Now comes the hard part for the Seahawks and the rest of the NFL — beginning the process of cutting their rosters.
There are three cutdown days this year — from 90 to 85 by Tuesday; to 80 next Tuesday; and then to 53 on Aug. 31.
After the final cutdown, teams can assemble a 16-player practice squad. But those players first have to clear waivers before they can be signed. So in that sense, 69 of the 91 players on Seattle’s current roster might be kept. (The Seahawks have an additional player in linebacker Aaron Donkor who doesn’t count as a part of the International Pathway program.)
Seattle got to 85 by waiving six players and signing another. The six waived were linebacker Nate Evans, tackle Lukayus McNeil, cornerback Jordan Miller, defensive tackle Walter Palmore, receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams and running back Cameron Scarlett. Seattle signed defensive tackle Alex Tchangam.
That leaves 32 moves (at least) to make over the next 15 days.
Here’s my updated guess at what the 53-man roster might look like Aug. 31.
Keep: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.
Cut: Alex McGough, Sean Mannion.
Comment: Smith, who suffered a concussion against the Raiders in the preseason opener, is the clear backup. McGough for now has the No. 3 job. But the Seahawks may try to get Mannion some more work in the final two preseason games. Either McGough or Mannion seems likely for the practice squad.
Keep: Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas, Nick Bellore.
Cut: Alex Collins, Josh Johnson.
Comment: Homer and Dallas are each valuable special-teams players which might give them the nod over Collins for a final spot if Seattle keeps four running backs, as well as Bellore at fullback. Homer has yet to practice while on the PUP list. But he is expected back this week. As the only fullback and a key special-teams player, Bellore seems a lock to make it. But Seattle could again cut him for a few days if they need to do some roster juggling before bringing him back, as they’ve done the past two years. Since he is a vested vet, he does not go through waivers.
Keep: Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson.
Cut: Tyler Mabry, Cam Sutton, Dom Wood-Anderson.
Comment: One thing to watch here is Parkinson’s foot injury suffered last week which might mean he’s not ready for the season. However, Parkinson has to be on the initial 53-player roster if the team wants to put him on IR and then have him return after three weeks. One or two of the other tight ends will undoubtedly be signed to the practice squad.
Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Dee Eskridge, Freddie Swain, Penny Hart.
Cut: John Ursua, Cody Thompson, Aaron Fuller, Cade Johnson, Connor Wedington, Travis Toivonen, Darece Roberson.
Comment: There’s nothing to suggest that the receiver room in the regular season won’t be pretty much what everyone has expected all along. But there are two more preseason games for some of the free agents to make a case for themselves (Johnson and Fuller might be at the top of that list). Eskridge is expected to return to practice this week, which will make the third-receiver picture a bit clearer.
Keep: Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Gabe Jackson, Damien Lewis, Ethan Pocic, Cedric Ogbuehi, Kyle Fuller, Jordan Simmons, Jamarco Jones, Phil Haynes, Stone Forsythe.
Cut: Tommy Champion, Brad Lundblade, Greg Eiland, Jake Curhan, Jared Hocker, Pier-Olivier Lestage.
Comment: This also remains a spot where not much has seemed to change yet. Eleven offensive linemen might seem like a lot. But the Seahawks are already dealing with some injuries and might want to err on the side of assuring they’ll have depth in the regular season.
Keep: Ends Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson; tackles Al Woods, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Robert Nkemdiche.
Cut: Cedrick Lattimore, Myles Adams, Jarrod Hewitt, Alex Tchangam.
Comment: The only real question is if the Seahawks keep Nkemdiche. He had a good first week of camp but has been dealing with a groin injury since then, making it a little harder to assess exactly where he fits. That could open the door for Lattimore. The rest seem like givens at this point.
Keep: Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Darrell Taylor, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven
Cut: Jon Rhattigan, Aaron Donkor, Lakiem Williams.
Comment: This spot seems as set as any on the team, with Taylor so far showing what the team hoped at strongside linebacker, and Barton and Burr-Kirven solidifying their backup roles. It’s worth remembering Donkor can be kept as an extra player on the practice squad all season.
Keep: Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Ahkello Witherspoon, D.J. Reed, Tre Flowers, Ugo Amadi, Marquise Blair, Tre Brown, Ryan Neal.
Cut: Damarious Randall, Pierre Desir, Gavin Heslop, Aashari Crosswell, Josh Moon, Will Sunderland.
Comment: As noted above, the Seahawks could cut Bellore and then re-sign him a day or two later for roster flexibility. That could come in handy to keep another player at a spot like the secondary. For now, I have Seattle keeping nine, in part because the ability of Amadi and Blair to play safety and nickel corner gives a lot of flexibility to the back end. Flowers is obviously another one to watch. He has a non-guaranteed base salary of $2.183 million this season. That contract will likely be reworked. Flowers’ play Saturday night may not have justified the praise heaped on him in camp. Randall was solid early but sat out the game with an injury. He’s also a vested vet, so like Bellore, he’s a player Seattle could cut for roster flexibility and then re-sign. The waiving of Miller, a former UW standout, was a little bit of a surprise. The Seahawks asked him to try the nickel spot this year and there was some thought he could make a legitimate run at a roster spot. But the Seahawks may feel pretty set at nickel right now with Blair and Amadi.
Keep: Jason Myers (kicker), Michael Dickson (punter), Tyler Ott (snapper).
Comment: Nothing to decide here as Seattle’s kicking specialists are set.