ARLINGTON, Texas — With the preseason over and roster-cutdown time coming up, it’s time for one more guess at what the Seahawks’ initial 53-man roster might look like.
As a reminder, teams must cut their rosters to 53 by 1 p.m. Tuesday PT.
On Aug. 31, teams can assemble a 16-man practice squad.
On with our projection.
Keep: Geno Smith, Drew Lock.
Cut: Jacob Eason.
Comment: Given log jams at other spots Seattle might try to sneak Eason through waivers and onto the practice squad.
Keep: Rashaad Penny, Ken Walker III, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas.
Cut: Josh Johnson, Darwin Thompson, Ronnie Rivers.
Comment: This has seemed pretty cut-and-dry for a while with the Seahawks having a solid four-man set of backs this year. Coach Pete Carroll said Saturday that Walker might be ready for the season opener after having a recent hernia procedure. Expect Seattle to try to keep one of the waived players — Thompson seems most likely — on the practice squad as added depth.
Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Dee Eskridge, Marquise Goodwin, Dareke Young.
Cut: Bo Melton, Freddie Swain, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Penny Hart, Cade Johnson, Aaron Fuller, Kevin Kassis.
Comment: As I noted before, the Seahawks have a tough call here on whether to keep both of their 2022 seventh-round picks — Melton and Young — and also what to do with some veterans who have been fixtures on the roster the past few seasons in Hart and Swain. But the guess here is that’s the way they’ll lean while trying to get three or four back on the practice squad. Swain had a spotty preseason that included two critical drops and also battled injuries. And with Eskridge able to handle punt return duties, he could take over those from Swain as well. Of the two rookies, Young seemed ahead on the depth chart at the end.
Keep: Will Dissly, Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson.
Cut: Tyler Mabry, Cade Brewer.
Comment: Mabry is a certainty for the practice squad if he clears waivers, which seems how Seattle would want to go. It’s worth noting he didn’t play against Dallas due to injury.
Keep: Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas, Stone Forsyth, Jake Curhan, Austin Blythe, Kyle Fuller, Damien Lewis, Gabe Jackson, Phil Haynes, Dakoda Shepley.
Cut: Greg Eiland, Liam Ryan.
Comment: Lewis is dealing with an ankle injury that could compel the Seahawks to err on the side of caution and depth for now and keep 10 offensive linemen. But if Seattle opts for nine, the odd man out seems to be Shepley.
Keep: Tackles Poona Ford, Al Woods, Bryan Mone; ends Shelby Harris, L.J. Collier, Quinton Jefferson, Myles Adams.
Cut: Jarrod Hewitt.
Comment: As noted before, Seattle’s evolution to more 3-4 looks also means changing the position designations of a few players who previously were ends and now are linebackers. I’m going here with the designations Seattle had on its depth chart for the Steelers game. The big decision here is whether Seattle keeps both Collier and Adams. Adams seems almost a certainty after the preseason he had while Collier didn’t play at all after injuring his elbow in the mock game. But is Seattle really willing to cut bait already on their 2019 first-round pick?
Keep: OLBs Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, Boye Mafe, Alton Robinson, Tyreke Smith; ILBs Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Nick Bellore.
Cut: Joshua Onujiogu, Tanner Muse, Vi Jones, Lakiem Williams, Joel Dublanko.
Comment: One question mark is the health of Smith, who has battled injuries to both hips and has rarely practiced. Seattle could put him on the injured reserve list if that doesn’t improve soon and open up a spot for someone else. Onujiogu has had a good camp but for now seems ticketed for the practice squad. Bellore, listed as both a fullback and linebacker, remains a key component of special teams, as well. Bellore could be released when the initial roster is set and then re-signed as the Seahawks did in 2019 and 2020. Also worth noting is that Seattle again has a roster exemption for Aaron Donkor as an international player, and he currently does not count against the roster limit and can count as a 17th practice squad member.
Keep: Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Josh Jones, Ryan Neal, Marquise Blair.
Cut: Joey Blount, Deontai Williams, Scott Nelson.
Comment: Blair’s spot on the team doesn’t seem totally assured. But the Seahawks remain enamored of his potential and the guess here is they’ll hang onto him. Neal has been dealing with a high ankle sprain but is expected back soon.
Keep: Artie Burns, Coby Bryant, Justin Coleman, Sidney Jones IV, Tariq Woolen, Michael Jackson.
Cut: John Reid, Jameson Houston.
PUP list: Tre Brown.
Comment: Will Seattle keep six cornerbacks, one more than it usually does? The Seahawks might have to with Jones dealing with a concussion of late and Burns also not playing until the final preseason game with a groin injury. Burns was a starter before his injury and his spot on the roster would seem secure. Jackson is the wild card. He seemed on the outside looking in much of camp but played well down the stretch and particularly in the last two preseason games. He might have played too well to keep off the roster, especially with some of the other uncertainty. And while some have wondered about Coleman’s spot on the roster, he has been the starting nickel all of the preseason with no evidence that Bryant is ready to push him out of the job.
Keep: PK Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Tyler Ott.
Comment: Seattle has no other kickers, punters or long snappers on the roster.