Seahawks practice squad primer, from A to (almost) Z

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 09: Quarterback Alex McGough #5 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Indianapolis Colts at CenturyLink Field on August 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 09: Quarterback Alex McGough #5 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Indianapolis Colts at CenturyLink Field on August 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks announced their roster cuts with a few surprises; now the question becomes who do they keep on the practice squad?

Every NFL team cut their rosters from somewhere around 90 players to 53 players. This means there are more than 1,000 players who just hit the unemployment line. For some of these players, this is the end of the line. They will never suit up again.

But, for 320 of them, they will get a longer look by being added to a team’s practice squad. Here are the details about practice squads for your primer before the Seahawks 10 man squad is announced Monday or Tuesday.

When Seahawks can begin signing players

A player must clear waivers before practice squad signings can occur. This means every team has the opportunity to sign a player to their active roster until Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Waiver claims are in order of the current year’s draft, so this year the Cleveland Browns have the first claim.

Teams can begin signing players to their practice squad at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 2 after players have gone through waivers. Generally, teams will begin announcing the players they have added on Monday, Sept. 3 with official announcements Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Each team is allowed to have as many as 10 players on their practice squad. The players on the practice squad get to practice with the full team. This gives them a better chance to make a team in the future, even if it isn’t the Seahawks.

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The NFL has a program trying to increase its international presence by allowing an 11th international player to be assigned by the league to specific teams. For 2018 those teams are from the AFC North and NFC South, so the Seahawks aren’t eligible for that program this season.

Another team can steal a player from a practice squad if they intend to put them on their active 53 man roster. Any player signed from another team’s squad must be placed on his new team’s 53 man roster for three weeks.

Technically, they can be cut as soon as they’re signed, but they’ll still count against the 53 man roster. Even better for the player, they’ll still get three weeks pay at the roster minimum.

Not every player can make the practice squad

Of those 10 players, four can be veterans. In this case a veteran is a player with two or less accrued seasons. A season is considered accrued when a player is on an active roster for at least six games.

Finally, a player cannot be on a practice squad for more than three seasons. All of that means the Seahawks can’t stash a player like defensive end and now former Bengal Michael Johnson away.

Projecting Seahawks lucky 10

Now that we have the basics, my projection for the Seahawks practice squad, if all make it through waivers.

  1. Isaiah Battle – Offensive Tackle.
  2. Amara Darboh – Wide Receiver
  3. Alex McGough – Quarterback
  4. Demore’ea Stringfellow – Wide Receiver
  5. Mike Tyson – Corner/Safety
  6. Jordan Roos – Guard
  7. Akeem King – Cornerback
  8. Keenan Reynolds – Wide Receiver
  9. Cyril Grayson – Wide Receiver
  10. Josh Forrest – Linebacker

I stretched a bit on adding Cyril Grayson and Josh Forrest, but they made the squad last year so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. Seattle will scour other cuts to try to add two or three players who were not on their preseason roster. We’ve got three As in Amara, Alex and Akeem. If the Lions had just cut Anthony Zettel, we could have had our Z.

It is hard to envision keeping four receivers, but Darboh was a third round pick only last year.  Stringfellow had so many people begging to see him on the active roster, I can’t see him missing the practice squad too.  Reynolds is a little Doug Baldwin clone, and Grayson might be the fastest player in the NFL. Pete Carroll doesn’t like to let speed go.

Those are my predictions, destined to be wrong.