Taking a guess at the Seahawks' 53-man roster as we head into the summer.
Having concluded mini-camp on Thursday the Seahawks are now off for the summer, due to return on July 30 or so for the beginning of training camp.
And that’s when the real battles for spots on the 53-man roster will begin.
That doesn’t mean, though, that we can’t start speculating now on how it will unfold.
So here is our first look at how the 53-man roster may unfold (and it’s worth remembering that this year, there will be just one cut for all NFL teams – from 90 to 53 following the final preseason games).
KEEP: Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin.
CUT: Austin Davis.
COMMENT: The backup QB battle is going to be one of the most interesting of the preseason — Seattle really hasn’t had a legitimate once since 2013 when Tarvaris Jackson beat out Brady Quinn (remember that?). Davis earned some praise this week from Pete Carroll for his quick assimilation of the playbook. But for now I’ll assume Boykin’s legal issues resolve themselves and that the team sides with his potential and overall playmaking ability as well as not wanting to risk losing him just yet. And I’ll also assume that for now the Seahawks won’t feel they need three QBs with Wilson having recovered fully from all of his 2016 injuries.
KEEP: Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, Alex Collins.
CUT: Mike Davis, Chris Carson, Tre Madden.
COMMENT: The first three are a given. The battle for the last spot or two will be really interesting, though, and the Seahawks might feel compelled to keep five depending on how things unfold. For now, I’ll go with four and give the last spot to Collins, whose improved conditioning has earned praise from coaches. Carson is a personal favorite of Pete Carroll’s so he will be especially intriguing to watch. But he didn’t do much due to injury in the offseason workouts open to media making it hard to get a real read on him yet.
KEEP: Kyle Coleman.
CUT: Algernon Brown.
COMMENT: This battle of recently-signed free agents feels completely wide open, and with no guarantee that the Seahawks keep a fullback — they could get fullback-style blocking out of tailbacks or tight ends if they want. But Seattle has usually kept a fullback on the roster and for now I’m going with the slightly-more experienced Coleman.
KEEP: Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Nick Vannett.
CUT: Marcus Lucas, Tyrone Swoopes, Steve Donatell.
COMMENT: The Seahawks kept four tight ends all of last season but may need only three this year, which will open up a roster spot elsewhere. At the moment, this seems pretty cut-and-dried, though former Texas QB Swoopes will be intriguing to watch in the preseason.
KEEP: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, Jermaine Kearse, Amara Darboh, Kasen Williams.
CUT: Tanner McEvoy, Kenny Lawler, Rodney Smith, David Moore, Cyril Grayson, J.D. McKissic.
COMMENT: The battle for the last few roster spots at receiver is going to be really interesting to watch. For now, I think the top five are just about locks, and if Williams stays healthy he could have the upper hand on a spot, as well. Players such as Lawler, Moore and Grayson would be obvious practice squad candidates and could sneak onto the roster depending on how they perform in the preseason.
KEEP: Justin Britt, Mark Glowinski, Oday Aboushi, Ethan Pocic, Luke Joeckel, Rees Odhiambo, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jordan Roos.
CUT: Joey Hunt, Robert Myers, Justin Senior, Will Pericak.
COMMENT: Seahawks kept eight offensive linemen last season but might feel compelled to go with nine this year to keep as much depth around as possible. Hunt made it last season but as a center-only could lose out this year to more versatile backups, especially with Pocic able to play center.
KEEP: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Athyba Rubin, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, Malik McDowell, Nazair Jones, Cassius Marsh, Jeremy Liggins.
CUT: Garrison Smith, Shaneil Jenkins, Dion Jordan, Tylor Harris, Davis Bass, Nick Usher.
PUP: Quinton Jefferson.
COMMENT: There will be some good competition for the last few spots here, as well. Marsh’s special teams play could again get him on the roster in what is the last year of his rookie contract. Liggins, an undrafted free agent, has impressed coaches so far and at a listed 315 is the biggest tackle on the roster, and Seattle is always looking for more size in its depth players up front. Jordan’s increasing knee issues make him a question mark for now. Carroll said this week Jefferson may not be ready for the start of the season which could mean the Seahawks could postpone any decision by placing him on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which doesn’t count against the 53-man roster.
KEEP: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Michael Wilhoite, Terence Garvin, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Arthur Brown.
CUT: Kache Palacio, Nick Usher, Ronald Powell, Otha Peters.
COMMENT: Injuries kept Wilhoite from doing much in the offseason program but he remains the front-runner for the open strongside linebacker spot. Garvin was the starter there during minicamp with Wilhoite out. Brown appears the leader for the backup MLB role. Pierre-Louis is entering a critical season but for now he’d appear to have a spot.
KEEP: Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Neiko Thorpe, Shaquill Griffin, DeAndre Elliott.
CUT: Mike Tyson, Pierre Desir, Demetrius McCray.
PUP: DeShawn Shead.
COMMENT: I’ll also put Shead on the PUP list to open the season, which opens up a spot on the initial 53-man for someone else. The battle for the last cornerback job could well come down to Elliott and Tyson and which one can show he can best serve as a backup nickel. If there’s a spot where the Seahawks might be most likely to still try to add a veteran free agent cornerback is probably it.
KEEP: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Bradley McDougald, Delano Hill, Tedric Thompson.
CUT: Dewey McDonald, Jordan Simone, Marcus Cromartie.
COMMENT: The Seahawks have often gone with just four safeties but this year seem likely to keep five to keep both draft picks, Hill and Thompson, on the roster. McDonald is listed as a linebacker but has been playing safety of late.
KEEP: Blair Walsh, Jon Ryan, Tyler Ott.
CUT: Nolan Frese.
COMMENT: The only battle here is between Ott and Frese for the longsnapping gig. Each makes the same salary, so that won’t be an issue. Siding with Ott for now just because I have to pick one and he seemed to do a good job in the playoff games last season.