The Seahawks traded wide receiver Kevin Norwood and made a number of roster moves to get to the 75-player limit by Tuesday's deadline.
The moves made by the Seahawks on Monday to cut their roster from 90 to 75 players included two mild surprises — a trade of receiver Kevin Norwood to Carolina and the release of center Lemuel Jeanpierre.
Jeanpierre entered camp atop the depth chart at center as the team sought a replacement for Max Unger, who was dealt to New Orleans in March in the trade that brought tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle.
But the Seahawks elevated Drew Nowak to starting center two weeks ago, and Nowak appears the likely starter when Seattle opens the season Sept.13 at St. Louis.
It’s a heady rise for Nowak, who has played in just two NFL games — in 2013 with Jacksonville — seeing action only on special teams. A defensive lineman in college before switching to offense with the Jaguars, he spent last season on Seattle’s practice squad.
Jeanpierre had been with the Seahawks since 2010, starting 11 games at guard and center, including three at center late last season when Unger was injured.
Norwood, meanwhile, was traded to the Panthers for a conditional 2017 draft choice. If Norwood makes the team, Seattle would receive a seventh-round choice in 2017.
Norwood was a fourth-round draft pick out of Alabama in 2014 but battled a foot injury that required surgery as a rookie and was limited to nine catches in nine games. He struggled to move up the depth chart in the preseason, usually working with the backups. He made two catches on seven targets in the three exhibition games. He also did not carve out a significant role on special teams, which the Seahawks regard as a priority for their receivers.
Among the Seahawks’ other moves as the team had to hit an NFL deadline to cut the roster to 75 by Tuesday were to put receiver Paul Richardson and cornerback Jeremy Lane on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list, which means they are out at least the first six weeks of the season.
Both are recovering from knee injuries suffered in the playoffs last season. Lane also suffered a broken wrist when he made an interception in the first quarter of the Super Bowl. Richardson was injured in the divisional playoff victory over Carolina.
The Seahawks also terminated the veteran contract of defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith (as it did with Jeanpierre).
The Seahawks also waived offensive tackle Jesse Davis, cornerback George Farmer, receiver Deshon Foxx, receiver Deontay Greenberry, cornerback Keelan Johnson, linebacker Quayshawn Nealy and defensive end Greg Scruggs.
Scruggs was a sixth-round pick in 2012 who has battled knee issues the past two seasons. The rest were undrafted rookie free agents.
Seattle also waived as injured fullback Brandon Cottom and cornerback Triston Wade, both undrafted rookie free agents.
The Seahawks have eight receivers on their roster, including former University of Washington standouts Kevin Smith and Kasen Williams. Both will get a final chance to impress coaches and make the 53-man roster when the Seahawks play their last exhibition game, at 7 p.m. Thursday against Oakland at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle had nine draft choices in 2014 and has parted ways with four — Norwood, offensive lineman Garrett Scott, fullback Kiero Small and defensive tackle Jimmy Staten. Scott, Small and Staten were waived in the past year.
The Panthers have been hit with injuries at receiver, including the loss for the season of star Kelvin Benjamin to a knee injury.
“Kevin gives us another player to compete at the wide receiver position,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement. “He has the size you look for along with toughness and smarts. We studied him a lot going into last year’s draft and we look forward to having him as part of our receiving corps.”