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Summary of Seahawks changes to roster since end of 2017 season

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Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are running out of cap space, which means that we are close to seeing a finalized veteran roster before rookies are added in late April. There’s some panic or conjecture about whether or not the Seahawks are “rebuilding” or “tearing down” and so on, because of a few high-profile names leaving. Either way, whether that’s true or not, let’s just summarize what Seattle has done to the roster since the end of last season.

Looking at Ourlads.com’s archive for 1/1/2018, these players were on the roster then but aren’t today:

WR Paul Richardson

OG Luke Joeckel

OG Oday Aboushi

OL Matt Tobin

TE Jimmy Graham

TE Luke Willson

QB Austin Davis

RB Eddie Lacy

RB Thomas Rawls

DE Michael Bennett

DT Sheldon Richardson

LB Terence Garvin

LB Michael Wilhoite

CB Byron Maxwell

CB Richard Sherman

CB Jeremy Lane

CB DeShawn Shead

K Blair Walsh

Big Losses or Starters:

P Richardson, S Richardson, Graham, Joeckel, Sherman, Bennett

Potential Returns:

Maxwell, Rawls, Davis, Garvin, Wilhoite, Aboushi

Additions:

WR Marcus Johnson

WR Jaron Brown (2 years)

OG D.J. Fluker

TE Ed Dickson (3 years)

DT Tom Johnson

LB Barkevious Mingo (2 years)

S Mo Alexander

K Jason Myers

Re-Signed:

RB Mike Davis

SS Bradley McDougald (3 years)

DE/LB Marcus Smith II

Likely returning from injury:

RB Chris Carson

DT Nazair Jones

OT George Fant

FB Tre Madden

Hoping to return from injury:

DE Cliff Avril

SS Kam Chancellor

DT Malik McDowell

RB C.J. Prosise

That should give you an idea of what’s gone out and what’s come in over the last few weeks. There’s no question that there’s more established talent leaving than arriving, but if the Seahawks were to re-sign even one of Graham, Richardson, Sheldon, or keep Sherman, it would have likely prevented them from signing two, three, or four of the players who have come in or been retained, such as McDougald or Dickson; and if they had kept Sheldon for example, then they’d be losing Graham and also not been able to sign a replacement, forcing them to go basement shopping at several key positions. This is perhaps not the ideal, but given the circumstances they were in financially and with these injuries piling up, it may have been the most savvy plan of action.

Dickson won’t catch passes like Graham, but he will block unlike Graham. It seems that Seattle is adding offensive line help, with coach Mike Solari, that will help them run the ball more effectively than they did in 2017, but with Dickson in for protection help on passing plays, still give themselves a chance in those situations where they’ll need tight ends and running backs who are above-average-to-great in that particular area. Keep that in mind for next season, as Rawls, who has not been retained as of yet, really struggles in pass protection. The running backs they do go with — Davis was retained, Carson is likely the top candidate to start — must be able to protect Wilson, as well as run the ball.

Johnson may not be as good as Sheldon, but at less than $3 million, he may not have to be, since they’ll have more financial flexibility to improve at DT or other positions; he’s also not bad and the difference could be negligible for next season, it’s just that Johnson is turning 34 soon.

One of the big questions will be the progress of those on the “hoping to return from injury” list, as that is in-house improvements that cost the Seahawks nothing and could have a massive impact on next season. A healthy McDowell, Prosise, or Cliff could be significant. If Avril is not able to go, then they’ll have another $7 million to save or spend.

This is a summary of the changes, and it is not absolute.