The Seahawks have to pare their roster from 80 to 53 by Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Consider this your one-stop shop for keeping up on all the moves.
ESPN reports Clowney to sign with Tennessee, but others dispute it
Just as the Seahawks set their initial 53-man roster came word of one player who may not be on it — Jadeveon Clowney.
The Clowney watch appeared to have finally ended as Dianna Russini of ESPN reported Saturday afternoon that he is “expected” to sign with the Tennessee Titans.
However, within minutes that report was disputed by another from Josina Anderson, who reported at 4:19 p.m. that Clowney “just told me he has still not made a decision.”
So, maybe hold off yet on the Clowney/Seahawks remembrances. Still, all reports throughout the day have made it appear a longshot he would return to Seattle, with the Saints and Titans listed as the favorites and the Seahawks regarded as still “monitoring” but likely not having a real great chance.
Seahawks set 53-man roster
Here is a look at the Seahawks’ 53-man roster after they made a series of moves today:
Quarterback Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.
Running back Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas.
Tight end Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister, Luke Willson.
Receiver Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, David Moore, John Ursua, Freddie Swain.
Offensive line Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Mike Iupati, Jordan Simmons, Damien Lewis, B.J. Finney, Ethan Pocic, Jamarco Jones, Phil Haynes.
Defensive line L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Damontre Moore.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven.
Defensive back Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Quinton Dunbar, Ugo Amadi, Marquise Blair, Lano Hill, Neiko Thorpe, Linden Stephens.
Special teams Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott.
Taylor, Parkinson begin on NFI list, Penny on PUP list
There were no surprises in terms of which Seahawks began the year on various lists that will have them out for varying lengths of time.
Rookies Colby Parkinson (foot) and defensive end Darrell Taylor (leg) are on the Non-Football Injury list, as is safety D.J. Reed. All will be out at least six weeks before being able to return. Parkinson, a fourth-round pick out of Stanford, is regarded as the closest to returning after suffering a foot injury in June.
Taylor is recovering from surgery to put a rod in his leg in January and Reed a biceps injury.
Running back Rashaad Penny, meanwhile, will start on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he continues to recover from knee surgery. He also will be out at least six weeks.
And guard/center Kyle Fuller was officially placed on the suspended list after it was revealed last month he had been suspended two games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
Seahawks said still monitoring Clowney
A report earlier in the day that Jadeveon Clowney has fired agent Bus Cook led to some optimism in Seahawks fan circles that maybe Seattle could get back involved in the race for Clowney, who somewhat inexplicably remains unsigned.
But a report Saturday afternoon painted the Seahawks as still on the outside looking in.
Specifically, a report from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN stated that he is mulling offers from the Saints and Titans and that the Baltimore Ravens are a wildcard, having made a serious push a little while ago. The Seahawks, Fowler reported, are “not out of it but more monitoring.”
“Monitoring” has been a popular word to use with the Seahawks and Clowney of late. And what it appears to mean is the Seahawks may be letting other teams set the market for Clowney, and then depending on what the market is either trying to get back involved seriously, or staying out of it.
Another report a little later Saturday from Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle — where Clowney has been spending the offseason — said he is weighing offers from the Saints and Titans with the Seahawks ranked third among his teams right now.
Either way, one would think that something will happen soon with Clowney, since he will have to go through the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol before practicing, which means at this point he already wouldn’t be available until mid week.
Seahawks release receiver Paul Richardson
In something of a surprise, the Seahawks have released receiver Paul Richardson, according to a report from Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.
Richardson, the team’s first pick in the 2014 draft, returned to the team last week but he was limited throughout in practices last week appearing to take part in 11-on-11 drills only one day.
“It’s been tough for Paul,” Carroll said Thursday. “He just hadn’t had a chance yet. … Just wasn’t much of a ramp up for him to show where he is.”
Richardson signed a one-year deal for up to $1.04 million that included a $75,000 bonus.
Richardson could return to the team’s practice squad but the team also may just be moving on, especially after re-signing Josh Gordon on Thursday. The Seahawks, though, were still waiting word as of Saturday morning on if/when Gordon will be officially reinstated and how soon he will be available to play.
