By Saturday at 1 PM PST, the Seahawks and all 32 teams must have trimmed their roster down to 53 players from 80. With cut down day on the horizon, let’s take one last shot at a 53-man roster projection, ahead of Saturday’s deadline.
QB: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
The backup quarterback competition between Smith and Anthony Gordon was likely settled before it started, such is the unfortunate circumstances Gordon (and all rookie quarterbacks) faced ahead of their first season. Smith is capable pair of hands behind Wilson, while Gordon can continue to develop on the team’s practice squad.
(It’s possible Seattle cuts Smith and re-signs after the weekend as they did last year but it may not be necessary, with not as much roster juggling to do this year.)
Cut: Anthony Gordon, Danny Etling
RB: Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, Nick Bellore
Another spot that’s easy to sort through, with Rashaad Penny starting the regular season on the PUP list. Bellore could be cut or cut and re-signed, depending on how many roster spots the Seahawks need but for this projection, he’s able to be carried through.
WR: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Phillip Dorsett, Paul Richardson, David Moore, John Ursua
Behind Lockett and Metcalf, Dorsett seems locked in after getting healthy. Having returned to Seattle on a friendly deal, Richardson sticks around as a reliable option with existing chemistry with Wilson. Ursua has drawn praise again this August and hasn’t been challenged enough by Freddie Swain or Penny Hart to come under threat.
Moore is arguably the team’s third-best wide receiver, certainly the second-best contested-catch receiver on the team, and provides another option in the return game. His total value makes a modest $2.133 million cap hit more than palatable. With Josh Gordon’s return looming, however, Moore could find a new home over the weekend.
Cut: Freddie Swain, Penny Hart, Cody Thompson, Aaron Fuller, Lance Lenoir
TE: Will Dissly, Greg Olsen, Colby Parkinson
Pete Carroll previously expressed confidence in Parkinson coming off the NFI list before camp ended. Though that timeline was too optimistic, he should be close enough to warrant a spot on the 53, instead of missing the first eight games before becoming eligible to come off the NFI list.
Both Hollister and Willson are part of the cuts here, with the intention of re-signing Hollister at a much cheaper rate than his $3.259 million cap hit. Should a team claim Hollister at that cost (unlikely), then Willson is a fine plan B. (Another scenario could see Willson make a mid-season return if injuries arose at the position.)
Cut: Jacob Hollister, Luke Willson, Tyler Mabry, Stephen Sullivan
OT: Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jamarco Jones, Chad Wheeler
Due to restricted information this year, we don’t know how severe the shoulder injury Ogbuehi suffered during Sunday’s mock game is. It could be bad enough to land him on injured reserve. For this exercise, he sticks on the 53 (possibly to go on I.R. after cuts to enable a mid-season return).
Though Jones may not be the primary backup at either tackle spot, his tackle-guard versatility makes him worth keeping.
Cut: Tommy Champion
iOL: Mike Iupati, Phil Haynes, Ethan Pocic, B.J. Finney, Damien Lewis
The Seahawks could be forced to get creative along the offensive line if Justin Britt returns in the next week or so but for now, it shakes out logically. Jordan Simmons, who shined in three starts in 2018, has enjoyed a healthy and strong camp—but just can’t be counted on enough to use a roster spot on. If Britt is re-signed after the weekend, Wheeler would likely be the odd man out.
Cut: Kyle Fuller, Jordan Simmons
EDGE: Rasheem Green, L.J. Collier, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Damontre Moore
Seattle’s ends are obvious to project, with Green and Collier as 5-techs and Mayowa and Robinson as LEOs. The missing name, Darrell Taylor, is projected to start the season on the NFI list after not even coming close to practicing during training camp.
DT: Jarran Reed, Poona Ford, Bryan Mone, Demarcus Christmas
Similar to EDGE, the defensive tackle group is easy to work out with Reed and Christmas at 3-tech and Ford and Mone at 1-tech. A frighteningly shallow position group, it’s a surprise the Seahawks haven’t added a veteran here yet but could still ahead of Week 1.
Cut: P.J. Johnson, Cedrick Lattimore
LB: K.J. Wright, Jordyn Brooks, Bobby Wagner, Cody Barton, Bruce Irvin, Shaquem Griffin
Just like the players aligned in front of them, linebacker is set: Wright and Brooks at WILL, Wagner and Barton at MIKE, and Irvin and Griffin at SAM. This leaves no room for former Husky Ben Burr-Kirven, who should land on the practice squad without issue.
Cut: Ben Burr-Kirven
CB: Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Quinton Dunbar, Ugo Amadi, D.J. Reed
Beyond Griffin, Flowers, Dunbar, and Amadi, Seattle will have to do a little maneuvering here. After poaching Reed off waivers from a 49ers team attempting to get him onto their injured reserve, the Seahawks would risk essentially giving him back if they attempted the same. Instead, Reed sticks on the 53 through the weekend, goes on I.R., and vacates a roster spot for Thorpe’s celebrated return.
Cut: Neiko Thorpe, Ryan Neal, Gavin Heslop, Debione Renfro, Linden Stephens, Jayson Stanley
S: Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Marquise Blair, Lano Hill
The combination of no preseason action and a vote of confidence from Carroll is enough to give Hill the edge over Chris Miller, a rangy, hard-hitting UDFA, here. There is a chance both stick because of Blair’s increased role at nickel, however.
Cut: Chris Miller
Specialists: Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
‘Til next year.