominent veteran. The Seahawks made their initial six roster moves Monday, including terminating the contract of veteran defensive back Brandon Browner.
Seattle will carry its 75 players into Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders. The deadline to cut down to the final 53-man roster is 1 p.m. Saturday, with clubs allowed to establish their practice squads on Sunday.