The Seattle Seahawks have 90 players on the roster and must get to 53 following their final preseason game next Thursday against the Oakland Raiders. That math leaves 37 players who must get cut. The reality is that Pete Carroll will likely cut even more than 37 players, leaving open a spot or three for players that they trade for, sign, or pick up on waivers after other teams have made their own decisions, but this is what we have to go on.
Despite many saying that the Seahawks are not as talented as they once were — and maybe that is true — making these cuts was extremely difficult. “Extremely? Really?” No, that’s a little bit of a stretch. I did make the cuts and I didn’t break a sweat doing it, but I’ll say that I found myself wanting to keep nearly as many players this year as I have in past years, perhaps because Seattle is more full of “potential” guys now than they have been over the last few seasons. The following — like the intro — is basically a stream of consciousness to get to 53.
Which eventually, I do.
Theoretical first round of cuts:
C Marcus Henry, C Skyler Phillips, RT Willie Beavers, TE Kyle Carter, TE Clayton Wilson, WR Marvin Bracy, WR Malik Turner, WR Cyril Grayson, WR Tanner McEvoy, WR Caleb Scott, RB Gerald Holmes, RB Justin Stockton, DT Ricky Ali’Ifua, DT Joey Ivie, LB Josh Forrest, LB Jason Hall, LB Emmanuel Beal, CB Elijah Battle, CB Jeremy Boykins, S Lorenzo Jerome, S T.J. Mutcherson, S Mike Tyson
Total Cuts: 22
So if the Seahawks moved on from these 22 guys, and I doubt I’ll hear much argument against any of them (but nature of this beast is that I’m absolutely positive I’ll hear some argument about one or two of them...), they’d still have 15 more to go. And I certainly have a few more names that I think can easily be parted with, but getting to 15 will be difficult.
Next let’s move on from Austin Davis, solidifying the backup QB position for now ... though I do still think there’s a chance both players get cut for a different option.
Let’s say goodbye to tackle Isaiah Battle. That leaves nine offensive linemen for now.
Let’s assume the best for Ed Dickson and cut Tyrone Swoopes.
Simplify the receiver position even more and part ways with Damore’ea Stringfellow and Keenan Reynolds, and trust me, I don’t want to see Reynolds go but I think this would the time for it and there’s still other receivers who will be cut.
Release linebackers Jacob Pugh and D.J. Alexander.
Cut cornerback Trovon Reed.
That’s eight more gone, seven more to go.
There’s one too many running backs and I’m sorry if it’s any controversial, but Mike Davis seems to have the least potential among them; if J.D. McKissic lands on PUP or IR though, then enough room to keep Davis. Either way, six to go.
Same goes for Jamarco Jones, whose trip to IR would put them at eight offensive linemen. However, looking at it now, they’re light on tackles and heavy on guards, so let’s bring back Beavers and see if Jordan Roos makes it to the practice squad. Five to go.
I see a linebacker competition boiling down now between Austin Calitro and Erik Walden, though their values and contributions seem to be completely different. I just think Walden makes this team now, so I’m going to try to get Calitro to the practice squad. Four left.
I’m going to cut Byron Maxwell and Akeem King, as controversial as that may be. Two to go.
I thought I’d need to cut a safety but looking at it now, there are four safeties left on the roster. If Earl Thomas returns, one of them needs to go and I think for me that guy would be Mo Alexander. Give Delano Hill one more chance. One to go.
I have seven receivers left, so it appears I could be going with six receivers, which Carroll has done before. I wonder how unhappy they really are with Amara Darboh, not just because of the fact that we haven’t gotten to see him for most of this lead-up to the season, but in what they’ve been able to evaluate him on over the last 18 months or so when he is practicing. I think there’s a really good chance that they keep him over Marcus Johnson, but I also don’t think Darboh’s draft status is good enough to save him on just that fact alone. I don’t think Johnson has much potential all as a receiver, but I do think Seattle is still keeping five solid receivers already and did I cut too many special teams oriented players? Maybe not the popular decision, but I’m going to keep Darboh. Let’s see what 53 we’re left with and if it sits well.
QB - Russell Wilson, Alex McGough (or veteran signing)
RB - Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise, J.D. McKissic (unless PUP, then Mike Davis), Tre Madden
WR - Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Brandon Marshall, Jaron Brown, David Moore, Amara Darboh
TE - Nick Vannett, Will Dissly, Ed Dickson
OL - Duane Brown, Ethan Pocic, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Willie Beavers, Rees Odhiambo, Joey Hunt, J.R. Sweezy (hmmm, maybe Roos?)
DE - Frank Clark, Rasheem Green, Dion Jordan, Branden Jackson, Quinton Jefferson
DT - Jarran Reed, Nazair Jones, Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen, Poona Ford
LB - Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Martin, Erik Walden, Shaquem Griffin
CB - Shaquill Griffin, Justin Coleman, Dontae Johnson, Tre Flowers, Neiko Thorpe
S - Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Delano Hill, probably Earl Thomas (or Mo Alexander if Thomas doesn’t report)
ST - Sebastian Janikowski, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
Whoops! Looks like I made a mistake somewhere and I need to cut one more player. The first thought is Darboh because six receivers is already a lot, but I think five backup offensive linemen is also a lot. I think if Odhiambo can be trusted to be the number two backup tackle after Fant, then it’s enough for them to cut Beavers at this point. I was wondering if Roos would be a better option than Sweezy as a backup because “upside” but I don’t know that Pocic or Fluker can be trusted all season and it would be nice to have a more assured option as a replacement.
I’m gonna cut Beavers to get to 53.
The other thing I want to do is bring back Maxwell over Johnson, I’m just concerned about the injuries already being amassed by Byron — though it was Johnson who missed the first half or so of training camp.
(Post-publication edit: I’ve just now seen that Emmanuel Beal got seven special teams snaps on Friday, the most of any player besides Janikowski, Dickson, or Ott. Is that an indication that Beal is a Carroll favorite on coverage? It feels like it and I was already concerned that I had not done enough for special teams. But who do you cut? Darboh? And leave seven linebackers? I think that’s too many linebackers. Do you cut Walden? Griffin? I’m not going to cut Griffin and have this place be a shitshow. It’s a tough decision so instead for now, I’m going to leave it as is and acknowledge that Beal is a sleeper for the 53.)
Let’s stick with this. Now tell me why I’m terrible.