Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Upcoming Seahawks Personnel Decisions Nobody Is Talking About

Week six of the NFL season means players currently on the Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) are eligible to be added to the active roster. Teams will need to decide whether to add the players, place them on injured reserve or release them. Seattle has three players on their PUP list: WR Deon Butler, CB Roy Lewis, and TE Cameron Morrah.

All three played significant roles in the Seahawks 2010 season. Their roles in 2011 and beyond are less certain. Butler would appear to be the clearest cut situation. At 5'10" 182 lbs, Butler is almost a carbon copy of Doug Baldwin, and played largely the same role. It's possible that the team thinks it can stow rookie Kris Durham on the practice squad, but that's highly unlikely because they like him and other teams would probably sign him to their roster. Golden Tate is the only guy who could conceivably be cut in favor of Butler. They are of similar size, but are different players. Most general managers would value diversity of talent on their roster over redundancy. In this case, it would be a surprise if the team would rather have a back-up to Baldwin that will only play if he is injured versus a player like Tate that provides value, albeit minor value, even when Baldwin is healthy. Tate is also a 2nd round pick from this front office who has yet to play two full seasons, and has been showing improvement this season. Expect Butler, who is recovering from a grisly leg injury, to be released and given an injury settlement.

Cameron Morrah is a tough one. The team currently has two tight ends on the roster, and Zach Miller is fighting an injury. Morrah is a unique player at tight end who can run like a receiver. He made more of an impact in the passing game last season than John Carlson. He also is a mediocre blocker. Assuming he is healthy enough to play, the question would be whose roster spot would he take? Jameson Konz is heading to the injured reserve, so that opens up one spot. Another possibility is the team moves on from Morrah. If they do, don't be surprised if Dominque Byrd gets a call back to the team. Byrd and Morrah are similar players. This decision is not something to lose sleep over, but could have an impact on the way this season plays out.

Roy Lewis is a stud. Great guy. Great player. He has been recovering from a knee injury, but keep your fingers crossed he is all healed up because he is an impact player at slot cornerback and on special teams. Lewis was a special teams captain for part of last year, and one of the heaviest hitters on defense. He'll have a hard time breaking the rotation given how well Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner are playing. If Marcus Trufant is hurt for an extended period of time, Thurmond could slide outside and allow Lewis to take over nickel duties. As far as the roster spot he'd inherit, Kennard Cox may want to start looking over his shoulder. Cox is a great special teams player who has already made plays this year, but will never see the field as a corner. Cox becomes less important when Malcolm Smith and Byron Maxwell return to the field after the bye, and Richard Sherman has been a great gunner as well.

The Lewis addition could be significant if he is healthy. Morrah and/or Byrd would also be players fans would feel the impact of. It is nice to be looking at how the team can get healthier in the face of a laundry list of injuries the past few weeks.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

As far as I know teams do not have to remove players from PUP after week 6, they can do it any time until a certain time later in the season, after which the players that still remain in PUP list are transferred to IR. If my remember serves me correctly, that's week 10, but that is a BIG IF!