NFL rosters are forever fluid, with teams making changes almost daily during the season. But Saturday marked a big day as teams had to set their initial 53-man active rosters.
Here’s a look at Seattle’s with some comments.
Keep: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.
Cut: Anthony Gordon, Danny Etling.
Comment: No surprise here as Geno Smith was the clear backup all along. The question now is which of Gordon or Etling will make the 16-man practice squad — or if both will with teams having six additional practice-squad spots this year and teams possibly wanting to account for any COVID-19 issues at the most important position in the game.
Keep: Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas.
Cut: Nick Bellore.
PUP (physically unable to play list): Rashaad Penny.
Comment: In one mild initial surprise, the Seahawks cut Bellore, the only fullback on the roster and a key special-teams player. But the Seahawks cut him on this date last year, too, and then brought him back — since he’s a vested veteran he does not go through waivers so he can refuse other offers, and few teams use fullbacks anyway. Waiving Bellore means his base salary of $1.05 million also does not become guaranteed. Seattle may also have wanted the roster spot to be able to put OL Cedric Ogbuehi on injured reserve. Players can come off IR after three weeks this year if they are initially on the 53-man roster. Ogbuehi suffered a pec injury in the mock game last Sunday that held him out of practice all week.
Otherwise, status quo on the RB spot with Penny going on PUP and missing at least six weeks before he can return.
Keep: Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister, Luke Willson.
Cut: Tyler Mabry, Stephen Sullivan.
Non-football injury list: Colby Parkinson.
Comment: Willson making it was maybe a mild surprise as Seattle keeps four tight ends for now. But the Seahawks are likely to use a lot of multiple tight-end sets this year and Willson had a solid camp. Parkinson remains on the NFI (non-football injury) list with a foot injury suffered in June. Like Penny, that means Parkinson will miss the first six weeks before he can return.
Both Sullivan and Mabry are obvious practice-squad candidates.
Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, David Moore, John Ursua, Freddie Swain.
Suspended: Josh Gordon.
Cut: Paul Richardson, Penny Hart, Cody Thompson, Aaron Fuller, Lance Lenoir.
Comment: The Seahawks cut Richardson a week after signing him, but may also bring him back at some point if needed. Gordon remains on the suspended list for now so he does not count against the 53-man roster. Seattle otherwise kept six receivers with Swain making it despite missing some of camp with an ankle injury. And the team was able to keep Moore easily after reworking his contract Saturday to lessen his $2.13 million salary. Hart, Fuller and Thompson all appear to be prime PS candidates.
Keep: Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Mike Iupati, Jordan Simmons, Damien Lewis, B.J. Finney, Ethan Pocic, Jamarco Jones, Phil Haynes.
Suspended list: Kyle Fuller.
Cut: Chad Wheeler, Tommy Champion.
Comment: The Seahawks kept 10 offensive linemen, though as noted Ogbuehi has an injury situation. If the Seahawks want a roster spot, they could put him on IR and bring him back in three weeks (a rule changed this year due in part to COVID-19 protocols). Expect the starters to be Brown at left tackle, Iupati at left guard, Pocic at center, Lewis at right guard and Shell at right tackle. Fuller will be able to return after two games. The rest of the backups were pretty much as expected. Finney for now will be the backup center to Pocic with Fuller suspended.
Keep: L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Damontre Moore.
Non-football injury list: Darrell Taylor.
Cut: P.J. Johnson, Cedrick Lattimore, Demarcus Christmas.
Comment: The Seahawks end up with just eight defensive linemen for now and just three tackles — Reed, Ford and Mone — suggesting they will make a move or two there at some point over the next few days. Moore, who was signed this week, makes it as an end. Christmas and Lattimore would seem prime practice-squad candidates.
Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven.
Cut: Shaquem Griffin.
Comment: The big move here was cutting Shaquem Griffin, though the Seahawks undoubtedly hope he clears waivers and can end up back on the practice squad.
Some might be surprised that Burr-Kirven made it, instead. But he had a larger special-teams role down the stretch last year and can back up in the inside spots while Griffin was playing the strongside spot.
Keep: Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Quinton Dunbar, Ugo Amadi, Marquise Blair, Lano Hill, Neiko Thorpe, Linden Stephens.
Cut: Chris Miller, Ryan Neal, Gavin Heslop, Debione Renfro, Jayson Stanley.
Non-football injury list: D.J. Reed.
Comment: The Seahawks kept 10 defensive backs for now with Stephens maybe the biggest surprise on the entire 53-man roster. The Seahawks like his versatility, though, as he can play nickel and on the outside.
Diggs and Adams are the starting safeties with Hill able to back up at both spots and also play in nickel and dime packages. Amadi also backs up the safeties and is able to play in the nickel.
Griffin and Dunbar project as the starting corners with Flowers, Stephens and Thorpe as backups.
Blair is able to play both corner and safety and will be the starting nickel to start the season.
Keep: Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott.
Comment: There was never any drama here with Myers, Dickson and Ott the only specialists on the roster.