Monday the Seattle Seahawks brought wide receiver Jaron Brown back to the roster after having made a surprise move on Saturday to release him. However, once TE Ed Dickson was placed on IR Monday with a knee injury, the team had the space on the roster to fit Brown back in, though the wide receiver room is now extremely crowded.
While I won’t take full credit for predicting the Hawks would carry seven wide receivers through at final cuts, if you think I’m not going to take a victory lap on this, you’re out of your mind. With the return of Brown, the Seahawks now have - AS I SO BOLDLY PREDICTED ON JULY 26, 2019 - seven wide receivers on the roster. Specifically, the seven wideouts on the roster are:
- Tyler Lockett,
- Jaron Brown,
- David Moore,
- Malik Turner,
- DK Metcalf,
- Gary Jennings and
- John Ursua.
This is not the first time the Hawks have carried seven receivers to open the season, as they did the same in 2014. And, just as in 2014, it’s extremely unlikely that they’ll carry all seven for an extended period of time. In particular, while Lockett is the unquestioned leader of the group, behind him Brown and Moore have flashed at times and disappeared at times, and then it’s four complete unknowns in Turner, Metcalf, Jennings and Ursua.
So, what this means for those seven receivers, or at least for the four of those receivers who play on the outside, they’ve got six weeks to prove they belong. They’ve got six weeks to show that they are one of the top three in that group of four because come Week 7 the team is going to be looking for roster spots. Jarran Reed will be coming back from suspension and Phil Haynes will be eligible to come of the PUP list at that time. That means that the next six weeks are effectively an extended preseason for the outside receivers, as over the next six games the Seahawks are going to find out who can contribute this season and who can’t.
And whoever can’t contribute is likely going to find themselves out of a job. Well, maybe. We know Metcalf isn’t about to get released because of his draft status, but if he can’t produce more than the other receivers, he’s nearly certain to find his way to the bottom of the depth chart in anticipation of a full offseason of work. The others, however, may not want to be so sure of their continued employment. Turner was on and off the practice squad and 53 man roster in 2018, and that could happen again. Jennings had a rough preseason, and if the next six weeks look like the last six weeks, he could find himself surfing the waiver wire. Brown was around last year when the Hawks released Brandon Marshall in spite of the fact that he is in the top 20 in receiving yards by a wide receiver in NFL history, so he needs no explanation of the uncertainty regarding his position.
In any case, it’s a horse race among the outside receivers to show what they can do and who can contribute to the team in a meaningful way in 2019. Those who can, will stick around.