The waiving of Richardson could also be good news for John Ursua and maybe rookie Freddie Swain, who others competing for spots at the back of the receiver rotation.
That David Moore also reworked his contract earlier in the day also looked ominous for Richardson.
Seahawks to waive linebacker Shaquem Griffin
Linebacker Shaquem Griffin is among the players who have been waived by the Seahawks. The news was first reported by Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic and since confirmed by other reports, including NFL Media.
Griffin was entering his third year with the Seahawks and was working as a backup strongside linebacker behind Bruce Irvin.
Seattle also can use Cody Barton at the SLB spot as well as he stared there four games last season in the absence of Mychal Kendricks. The Seahawks could also experiment with using first-round pick Jordyn Brooks there, though he has mostly been used at weakside linebacker so far in camp.
Seattle, though, may not use the strongside linebacker position as much this year as it has gone with Marquise Blair as the nickel back, and could be in a nickel defense much more often than in 2019.
Griffin will be an obvious candidate to return to the practice squad if he clears waivers.
NFL teams are allotted 16 practice squad spots this season so Griffin and any other waived draft pick will be candidates to land on the PS assuming they clear waivers. Teams will learn Sunday if players have cleared waivers and can start signing players back to the PS then.
Griffin worked as a backup linebacker as well as in a situational pass-rushing package last season. He has one start, that coming in the first game of his rookie season in 2018 at Denver when he started at weakside linebacker in place of an injured K.J. Wright. He has 16 tackles in two NFL seasons.
His twin brother Shaquill is entering his fourth season with the team as the starting left cornerback.
Griffin became one of the memorable stories of the 2018 draft when he was taken in the fifth round by Seattle to rejoin Shaquill and also complete an improbable journey of making it to the NFL despite having lost his left hand when he was four years old due to amniotic bond syndrome.
Seahawks also waive QBs Anthony Gordon, Danny Etling
In other early moves, the Seahawks were reported to have waived quarterbacks Danny Etling and Anthony Gordon. Etling’s waiving was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and Gordon’s by the NFL Network.
Each was reported as a likely practice squad candidate, and with 16 spots maybe the Seahawks can do that.
The moves assure Geno Smith will be the backup to Russell Wilson.
Seattle picked up Etling midway through training camp and he made an impression in the second mock game with a late TD pass to Aaron Fuller against what was a mix of the number one and two defense.
In other early moves, the Seahawks also will waive tight end Stephen Sullivan, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.
Sullivan was a seventh-round pick out of LSU and attempting to make a conversion from college receiver to NFL tight end. Seattle is pretty loaded at tight end so Sullivan figured to have a tough road in the best of situations but he also had a hip injury that held him out of practices over the last week.
Three other players reported as waived are receiver Cody Thompson and defensive tackle P.J. Johnson by Henderson at ESPN, and safety Ryan Neal by Michael-Shawn Dugar at The Athletic.
Another report from draft expert Rob Rang said none of the team’s rookie undrafted free agents made the roster. That list would also include receiver Aaron Fuller (of Washington), cornerbacks Gavin Heslop and Debione Renfro, safety Chris Miller, defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore, offensive tackle Tommy Champion and tight end Tyler Mabry.
Clowney fires agent as speculation swirls on his future
Also breaking Saturday morning is the news reported by Pro Football Talk that Jadeveon Clowney has fired agent Bus Cook. It’s the second straight year he has fired Cook around this time, as PFT noted, though last year he re-hired Cook as he was traded to Seattle and had his contract reworked.
PFT reports it’s unclear when Clowney fired Cook, and no reason is given, though Clowney has obviously had an unexpectedly long stay in free agency, which has included reportedly turning down an offer of $17 million a year from Cleveland and in the $15-16 million range with Seattle.
PFT reports that Clowney is expected to eventually hire Kennard McGuire as his agent. Among McGuire’s clients are Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown — it was McGuire who helped work out the extension Brown got with Seattle in 2018 — and Seattle defensive line coach Clint Hurtt.
