Fullback Michael Robinson #26 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes for a touchdown in the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field on December 30, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Rams 20-13. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
Now that the preseason games are finally in the rear-view mirror and final cutdowns have to be in by 3 p.m. Saturday, it's time to take a shot at projecting the final 53-man roster.
All of these moves reflect players on the Seahawks current roster. It doesn't take into account any players that would be claimed off waivers from other teams after the initial cut to 53 players.
Here's my projection as the preseason comes to a close.
Quarterbacks (2): Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
Russell Wilson is the unquestioned starter and Tarvaris Jackson has looked really strong throughout the preseason. The Seahawks could keep all three quarterbacks financially but the extra roster spot will likely be needed elsewhere.
Running Backs (4): Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman
One of the most difficult cuts made comes at the hands of Michael Robinson. The veteran fullback has been sidelined due to injury at times during training camp and is dealing with an viral illness that Pete Carroll indicated could keep him out for a couple weeks still. With the illness likely forcing him to miss the start of the season and a $2.5 million contract that would become guaranteed if he's on the roster for Week 1, I just don't believe at this moment it makes sense to keep him. I don't foresee Seattle keeping two fullbacks and if Robinson can't play, it puts Seattle in a bind.
Seattle could always elect to re-sign Robinson after a week or two if he's still available to a lesser contract that is non-guaranteed or Robinson could agree to a pay cut to make it easier to keep him. However, the number of injuries along the defensive line make keeping a fifth running back difficult as well. Seattle can use Zach Miller or Sean McGrath in H-back type roles as well in addition to Coleman.
Tight Ends (3): Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Sean McGrath
One of the clearer position groups on the roster now that Miller is healthy. Cooper Helfet has played well and may have earned a job elsewhere. Both Helfet and Darren Fells are practice squad candidates if unclaimed off waivers.
Wide Receivers (5): Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Stephen Williams
It didn't appear that Williams' concussion was too serious in the immediate aftermath of the game. Chris Harper had two big opportunities to show he deserved a roster spot and dropped both, including a would-be 40-yard touchdown. He's a likely practice squad candidate if another team doesn't pick him up.
Offensive Line (9): Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy, Breno Giacomini, James Carpenter, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Alvin Bailey, Mike Person
Michael Bowie had his right arm in a sling after the game and Carroll indicated his shoulder injury may be more serious than they hope it would be. With that being the case, I've placed Bowie on injured reserve.
Bailey can play both tackle and guard and likely wouldn't make it through waivers if released. Person can play both tackle spots and has been used as an extra tight end in the team's jumbo packages.
Defensive Line (11): Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel, Jordan Hill, Clinton McDonald, Mike Morgan, Benson Mayowa, Jaye Howard, Chris Clemons
I decided to keep Clemons on the active roster as Carroll's recent encouraging comments seem to indicate he will be able to play prior to Week 6. The team will be forced to keep extra bodies along the defensive line due to several players dealing with injuries that could affect their availability for Week 1.
Linebackers (6): K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, O'Brien Schofield, Heath Farwell, Allen Bradford
Farwell didn't play in the preseason finale against the Raiders. That indicates he's either completely safe or completely not safe. I'm guessing it's the former as Farwell is a core special teams player and great for the scout team as he can play all three linebacker positions.
Schofield has been a terrific find off waivers from Arizona and should play significantly. Bradford has done everything the team has asked after being switched from running back two seasons ago and seems to have earned a spot on the roster.
Cornerbacks (6): Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Antoine Winfield, Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane
Winfield also did not play Thursday night but his roster spot appears safe. Probably one of the position groups with the least drama. Ron Parker can play as well and will likely find a job elsewhere.
Safeties (4): Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos
DeShwan Shead is a versatile option that can play both corner and safety but he becomes a victim of a deep roster with just not enough roster spots. Shead is a likely practice squad guy if he claim waivers. At this point, he just doesn't appear to be a better fit that Johnson or Maragos as a reserve.
Special Teams (3): Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham
This group is locked in stone. Hauschka booted three field goals of 50-plus yards as part of a 5 for 5 night. Gresham has a new contract extension that eased some salary cap concerns.
Suspended (1): LB Bruce Irvin
Suspended players do not count against the 53-man roster limit. Irvin will miss the first four games of the season.
Reserve PUP/NFI (4): WR Percy Harvin, CB Tharold Simon, LB Korey Toomer, DT Greg Scruggs
All four are officially out until after Week 6. Scruggs will likely miss the entire season due to a torn ACL. Simon may be closest to returning. Harvin will likely miss at least two months.
Injured Reserve (5): CB Chandler Fenner, DE Kenneth Boatright, TE Anthony McCoy, DT Jesse Williams, T Michael Bowie
Fenner, Boatright, McCoy and Williams are already on the team's injured reserve list.
Practice Squad (8): RB Spencer Ware, TE Darren Fells, WR Chris Harper, G Rishaw Johnson, DT Michael Brooks, DE Ty Powell, LB John Lotulelei, S DeShawn Shead
Players have to clear waivers before they can be placed on the practice squad. It will be difficult for the Seahawks to get guys they'd like to keep through to the practice squad, but these are some guys they'd likely try and keep around if possible.