Here's our latest 53-man roster projection as the Seahawks enter the final week of the preseason.
We’re now less than a week away from what is the only roster cutdown of the preseason for NFL teams, who must pare their rosters from 90 to the regular season limit of 53 by 1 p.m. Saturday Seattle time. In past years, teams would have had to cut to 75 by the beginning of this week, but that was eliminated earlier this year with teams now keeping a full training camp roster of 90 through the preseason.
Here’s our latest projection of what that roster might look like.
KEEP: Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin.
CUT: Austin Davis.
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COMMENT: Boykin turned in a disastrous outing against the Chiefs — 0-6 with a pick — while Davis had a perfect passer rating. But Coach Pete Carroll said afterward not to read much into that noting Boykin’s strong preseason and saying “I don’t think the five or six passes that he threw in this game should be the final decision on it. I think he’s done very well.” So taking him at his word, and considering what Boykin did earlier — and that he’s a little cheaper — pencil him in for now. And it remains hard to see the Seahawks keeping three QBs given roster logjams elsewhere.
KEEP: Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise, Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic.
CUT: Alex Collins, Mike Davis.
COMMENT: At this point, the only question about Carson would seem to be how big of a role he plays once the season begins and not whether he is on the roster. Collins didn’t get a snap against the Chiefs, which seems ominous, though he’s likely to get a lot of work Thursday at Oakland to make one last impression —- he might well have won a job last season when he played well in the preseason finale against the Raiders. But as of now, he seems like the odd man out. Davis has had a good preseason — 81 yards on 20 carries. But it also seems hard to find a place for him at the moment. I’m listing McKissic as a running back since that’s where he played last week, essentially serving as the third-down back with Prosise out and also again serving as the starting returner with Tyler Lockett out. Those two roles — serving as insurance for two players who have injury questions entering the regular season — would seem to necessitate keeping McKissic unless someone else emerges for those spots in the final week.
KEEP: Tre Madden.
CUT: Marcel Reece.
COMMENT: Madden had a nice game Friday with a 2-yard touchdown pass and played 17 snaps to seven for Reece, getting mixed in quite a bit with the first team. That shows the team is taking its evaluation of him seriously — he’s eight years younger than Reece, about $300,000 cheaper (Madden makes $465,000 to Reece’s $775,000) and wouldn’t have to have his contract guaranteed to start the season as would Reece, who is a vested veteran. All of that has me siding this week with them taking a flyer on Madden to start the season knowing they could likely always bring Reece back later, as they did last year in keeping Tani Tupou in week one and then bringing back Will Tukuafu week two.
KEEP: Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Nick Vannett.
CUT: Tyrone Swoopes, Steve Donatell.
COMMENT: The first two are obvious locks and it also seems to remain pretty much a certainty that the Seahawks wouldn’t keep more than three tight ends. While Vannett hasn’t shown a whole lot overall he had a nice game last week against the Vikings and he still seems pretty assured of the third tight end role.
KEEP: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, Jermaine Kearse, Amara Darboh, Kasen Williams.
CUT: Tanner McEvoy, Kenny Lawler, David Moore, Cyril Grayson, Rodney Smith, Darreus Rogers.
COMMENT: So here is where it starts to get really hard. The first four seem locks, including Kearse as far as I can tell. There’s been no lack of discussion of his status, but his play against the Chiefs and Carroll’s strong praise of it saying “he’s been playing great” combined with the fact that there’s zero financial reason for not keeping him around would all seem to point to Kearse staying put. Williams still seems pretty close to a certainty given his overall preseason. But the fact that he was held to one catch on four yards in what was the one game where the starters play the most might at least invite some discussion. McEvoy had the better game against the Chiefs and also has more regular season experience than Williams, if the choice were to come down to those two. But maybe it doesn’t. Darboh has generally been viewed as a lock due to his status as a third-round pick — almost no team ever cuts a player taken that high before his first regular season game. But Darboh has battled some nagging injuries and has yet to make a catch and didn’t stand out much before games began to be played. It would still seem surprising to not keep him, but you never know. None of the others have seemed to do anything to merit serious consideration. For now, I’m siding with Darboh and Williams and thinking they can find a way to keep McEvoy around for later if they need him.