Agents obviously have relationships with all teams, so noting his association with Brown and Hurtt is only to show that if Clowney does hire McGuire he’s getting someone who also has done some recent work with the Seahawks. But as PFT notes, it’s unclear when he can hire McGuire per NFL rules that state players have to wait five days, and it hasn’t been confirmed that is specifically who he will hire.
The Saints and Titans are reported to be working hard to sign Clowney, but as PFT reported, the Seahawks also remain interested.
David Moore re-works deal to stay in Seattle
One lingering question — the fate of David Moore and his $2.13 million salary — was answered early Saturday as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that Moore has agreed to a restructured contract and will stay in Seattle. A source confirmed the news to the Seattle Times.
There were no immediate terms available, but obviously this will mean a lower salary for Moore this year and some additional cap space for the Seahawks. ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported it remains a one-year deal, meaning Moore will be an unrestricted free agent following the season.
Moore’s previous deal was a restricted free agent contract and the money was not guaranteed.
Tight end Jacob Hollister also has a similar situation with a $3.2 million restricted free agent contract that is not guaranteed and could also be reworked.
Due to Phillip Dorsett’s lingering sore foot, Moore had emerged as the number three receiver in recent practices.
Moore is entering his fourth season and last year caught 17 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns.
A calm Friday before the Saturday storm
The NFL did not list the Seahawks with any transactions on Friday.
But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a lot going on behind the scenes.
The Seahawks and every other NFL team has to cut their rosters from 80 to 53 by 1 p.m. PDT Saturday (though the Seahawks are notorious for waiting as long as they can to release anything).
Some teams began the process of cutting their rosters over the last few days.
But Seattle entered Friday with the full 80 remaining on its roster.
Most players will be waived and every other team will then have 24 hours to put in a claim on them, which would mean putting them on the team’s own 53-player roster.
Players who pass through waivers are then eligible to be re-signed to a practice squad, which teams can begin forming Sunday.
Practice squads are especially critical this year as teams prepare for any potential COVID-19 disruptions. Because of that, the NFL this year increased the size of the practice squad to 16, meaning that up to 69 of the players on Seattle’s current roster could still hang around.
Up to six players on the practice squad can have any number of accrued seasons played, which could play into decisions Seattle makes about who sticks on the 53-man roster, knowing some veterans — who do not have to go through waivers if they are vested — can return to the PS (though at vastly reduced salaries).
Because of a shortened training camp and no preseason games, one thought is that teams will be more apt than ever to want to keep their own players on the practice squad and that there might be fewer waiver claims.
Other storylines that bear watching:
Will Jadeveon Clowney finally sign with someone?
On Thursday there were multiple reports that the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans were each making heavy pushes to sign him. But on Friday came a report from Dianna Russini of ESPN stating that Clowney might wait until after cuts are made to see if that opens up a different opportunity, in terms of a team maybe having more cap space, or a team that hadn’t previously been interested suddenly wanting to get in the mix.
The Seahawks are known to be still be keeping contact with Clowney, but also thought not willing to budge much from a previous offer, reported to be in the $12 range.
Will the NFL rule on Josh Gordon?
Gordon re-signed with the Seahawks to much fanfare on Thursday, which raised optimism that the league would soon making a ruling on his eligible after he was indefinitely suspended last December.
There was no news on Gordon on Friday, but there could be Saturday. Certainly, the Seahawks hope there as is they’ll want to know if he’s going to be eligible immediately and will need to be on the 53-player roster, or if he will be suspended for a few more games (as long as he remains indefinitely suspended he won’t count against the 53=man roster). The NFL announced a ruling Friday on Dallas defensive end Randy Gregory, which includes that he will not be able to take the field until Week 6.
Final roster projection
Below is my final 53-man roster projection:
Keep: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith.
Cut: Anthony Gordon, Danny Etling.
Comment: There was never any battle for the backup job because, more than ever, this is a year to rely on veterans. Smith has looked good in his second year with the team. The bigger question might be whom of Gordon or Etling the Seahawks will keep on the practice squad. Due to needing to get as much work as possible for the starters and key backups in a shortened training camp, Gordon hasn’t gotten a lot of snaps, and Etling has been with the team for barely a week. Seattle is sure to want at least one on the practice squad, though.
