There’s one more preseason game for the Seahawks before the hard decisions begin.
After this Friday’s 7p.m. contest against the Bears at CenturyLink Field, the Seahawks will have to cut their roster from its current 90 to 75. And then, the cutdown to the regular season limit of 53 comes following the preseason finale at Oakland on Aug. 28.
Here’s one guess at what the final roster will look like.
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Keep: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Terrelle Pryor
Cut: B.J. Daniels
Comment: The big question is will Seattle keep two quarterbacks, as it did to open the 2013 season, or three? If it’s just two, you’d assume the keeper is Jackson, the type of dependable reserve a team attempting to win another Super Bowl needs. Pryor has alternated between erratic and spectacular throughout camp, and at 25 years old, has lots of room to grow. We’ll say they keep all three.
Keep: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman
Cut: Spencer Ware, Kiero Small, Demitrius Bronson
Comment: So here’s a tough call. Seattle generally has had five running backs on its roster. But the numbers crunch elsewhere might mean sacrificing a body at this spot. Cutting Ware and Small would leave no backup fullback. But both could land on the practice squad.
Keep: Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Ricardo Lockette, Bryan Walters
Cut: Phil Bates, Arceto Clark, Chris Matthews, Kevin Smith, David Gilreath
Comment: For this exercise, we’ll assume Kevin Norwood, coming off foot surgery last week, starts the season on IR and listed as an exception, eligible to come off at any time. That allows for keeping both Lockette and Walters, which will greatly aid special teams — Walters is getting a long look as both a punt and kickoff returner. Bates, an early camp standout, is a tough one to cut, but someone’s got to go at a crowded position.
Keep: Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet
Cut: RaShaun Allen, Morrell Presley
Comment: The Seahawks generally prefer three tight ends. So it’s with that knowledge that we keep Helfet on the roster. But recall that Seattle kept just two tight ends on its roster to open 2013, going with an extra offensive linemen instead.
Keep: Russell Okung, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, Alvin Bailey, James Carpenter, Justin Britt, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Caylin Hauptmann, Eric Winston, Stephen Schilling
Cut: Cory Brandon, C.J. Davis, Greg Van Roten, Nate Isles, Gary Gilliam, Wade Smith
Comment: The Seahawks could keep just nine to ease the crunch elsewhere. But keeping 10 allows for both Schilling and Winston, the latter adding veteran depth at the tackle spot that is otherwise a little light on experience after Okung.
Keep: Tony McDaniel, Brandon Mebane, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Jordan Hill, Kevin Williams, Cassius Marsh, O’Brien Schofield, D’Anthony Smith, Greg Scruggs
Cut: Michael Brooks, Andru Pulu, Jimmy Staten, Benson Mayowa
Comment: The toughest call here was Mayowa, whose potential compelled the team to keep him on the 53-man roster all last season. Schofield, though, appears to have moved ahead of him in the battle for a backup rush end spot. Keeping Smith is another tough call. But he gives some needed depth inside.
Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle, Mike Morgan, Kevin Pierre-Louis
Cut: Heath Farwell, Jackson Jeffcoat, Horace Miller, Marcus Dowti.
Comment: Bruce Irvin and Korey Toomer are each on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, and either or both could begin the season there, which would help ease the immediate log jam at a pretty crowded spot. Coyle has been the surprise of camp and for now appears to have gotten the backup MLB role ahead of Farwell.
Keep: Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Jeron Johnson, DeShawn Shead
Cut: Steven Terrell, Terrance Parks
Comment: This spot seems pretty straight forward at the moment.
Keep: Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, Tharold Simon
Cut: A.J. Jefferson, Akeem Auguste, Thomas Wolfe, Phillip Adams, Michael Dobson
Comment: Shead can also play cornerback — he was essentially the team’s fifth cornerback at the end of last season, which allowed the Seahawks to get away with eight defensive backs through the post-season. Jefferson appeared to be making a real run at a spot before suffering an ankle injury. If they go with five cornerbacks, he’s probably it, depending on his health. Adams also is intriguing, capable of being a backup nickel. Eric Pinkins is on the PUP list.
Keep: Steven Hauschka (PK), Jon Ryan (P), Clint Gresham (snapper)
Cut: No one
Comment: The easy call on the roster as there is no competition for any of the these spots.