The Seahawks’ recent moves seem to be about something. But it is hard to figure out what. Tom Johnson being released is strange.
So, I have no idea what the Seahawks are doing in personnel moves lately. I could take a guess that they are really giving up on 2018. Or that so many early season injuries have created desperate roster moves. But the release of Tom Johnson is an odd one.
Seattle needed to make room on the roster for…something. So it made sense to release a starter along the banged-up defensive line? In week one Johnson played 39 snaps. That is a bit less than half the snaps Seattle’s defense was on the field. Why did Johnson play so many? Because seemingly like every other position group on the Seahawks, defensive tackle was decimated by injury.
Johnson’s salary was guaranteed the moment he was on the active roster against the Denver Broncos. Keeping or releasing Johnson cost Seattle around $2 million either way. So releasing Johnson did not save Seattle money, it only frees up a roster spot. General manager John Schneider must have a plan, right?
And Johnson is a good player. He wasn’t signed this offseason simply to fill the roster. According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson was the 37th highest graded defensive tackle in week one. This was in the top half of the NFL and the highest grade for all Seahawks defensive tackles.
Seattle losing Johnson means the team is worse. Even if the team gets Nazair Jones and Poona Ford back for Monday’s game, the team has less talent. The Seahawks are hoping that Johnson is available to re-sign after Monday’s game. Of course, another team could sign him first. And Johnson is worth signing.
Really, the most concerning aspect of Johnson’s release is that Seattle had to choose a player of Johnson’s ability and position to give away. Seattle is so thin at other groups that the team could not afford to give up a receiver or linebacker or the offensive line. It might be a long year in Seattle.