Julius Jones stayed, but safety Jordan Babineaux, fullback Owen Schmitt and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson were formally released, and defensive end Raheem Brock, running back Michael Robinson and former Oregon Duck Junior Siavii signed to take their place.
RENTON — The Seahawks’ practice jerseys include last names across the back.
They could have used name tags on the front at Monday’s practice, an aid in the introduction of six new players now on the 53-man roster. Like, “Hi, my name is Stacy Andrews, and I’m your new 337-pound mauler of a right tackle.”
Julius Jones, however, needed no introduction. He has been in town for two years, and he’s still here — though you may have heard otherwise after an ESPN report Sunday stated he was being released.
“Everything you guys heard was false, man,” Jones said after Monday’s practice. “I got a lot of phone calls, a lot of text messages, but I’m still here.”
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In a different role, though, since Justin Forsett will start the season opener at running back, according to coach Pete Carroll. Jones is also a little lighter in the wallet. He took a pay cut from the $2.45 million his contract called for him to make, according to ESPN.
So Jones stayed, but plenty of others didn’t. Safety Jordan Babineaux, fullback Owen Schmitt and defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson were formally released, and defensive end Raheem Brock, running back Michael Robinson and former Oregon Duck Junior Siavii signed to take their place.
Of the 53 players on Seattle’s active roster, 27 have been acquired since coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over. Seven players have been added in the last seven days alone, including three offensive linemen.
“It was literally like draft weekend for us,” Schneider said.
With it coming in the final week before the season opener against San Francisco, the question is whether the depth of change will hamstring Seattle to start this season.
“If you look at it, there are very few adjustments in any way at all to the starting units on either side of the football,” Carroll said.
But did it have to wait until the eve of the season to cut players like Babineaux and T.J. Houshmandzadeh or trade Josh Wilson, who was competing for a starting cornerback spot until he was sent to Baltimore last week?
“It’s a whole evaluation,” Schneider said, “and you have to take it all the way to the end to figure out if you’re making the right decision or not. Do we have a philosophy? Absolutely, but you can’t just go cutting down the forest like you’ve got all the answers.”
Rookie left tackle Russell Okung has not recovered from his high ankle sprain and will not play this week, Carroll said. Ray Willis is on injured reserve.
That leaves Seattle to choose between Chester Pitts, who is recovering from knee surgery and did not play in an exhibition game, and Tyler Polumbus, a former Bronco acquired by Seattle on Aug. 31.
“We had kind of set our sights on Chester,” Carroll said. “He’s been in the system longer, been around us more.”
It’s true. Pitts has been in Seattle for a little more than a month now while Polumbus participated in just his second Seahawks practice Monday.
“They’ll compete during the week and we’ll figure out what it looks like,” Carroll said.
Mike Gibson will start at left guard ahead of veteran Ben Hamilton, and the Seahawks don’t just have new faces along the offensive line, but a new coach learning terminology as Pat Ruel was hired to replace Alex Gibbs, who suddenly retired.
That’s just part of a big to-do list for the Seahawks, and the magnitude of the project is becoming much clearer.
“This is not something we’re trying to patch,” Schneider said. “But something we’re trying to build.”