We’ve reached the midway point of the preseason, and although the Seattle Seahawks still have nearly two weeks until cut down day (Sat. Aug. 31 at 1:00 p.m. PT), we’re still getting a clearer picture at who will be on the 53-man roster.
Below is an initial projection for the names who will be on that list, including analysis for which players on the bubble are still in the mix. It’s important to note that Seattle is likely to tweak its roster immediately depending on who else gets cut from around the NFL. End-of-preseason trades are also fairly common.
Away we go…
Russell Wilson and Geno Smith
Analysis: I was already of the belief that even though Paxton Lynch had closed the gap, the backup job remained Smith’s to lose. Then Lynch struggled against the Vikings (6-of-15 passing for 67 yards), and left the game after taking a brutal hit to the head from Minnesota corner Holton Hill. Now Lynch is in the concussion protocol, and there’s no telling when he’ll be cleared to play again. Smith, who didn’t play on Sunday after having a cyst removed from his knee, still came out of the game a “winner.” He should be a full participant when Seattle returns to practice on Wednesday, and he’ll have the chance to secure the job next Saturday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Running back (5)
Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, J.D. McKissic and Nick Bellore
Analysis: My gut says that the Seahawks go with Homer over Prosise and keep McKissic because he offers a unique skill set to the group. Pete Carroll has always kept a fullback on the roster, and until that changes, I see no reason to assume Bellore’s roster spot isn’t safe. Regardless, unless Carson or Penny get hurt, I don’t envision anyone else having a sizeable role in 2019.
Wide receiver (6)
Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore, Gary Jennings, Jaron Brown and Jazz Ferguson
Analysis: There’s still a chance that John Ursua unseats Brown or Ferguson. He’s probably the only name outside of the six listed above that has a realistic shot at a roster spot. Metcalf is having knee surgery on Tuesday, but Carroll is optimistic that the rookie can make it back in time for the regular season opener on Sept. 8. He’ll occupy a spot on the active roster regardless unless there’s an unforeseen setback that puts Metcalf on IR to begin the season.
Tight end (3)
Nick Vannett, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister
Analysis: This one is pretty straight forward. Ed Dickson (knee) won’t be ready for the start of the regular season, and Seattle may opt to part ways with the veteran anyway.
Offensive line (9)
Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jamarco Jones, Ethan Pocic and Joey Hunt.
Analysis: The first eight names here should be locks for the roster. If Seattle views Pocic as their backup center, Hunt could be cut in favor of keeping an extra player at a different position. Phil Haynes (undisclosed injury) is the wildcard. The Seahawks 2019 fourth-round pick is yet to practice and appears destined to remain on the Physically Unable to Perform List when the regular season begins.
Defensive Line (8)
Cassius Marsh, Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods, Ezekiel Ansah, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Poona Ford and Jacob Martin
Analysis: Jarran Reed will move to the suspended list on cut day, vacating his spot on the active roster for the first six weeks of the season. It wouldn’t surprise me if Earl Mitchell and Barkevious Mingo ended up on the team. But Mitchell is behind Woods and Ford at nose tackle on base downs. He may also be trailing undrafted rookie Bryan Mone as well. Mingo appears to be behind Marsh and Martin on the edge. If Ansah is ready for Week 1, Mingo becomes even more expendable. Someone like Bellore could assume Mingo’s special teams workload. The big question here is whether or not Collier will be on the active roster as the season opens or become one of Seattle’s IR designated to return players.
Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Cody Barton, Austin Calitro and Shaquem Griffin
Analysis: The first five names here are givens. The only real unknown is whether or not Griffin can stave off rookie fifth-round pick Ben Burr-Kirven.
Shaquill Griffin, Tedric Thompson, Bradley McDougald, Tre Flowers, Neiko Thorpe, Ugo Amadi, Akeem King, Marquise Blair, Lano Hill, DeShawn Shead and Jamar Taylor
Analysis: I kept an extra defensive back simply because I had no idea who to cut. There’s so much depth here, particularly at safety, which means Seattle is going to face several difficult decisions. I ultimately picked Taylor over Kalan Reed and Shead/Hill over Shalom Luani.
Jason Myers, Michael Dickson and Tyler Ott
Analysis: Nothing to see here.