Later today, the Seahawks will have to cut their roster down to the 53 players. The final decision will be especially difficult this year, because so many late-round and undrafted rookies have performed so well through the preseason and training camp.
Although the Seahawks will cut some talented players, too much depth is a good problem to have.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see several cut players to find homes in other cities around the NFL; the Seahawks just don’t have the roster space to retain everyone.
The cuts will probably be announced tomorrow evening. Until then, here are my predictions with analysis for what I think the 53-man roster will look like:
Analysis: Mike Teel beats out Jeff Rowe and makes the team as the third quarterback.
Running Back (3):
Analysis: Not a big surprise here; Devin Moore showed good skills during the preseason but isn’t good enough to displace the top three yet. If Moore clears waivers, he finds a spot on Seattle’s practice squad.
Analysis: Another position with no surprises.
Wide Receiver (6):
Analysis: The Seahawks decide to keep six receivers in an effort to retain Taylor and Obomanu, both ineligible for the practice squad. Jordan Kent is place on injured reserve.
Tight End (3):
Analysis: Joe Newton beats out Cameron Morrah for the third spot; Newton proved himself to be a more competent blocker and complete tight end than rookie Morrah. Morrah should land on the practice squad.
Offensive Line (9):
Analysis: The team decides to leave Walter Jones on the roster, as opposed to placing him on injured reserve. No other big surprises here.
Defensive End (5):
Analysis: Nick Reed makes the team after a stellar preseason; Baraka Atkins is the odd man out. Atkins is a capable player, but the numbers were against him on the defensive line. The Seahawks opt to go with younger players who are versatile and show a knack for the big play. If Derek Walker isn’t claimed by another team, he makes the practice squad.
Defensive Tackle (5):
Analysis: Michael Bennett is the surprise here, earning a roster spot because of his versatility and ability to make plays. Bennett has the size to play inside and the speed to play outside, and will be a valuable asset to the defensive line rotation.
Analysis: The team opts to keep seven linebackers, retaining veteran Lance Laury. Laury is a great asset on special teams; Hawthorne, Herring, and Lewis all possess invaluable versatility and provide solid depth after the starting three.
Analysis: Surprisingly, the team opts to retain only three cornerbacks. None of the other players proved worthy of a roster spot, and the team bets on Marcus Trufant’s return after week six. Jordan Babineaux’s versatility and ability to play cornerback gives the team flexibility. It is possible a trade is worked out to obtain addition depth here, or the Seahawks find help on the waiver wire.
Analysis: Jordan Babineaux’s ability to play every position in the secondary allows the team to keep only three cornerbacks. C.J. Wallace gets the nod over Jamar Adams and rookie Courtney Greene because of his ability to contribute on special teams. Adams and Greene should remain in Seattle on the practice squad.
Analysis: The Seahawks decide to go with Mare, who won the job because of his power on kickoffs. After last season, the team is comfortable with Mare handling kicking duties. Ryan had an outstanding preseason, and Houser appears set at long snapper. The Seahawks would love to retain Brandon Coutu for the future, but it is likely another team claims him once he is waived.
Injured Reserve (2):
Analysis: The team is able to retain Jordan Kent, who is ineligible for the practice squad, by placing him on injured reserve. Fortunately, this short list does not include Walter Jones.
Physically Unable to Perform (1):
Analysis: The team is desperate for help at cornerback, but will have to wait until week six for Trufant’s return.