The position battles are settling in two days before the team's first pre-season match-up. It is a good time to think about the roster end game. Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune does a nice job of tracking how the roster numbers shake out every year. I have used his research to fill out the table below, and add my projections.
At this point, I am projecting the Seahawks keep one more offensive players than last season, and one fewer defensive players. Let's break it down a little further.
|The number of players kept at each position|
Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael and Robert Turbin are locks. It is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine the team cutting Spencer Ware, and it is almost certain either Michael Robinson or Derrick Coleman will make the team as a fullback. Ware is just getting some reps now at fullback, so unless that accelerates greatly, they will want someone with more FB experience on the roster. This could drop back to four, but I'm projecting five for the time being.
Even with Percy Harvin starting the year on PUP, it is hard to see a path to less than six receivers on the roster. Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Jermaine Kearse are locks. Stephen Williams is a strong contender, and then there are guys like Phil Bates, Bryan Walters, Chris Harper and Early Doucet fighting for the sixth spot. The team rarely runs four receiver sets, which is part of why they have only kept five in the past. My current projection is they surprise folks by only keeping five at this position. Bates could be stashed on the practice squad. Harper probably could not.
I initially had this as a tick down from last year at six linebackers instead of seven. The addition of O'Brien Schofield makes seven the far more likely number. K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, and Schofield are locks. Allen Bradford and Malcolm Smith are safe. John Lotulelei is a sleeper I expect to knock Mike Morgan off the roster.
The team has kept five safeties the past few years. I am projecting they will steal a roster spot here in order to keep an extra running back or wide receiver. That would mean Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are the locks, and Jeron Johnson and Winston Guy get the spots behind them. Chris Maragos and DeShawn Shead don't make the cut. Shead is practice squad eligible, and would be a likely addition.