As the Seahawks reconvene today in full for the first time since the Super Bowl to begin their off-season conditioning program, it’s a good time to break down the team’s current roster.
As of Monday morning, Seattle has 70 players on its roster (actually, the linked roster has only 69 as I type this because the team has yet to add Sidney Rice, who signed last week and gives the team 70 players).
Teams can have as many as 90 players on their roster for training camp. Seattle has seven draft picks — a number that could change if trades are made, but that’s what it is for now — so that would take it to 77. The rest would be filled out either with other veteran free agents still available, or with undrafted free agents following the draft.
Here’s a breakdown, by position, of the players on Seattle’s roster (number in parentheses is total players at that position right now):
Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, B.J. Daniels.
Comment: No real drama here — same three that ended last season start this year on Seattle’s roster, and it’ll be no surprise if this is the depth chart for the 2014 season.
RUNNING BACK (5)
Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman, Spencer Ware.
Comment: All were with the team at the end of last season and there’s a good chance this remains the roster at this spot when the 2014 season begins. Michael Robinson remains unsigned, and right now the best bet is he won’t be back with the Seahawks in 2014. The most intriguing thing here is seeing Turbin and Michael battle for the backup TB spot behind Lynch. Coleman and Ware seem set as the fullback combo, each also with the ability to play TB.
TIGHT END (5)
Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Anthony McCoy, Travis Beckum, Cooper Helfet.
Comment: Miller and Willson seem locks to make the roster, leaving the rest to likely fight for one spot. Will be no surprise if Seattle drafts a tight end, or maybe adds Jermichael Finley if he gets healthy.
Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Sidney Rice, Ricardo Lockette, Phil Bates, Bryan Walters, Arceto Clark, Taylor Price, Chris Matthews.
Comment: Another spot where Seattle seems likely to take someone in the draft. Harvin and Baldwin are locks, and Kearse probably is, as well. Rice also a good bet to make it if he’s healthy. Lockette, recall, was a key special teamer down the stretch. So that won’t make it easy for the rest to find a spot on the team. Matthews, the former CFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, is an intriguing newcomer.
OFFENSIVE LINE (11)
Max Unger, Russell Okung, James Carpenter, J.R. Sweezy, Alvin Bailey, Michael Bowie, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Caylin Hauptmann, Jared Smith, Stephen Schilling, Greg Van Roten.
Comment: First eight listed are returners from a year ago, all of whom may be hard to beat out of a spot on the roster — teams usually keep nine or 10. But everyone expects Seattle to add an OL or two in the draft. So there could be some pretty competitive battles here during camp. Don’t sleep on Hautpmann, whom the team kept on its active roster all season after picking him up in September. Unger (C), Okung (LT), Carpenter (LG) and Sweezy (RG) could all start at those same spots this year, leaving the RT position as the one real battle with Bowie and Bailey the most likely combatants.
DEFENSIVE LINE (13)
Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel, Brandon Mebane, Bruce Irvin, Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams, Greg Scruggs, Benson Mayowa, Kenneth Boatright, Michael Brooks, Dewayne Cherrington, D’Anthony Smith.
Comment: Seahawks are listing Irvin solely as a defensive end on their roster, so will we, too, though he again figures to bounce back-and-forth from the LEO spot to linebacker. Seahawks had nine true DLs on their roster at the end of the season, along with hybrid DE/OLB types Irvin and O’Brien Schofield, who remains unsigned. Avril, Bennett, McDaniel, Mebane, Irvin, Hill, Williams and Scruggs all seem like virtual locks to make the roster, assuming health isn’t an issue (namely, Williams). It’ll be little surprise if Seattle adds a DL or two in the draft, as well.
Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith, Heath Farwell, Mike Morgan, Korey Toomer, Mike Taylor.
Comment: As noted above, Seattle right now is listing Irvin solely as a DE — he was listed as an LB/DE last year. Seattle kept five true LBs on its roster throughout the 2013 season, along with hybrids Irvin and Schofield. All five return — Wagner, Wright, Smith, Farwell and Morgan. Wagner, Wright and Smith are locks this year. Taylor, a former standout at Wisconsin, is an intriguing newcomer. Team will want to take a long look at Toomer this year if he is healthy — he missed all of last season due to a hip injury.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (12)
Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead, Jeron Johnson, Tharold Simon, Akeem Auguste, Chandler Fenner, Philip Adams, Terrance Parks.
Comment: Seattle ended last season with eight DBs on its active roster — four true corners, three true safeties, and Shead, listed at both spots. Right now, the first eight listed there would be the favorites to win the roster spots this season, with the first five — Sherman, Maxwell, Thomas, Chancellor, Lane — locks. The big question of the moment is who backs up Thomas — he’s the only player listed as a free safety on the Seattle roster. The Seahawks may look to get that done in the draft, and maybe with WSU’s Deone Bucannon, reported by several to be visiting the Seahawks today.
LONG SNAPPERS (2)
Clint Gresham, Jorgen Hus.
Comment: Greshman has held the job since 2010 and will be hard to beat out. Hus, a Canadian collegiate star, was in camp last year with the Rams.
Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan.
Comment: Hauschka is back as the kicker and Ryan the punter. We’ll see if the Seahawks bother bringing in competition at either spot for camp.