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Potential cut candidates following the Seahawks’ 2019 NFL Draft

NFL: International Series-Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN recently ran an article outlining players who could be cut or traded following the 2019 NFL Draft. The Seattle Seahawks blurb was for Doug Baldwin, whose career is in jeopardy due to his multiple injuries and surgeries over the past year. I really don’t feel like that should count, as a virtually forced retirement makes him not all that different from Cliff Avril or Kam Chancellor.

As for otherwise healthy players on the current Seahawks roster, here’s my own assessment of which notable ones could be on the chopping block over the next several months.

Barkevious Mingo

He seems like an obvious goner. Seattle drafted Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven in the third- and fourth-round respectively. Mingo had the second-most snaps among Seahawks LBs last year, with 517. He also chipped in 373 snaps on special teams. However, cutting him saves the Seahawks $4.1 million in the salary cap, and it’s not as if he was a particularly impactful player as part of the defensive rotation. Barton and Burr-Kirven are cheaper, younger (duh), and Mingo is a 29-year-old veteran who has bounced around the NFL for a reason.

Ethan Pocic

Drafted in the second-round back in 2017, Pocic was a center at LSU but he’s played guard for the Seahawks, and not very well. The only potential save for Pocic would be to move him to center as a possible Justin Britt successor, but Pocic and Britt’s contracts both expire in 2020. Pocic is also Tom Cable’s guy, and has largely been out of favor under Mike Solari. His brief appearances as an injury replacement last season produced far too many moments of self-sabotage for the entire offense.

Seattle added another guard in Phil Haynes out of Wake Forest, adding to a roster that already includes presumptive starters D.J. Fluker and Mike Iupati, as well as the aforementioned Hughes and the promising Jordan Simmons. Pocic wouldn’t be a cap casualty given he’s a small dent in Seattle’s finances, but “not being a part of the team’s long-term plans” better describes his situation.

C.J. Prosise

Yes, I know. He is still on the roster and we’ve discussed his health issues ad nauseum over almost three years now. In the interest of “Always Compete,” there’s still a battle to be had over who will replace Mike Davis as the third-down/#3 running back on the depth chart. The selection of Miami RB Travis Homer in the sixth-round adds some competition for Prosise, J.D. McKissic, and I suppose Bo Scarbrough. Homer has already started rookie minicamp looking to work on his pass-catching skills, but his worthon special teams and as a pass-protector will put him in the good books of Pete Carroll.

It goes without saying that Prosise will have to do everything he can to stay healthy and not be the odd man out, but Carroll values durability so much and Prosise has shown precisely none of that for his entire NFL career.

Nazair Jones

That Jones even managed two seasons in the NFL is a great story in itself. Unfortunately, the sentimental nature of sports can only take you so far. Jones was a healthy scratch seven times in his sophomore season, recording just seven tackles (and one TFL) in his limited playing time. It was just the other day that Jones intercepted Aaron Rodgers for a touchdown in his debut, but the referees decided some garbage post-interception penalties denied him something special.

The coaching staff has already moved Jones from three-technique to five-technique, which reads more like a “last chance” for Naz given he was knocked out of the rotation by the likes of Quinton Jefferson and Poona Ford. I want Naz to succeed, and perhaps because of Seattle’s lack of depth at defensive end, he may see this season through. If Seattle does sign Ziggy Ansah and looks for more DEs on the cheap throughout this offseason, then it very much looks like Naz is on the bubble.

Jaron Brown

Wide receiver is a bit tricky with Baldwin’s potential retirement. The presumed locks on the roster would be Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and Gary Jennings Jr (unless he totally shits the bed and is another Chris Harper). From there, it’ll be a super competitive race to get the 4th (and presumably 5th) spots. Brown did have five touchdowns in 2018, but he also had just 19 targets, his fewest since his rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals back in 2013. David Moore, seventh-round pick John Ursua, Keenan Reynolds, and Malik Turner would also be in the mix. Cutting Brown would save $2.75 million, and really his biggest asset at this point is his blocking. The other saving grace for him is that if Baldwin does retire, Brown becomes the most experienced WR on the Seahawks.

I also want to note that while Seattle didn’t take a TE this year, they did trade for former Patriots TE Jacob Hollister recently. The most expensive TE Seattle has right now is Ed Dickson, who is in his 30s and missed several games to injury last season. Will Dissly is coming off a serious knee injury, Nick Vannett is in his contract year, and Tyrone Swoopes and Hollister appear to just be depth for the time being. That said, cutting Dickson after June 1st saves $3.55 million off the cap, so he screams “cap casualty” to me.