The infamous Turk — the person on every NFL team assigned with the sad task of telling players that the coach wants to see them and, oh yeah, bring the playbook — began making calls in earnest this weekend.
NFL teams must cut their rosters from the offseason limit of 90 to 75 by Tuesday, and then to the regular-season maximum of 53 by Saturday at 3 p.m. Seattle time.
As a team regarded as having a roster as deep as any in the league, that means a lot of agonizing decisions and long nights for the Seahawks’ brain trust, who more than most organizations also have to balance long-term considerations with the knowledge that the team is built to win now.
We decided we’d take our own crack at figuring out how John Schneider, Pete Carroll and crew will devise the final roster, so here’s our guess at the final 53-man roster (and recall that teams can then sign eight cut players to the practice squad, assuming those players are eligible, which in a general sense means any player with two years in the league or less).
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Keep: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson.
Cut: Brady Quinn.
Comment: The only question here is whether they would keep three as Jackson appears to have clearly won the backup job. But depth at other spots and wanting to retain as many other players as possible, as well as confidence in the play and durability of Wilson and Jackson, likely means keeping just two.
Keep: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Michael Robinson, Derrick Coleman.
Cut: Spencer Ware, Phil Bates.
Comment: There’s been some speculation that they’d cut Robinson to save some money. But we’ll assume otherwise on a team looking to win now and valuing what Robinson means to the team in a number of ways. We’ll also make a tough call and keep Coleman, a good special-teams player, as the backup fullback ahead of Ware, who would be a valued practice-squad player.
Keep: Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Jermaine Kearse, Stephen Williams.
Cut: Chris Harper, Arceto Clark, Donavon Kemp, Perez Ashford, Brett Swain, Bryan Walters.
Comment: Injured Percy Harvin won’t count against the roster for now. The tough call here is what to do with fourth-round pick Harper, who has lots of long-range potential but hasn’t done much yet on the field. If he’s waived, he’s a sure practice-squad player if he doesn’t get picked up elsewhere. Swain is also intriguing, and Walters was an early camp standout. But someone has got to go.
Keep: Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Sean McGrath.
Cut: Cooper Helfet, Darren Fells, Andrei Lintz, Jameson Konz.
Comment: Rookie Willson and second-year player McGrath have earned the backup jobs behind the now apparently healthy Miller. Helfet has had some good moments and Fells is an intriguing prospect, and either could end up on the practice squad.
Keep: Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, Breno Giacomini, Alvin Bailey, Michael Bowie, James Carpenter, Lemuel Jeanpierre
Cut: Mike Person, Ryan Seymour, Rishaw Johnson, Jared Smith.
Comment: We’ll assume Carpenter is healthy enough to start the season on the active roster, which makes for a tough call in cutting another promising young player. Jeanpierre makes it as the backup center unless the team decides others can play that spot. They’ll try to get one or two of Person, Johnson, Smith and Seymour on the practice squad.
Keep: Red Bryant, Tony McDaniel, Brandon Mebane, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Jordan Hill, Clinton McDonald, Benson Mayowa, Mike Morgan, O’Brien Schofield, Jaye Howard.
Cut: Michael Brooks, Martin Parker, Dewayne Cherrington, Sealver Siliga.
Comment: Lots of tough calls here. But again, somebody has got to go to make the numbers work. We’ll assume Chris Clemons begins the year on the PUP list, and Greg Scruggs is on IR. We’ll also assume Jesse Williams, battling nagging knee issues, goes on IR. The newly acquired Siliga played well against the Packers and as one of the biggest bodies on the team, could make a surprise run at a roster spot.
Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Allen Bradford, Malcolm Smith, Heath Farwell.
Cut: John Lotulelei, Craig Wilkins, Kyle Knox, Ty Powell.
Comment: Bruce Irvin will start the year on the suspended list due to his PED suspension, and Korey Toomer remains on the non-football-injury list. Lotulelei is a tough cut and another certain practice-squad guy if he doesn’t get claimed elsewhere. And recall that Morgan and Schofield also play linebacker.
Keep: Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos.
Cut: Winston Guy, Deshawn Shead.
Comment: Johnson and Maragos are capable backups and special-teams demons. Shead is another who seems certain to end up on the practice squad if he’s not claimed elsewhere. Guy has had some moments, but this is another spot where the Seahawks will cut a player who likely has a future elsewhere.
Keep: Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Antoine Winfield, Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell.
Cut: Will Blackmon, Ron Parker.
Comment: Expect rookie Tharold Simon to head to IR. Still, lots of really tough calls here with cornerback, an especially valued position. Parker, among the fastest players on the team, has sadly been too injured to show much, and we’ll give an edge to Lane and Maxwell over Blackmon for the final spots.
Keep: Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham.
Cut: Kyle Nelson.
Comment: We’ll assume Gresham holds on to the snapping job and the specialists remain the same for another season with Hauschka at kicker and Ryan at punter.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @bcondotta