KEEP: Justin Britt, Mark Glowinski, Oday Aboushi, Ethan Pocic, Luke Joeckel, Rees Odhiambo, Germain Ifedi, Matt Tobin.
CUT: Joey Hunt, Will Pericak, Darrell Brown, Tyrus Thompson, Jordan Roos.
INJURED: George Fant.
COMMENT: The play of Odhiambo in place of Fant Friday undoubtedly calmed some fears and may have brought some certainty to the line with Odhiambo at LT, Joeckel at LG, Britt at center and Ifedi at RT with Glowinski and Aboushi continuing to battle at RG. Pocic appears being groomed for a backup role at center and both guard spots with Tobin as a backup and insurance at left tackle. For a second straight week I’m going to go with just eight offensive linemen — Hunt seems an odd man out since he only plays center and Pocic can serve a backup role there well enough. And for now it’s hard to tell if Roos has done enough to warrant a 53-man roster spot, especially with log jams elsewhere and the likelihood he could sneak through to the practice squad.
KEEP: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Athyba Rubin, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, Nazair Jones, Cassius Marsh, Quinton Jefferson, David Bass.
CUT: Garrison Smith, Jeremy Liggins, Tylor Harris, Rodney Coe, Christian French, Greg Milhouse.
NFI: Malik McDowell, Dion Jordan.
COMMENT: I’ve got no changes to this position group this week, again deciding to keep Bass and go with nine defensive linemen. Bass would seem the only question mark unless you consider Marcus Smith a defensive end — the Seahawks have used him as both a linebacker and an end and are officially listing him as a backup strongside linebacker at the moment (more on Smith below).
KEEP: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Michael Wilhoite, Terence Garvin, D.J. Alexander, Marcus Smith.
CUT: Dewey McDonald, Mike Morgan, Kache Palacio, Otha Peters, Rodney Butler.
COMMENT: Smith played a lot early against the Chiefs only adding to the idea that the team is really intrigued with him and compelling me to this week switch him in and take out McDonald. McDonald was a special teams standout last year but if the Seahawks keep one linebacker almost solely for special teams it might instead be Alexander, for whom the team traded Kevin Pierre-Louis and was a Pro Bowl player as a special teamer last year. Alexander has been out recently but seems to still have a leg up on a roster spot.
KEEP: Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Shaquill Griffin, Tramaine Brock, Pierre Desir.
CUT: Mike Tyson, Neiko Thorpe, Demetrius McCray, DeAndre Elliott.
PUP: DeShawn Shead.
COMMENT: The first three are locks and Brock’s experience and ability to play both inside and outside would seem to have him in good shape, too. The fifth corner — assuming Seattle keeps one, as I am for now — is where the real intrigue lies. Thorpe seemed a likely choice when camp began after the team signed him to a two-year contract. But Desir has had more of an impact during camp and preseason games and seems to have passed him on the depth chart. Elliott made it last year but seems the odd man out now with Brock emerging as a viable backup nickel option.
KEEP: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Bradley McDougald, Delano Hill, Tedric Thompson.
CUT: Marcus Cromartie.
COMMENT: The first four are set. Thompson’s spot may not be certain. But as the 111th overall pick in the 2017 draft and given Seattle’s defensive back reputation, it’s hard to imagine Thompson wouldn’t be snapped up on waivers which would compel the Seahawks to want to keep him — and recall McDougald is on a one-year contract so the team has to think about the future a little bit here, too.
KEEP: Blair Walsh, Jon Ryan, Tyler Ott.
COMMENT: The special teams appear more set than ever.