Our updated 53-man Seahawks' roster projection features a few changes after the Seahawks' 18-11 loss to the Vikings Thursday night.
We’re now halfway through the preseason (yes, you can give thanks for that), which also means we are that much closer to the first NFL cutdown dates.
The Seahawks, as will all other teams, will have to cut their roster to 75 following their third preseason game next Thursday against Dallas (the official cutdown date is Aug. 30) and then to the regular season limit of 53 following the fourth preseason game at Oakland (the official date is Sept. 3). After the cutdown to 53, they can then assemble a 10-player practice squad, though only after those players clear waivers and become free agents.
So let’s take an updated look at how I think their 53-man roster will turn out.
This is based solely on the 90-man roster as it stands now. There will undoubtedly be other moves that will impact how it looks but for now this is how I see it.
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KEEP: Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin.
CUT: Jake Heaps.
COMMENT: Boykin’s performance against the Vikings was cleaner than against the Chiefs in terms of the huddle and alignment. Two big errors — the pick six and taking a sack on the second-to-last play — marred the rest of it a bit. But for now, he remains Seattle’s only logical backup. Seattle undoubtedly will keep options open for vets who may become available. But at that point they’d also have to weigh keeping three QBs (something that seems unlikely) or potentially losing Boykin via waivers. At the moment, keeping Boykin as the backup seems the safest bet.
KEEP: Thomas Rawls, Alex Collins, C.J. Prosise, Christine Michael.
CUT: Zac Brooks, George Farmer, Jonathan Amosa, Troymaine Pope, Kyle Coleman.
COMMENT: Pope is the feel-good story of the moment after rushing for a game-high 86 yards on 10 carries. And with Alex Collins struggling a bit (13 yards on six carries) and C.J. Prosise still yet to play, Pope could get an extended look this week and maybe some earlier carries Thursday against Dallas to further prove his case. But nothing’s happened yet to change my thoughts on the final four running backs to make it. And as of yet, we haven’t seen enough of the fullback contenders to think Seattle will keep one of them, either.
KEEP: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Kasen Williams, Kenny Lawler.
CUT: Kevin Smith, Douglas McNeil, Deshon Foxx, Antwan Goodley, Tanner McEvoy, Uzoma Nwachukwu, Montario Hunter.
COMMENT: In one change from last week, I have Lawler back on the keep list and the Seahawks going with six receivers to start the season instead of five. Lawler has come on the last few weeks and if he continues that progression he might be hard to keep off the final roster. Williams has been slowed by a hamstring injury and didn’t make a catch against the Vikings and is far from a sure thing to make it at this point. But for now, I’m thinking he’ll get healthy and get back to the off-season form that had the Seahawks excited about what he might be able to do this season. I’m adding an offensive roster spot by taking one from the linebacking corps, which will be explained in that category.
KEEP: Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Nick Vannett, Brandon Williams.
CUT: Joe Sommers, Clayton Echard.
COMMENT: I’ve gone with Seattle keeping four tight ends since the beginning of training camp, with the biggest reason thinking that they could use more multi-tight end sets to make up for not having a fullback. But health is suddenly also a factor. The team is beginning to hedge on whether Graham will be ready for the first game. But it also doesn’t sound like he’s not so far away that they’d have to make a move to put him on short-term IR. That, though, would mean needing an extra TE to get through however long Graham’s debut is delayed. And now there is another issue — the health of Vannett, who suffered an ankle sprain (and one rumored to be of the high ankle sprain variety) against the Vikings. That could also be an injury that isn’t so severe that the Seahawks would need to make a roster move, but one that could also mean wanting to keep a fourth tight end to make sure the depth is where it is needed. If the Seahawks determine that neither Graham nor Vannett is going to be available for a few weeks into the regular season, though, then a move may be needed to add another body at this spot.
KEEP: Garry Gilliam, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi, J’Marcus Webb, Rees Odhiambo, Bradley Sowell, Patrick Lewis, Terry Poole.
CUT: Jahri Evans, Joey Hunt, Kristjan Sokoli, Will Pericak, George Fant.
COMMENT: In another change from last week, I am now keeping Terry Poole and cutting Jahri Evans. The reasoning? Seattle seems to be doing well enough with the interior spots and Odhiambo, Lewis and Webb (when healthy) could all be backups at guard. But the tackle spot remains a quandary, with the exact ETA for Webb’s return still uncertain and neither Gilliam nor Sowell having sewn down their spots. Poole, meanwhile, has been one of the most improved players on the team in camp and has gotten significant work in the first two games (a combined 96 snaps, the most of any offensive player). Evans signed a low-cost deal that only guaranteed $80,00o so money shouldn’t really be an issue in that decision.
KEEP: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Quinton Jefferson, Jarran Reed, Ahtyba Rubin, Jordan Hill, Tony McDaniel, Brandin Bryant.
CUT: Justin Hamilton, DeAngelo Tyson, Sealver Siliga, Tylor Harris, Josh Shirley, Ryan Robinson.
COMMENT: In a change from last week I have the Seahawks keeping newly re-signed veteran Tony McDaniel and cutting Ryan Robinson. That depletes the edge rushing group some at the expense of adding another big body in the middle, but McDaniel played well enough against the Vikings to show he’s worth keeping around. Also, Cassius Marsh has been used often as an edge rusher so far, and Frank Clark has been good, with Jefferson appearing to show he can add depth at the other end spot, so the Seahawks may feel they are okay on the perimeter. Bryant didn’t play much against the Vikings and his hold on a roster spot seems tenuous. But the Seahawks have liked his potential and often err on the side of keeping young DLs it hopes to develop.
KEEP: Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mike Morgan, Brock Coyle, Cassius Marsh, Kevin Pierre-Louis.
CUT: Pete Robertson, Kache Palacio, Steve Longa, Quayshawn Nealy, Eric Pinkins.
COMMENT: In another change from last week, I have the Seahawks now cutting Pinkins and keeping just six linebackers. Given that Marsh is also doing so much rush end stuff, it could seem a little risky on the linebacker depth. But for now I am also keeping Brandon Browner, whose role as an extra safety (something we haven’t seen much in the preseason but that the Seahawks might also just be keeping under wraps) would often replicate the duties of a linebacker.
KEEP: Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Deshawn Shead, Tharold Simon, Kelcie McCray, Brandon Browner, Marcus Burley, Tyvis Powell.
CUT: DeAndre Elliott, Tye Smith, Trovon Reed, Steven Terrell, Keenan Lambert.
COMMENT: No changes here this week as I am still keeping both Browner and rookie Tyvis Powell, giving the Seahawks essentially five cornerbacks and five safeties (Seattle has more often kept nine total DBs). Simon appears to have a hold on the fourth CB spot ahead of Tye Smith, and I’m keeping Burley as an extra nickel (something we haven’t seen Smith do much of in camp). Powell, though, will have to continue to show he can help enough on special teams to be worth the immediate roster spot, while Browner will have to show he has enough left to also be worth a spot now (Browner not being a player you’d think they would keep around to add depth but potentially be inactive each week, as is often the case with the last defensive back on the roster).
KEEP: Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Nolan Frese.
COMMENT: There’s no question about how many roster spots to devote to special teams, or the two kickers. But Frese had a tough night against the Vikings — as Carroll said later “we had a low one and a high one” — and he’ll have to be better going forward to stay on the roster or the Seahawks could explore other options, one of which could be going back to Clint Gresham, the team’s snapper from 2010-15 before being released in March.