Keep: Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas, Nick Bellore.
PUP (physically unable to play list): Rashaad Penny.
Comment: Bellore might be the only mild intrigue here. Recall he was cut a year ago, then quickly re-signed. Seattle could try to do something similar again if it has other roster machinations in store, assuming he wouldn’t latch on elsewhere — Seattle always carries a fullback, though, and Bellore is the only one, so he appears to have a role on the team this season. The Seahawks made one move at this spot Monday to pare the roster, waiving rookie Patrick Carr as injured.
Keep: Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister.
Cut: Luke Willson, Tyler Mabry, Stephen Sullivan.
Non-football injury list: Colby Parkinson.
Comment: Parkinson remains on the NFI (non-football injury) list, and while he might be ready soon, he could remain there because the Seahawks seem pretty well set with their top three tight ends. That means Parkinson misses the first six games, but could come back at midseason.
The Seahawks, though, could still be tempted to make some kind of move with Hollister, who has a one-year deal for a non-guaranteed $3.2 million, a salary the team might still try to lessen somehow.
Willson has looked good in camp, and with more practice-squad spots for vets, he could be a prime candidate to hang around there.
Without preseason games, it’s hard to read rookies’ progress, including Sullivan. He undoubtedly would be kept on the practice squad if waived. And maybe Seattle won’t want to risk that he’d get claimed and will keep him on the 53.
Keep: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, David Moore, John Ursua, Josh Gordon.
Cut: Paul Richardson, Freddie Swain, Penny Hart, Cody Thompson, Aaron Fuller, Lance Lenoir.
Comment: Dorsett’s injury situation doesn’t seem so serious that Seattle won’t keep him, but it does seem troublesome enough to think the Seahawks will want to keep six receivers, at least. Seattle had seven on the roster for the opening game last year.
Moore has a $2.13 million restricted free agent contract that could factor into decisions. But with Dorsett out, Moore has been the third receiver after Lockett and Metcalf and seems a lock to hang round in some capacity.
Keep: Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Mike Iupati, Jordan Simmons, Damien Lewis, B.J. Finney, Ethan Pocic, Jamarco Jones.
Suspended list: Kyle Fuller.
Cut: Phil Haynes, Chad Wheeler, Tommy Champion.
Comment: I’m back to thinking Seattle will keep nine offensive linemen, moving Haynes to the cut list so I can add an extra defensive linemen.
Keep: L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Demarcus Christmas, Damontre Moore.
Non-football injury list: Darrell Taylor.
Cut: P.J. Johnson, Cedrick Lattimore.
Comment: The addition of Moore this week may help solidify the line a little bit though it won’t be a surprise if the Seahawks make another move to add another veteran to the line.
Keep: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Bruce Irvin, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton, Shaquem Griffin, Ben Burr-Kirven.
Comment: Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. raved about the linebacker depth last week, and Seattle might well keep all seven.
In fact, that’s how I’m leaning with the current roster and the defensive line uncertainty (again, it’d be a surprise if there aren’t some additions to the defensive line over the next week).
But if Seattle has to make a cut here, I’d go with them keeping Griffin instead of Burr-Kirven.
Keep: Quandre Diggs, Jamal Adams, Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Quinton Dunbar, Ugo Amadi, Marquise Blair, Lano Hill, Neiko Thorpe.
Cut: Chris Miller, Ryan Neal, Gavin Heslop, Debione Renfro, Linden Stephens, Jayson Stanley,
Non-football injury list: D.J. Reed.
Comment: To paraphrase what I wrote in an earlier roster guesstimation, consider seven spots set: Diggs and Adams as the starting safeties, Griffin and Dunbar as the starting corners with Blair as the nickel and Flowers and Amadi as backups and used in situational roles.
Hill might also be a better shot to make it than is conventionally thought with a role as a backup safety (which could be more important with Blair as the nickel) and in specialty packages.
Keep: Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott.
Comment: This remains the easiest position group to figure out as none of the three has competition and all are under contract for at least two more years.