Safety Jordan Babineaux was told the team plans to release him, according to a source. Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson and fullback Owen Schmitt were also informed they're likely to be cut. And reports say running back Julius Jones is on the way out, too.
“Win Forever” is the title of Pete Carroll’s book.
“Shuffle Now,” however, would be a more apt title for the Seahawks’ operating manual, as the team on Sunday continued taking a cleaver to the roster, cutting away at a team that went 9-23 over the previous two seasons.
Offensive linemen Steve Vallos and Mansfield Wrotto and safety Kevin Ellison were cut, and several other prominent players won’t be far behind.
Safety Jordan Babineaux, a starter last year, was told the team plans to release him, according to a source. Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson and fullback Owen Schmitt were also informed they’re likely to be cut.
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Then there’s running back Julius Jones, who started 14 games last season and led the team in rushing. He also will be released, according to a report from ESPN, though that could not be independently confirmed. It is believed his base salary of $2.45 million would become guaranteed if he’s on the roster after Monday.
So while the Seahawks reduced their roster to 53 players on Saturday, the cuts keep coming with the regular-season opener against San Francisco now less than one week away.
The departures of Babineaux, Schmitt, Vickerson and perhaps Jones won’t become official until Seattle gets replacements signed. Junior Siavii, a former Oregon player released Saturday by Dallas, was headed to Seattle with the expectation he will replace Vickerson at tackle. Michael Robinson, a special-teams mainstay in San Francisco the past four years, is also expected to sign with the Seahawks.
Seattle formally acquired Stacy Andrews from Philadelphia on Sunday, trading a late-round pick in 2011 for the offensive lineman in a deal the teams agreed to Saturday. The Seahawks also claimed two players on waivers: guard Evan Dietrich-Smith from Green Bay and defensive back Nate Ness of Miami.
The uncertainty is whom Seattle would sign to replace Jones. While he was not a popular player among fans in his two seasons with the Seahawks, he was responsible for three of the offense’s seven offensive plays that gained more than 40 yards last season.
If Jones is released, it would mean that in the span of a single three-day weekend Seattle cut its starting running back and leading receiver from 2009. Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was released Saturday, and his choice where to play this season appears to be coming down to Washington or Oakland.
Without Jones, Justin Forsett, Leon Washington and Quinton Ganther would be left to carry the rushing game.
When Seattle opens the season on Sunday, more than half its 53-man roster may have been changed since Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over in January, a level of turnover that is remarkable even by NFL standards.
Rosters change every year; it’s the nature of a league in which the average career lasts about four years. And when a team changes coaches and general managers, heads are going to roll from the roster because they don’t have any vested interest in keeping the players the previous regime amassed.
When Tim Ruskell became Seahawks president in 2005, he was responsible for adding 19 of the 53 players who began that season on the roster. But those changes were made in the offseason, not in the week leading up to the regular-season opener.
Less than a year after his departure, his fingerprints are already disappearing. Of the 37 players Seattle drafted in Ruskell’s five years, 21 are gone.
Danny O’Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org