The 53-man roster post is almost an obligation when you cover an NFL team. I hate obligations, so this will at least be an attempt to approach the same question from a different angle. Instead of breaking it up by position, let’s look at the team as if it were an onion. Which players are the core, destined to be part of our franchise for the foreseeable future? Which players are on the outer layer, susceptible to being removed at any time?
THE CORE (Roster Total = 3) Players the team is building around, and have absolutely no chance of ending up elsewhere this year or next.
Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Golden Tate
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR (Cumulative Roster Total = 16) These are young players that could move into the core category if they perform well this season. They also could slip in the other direction, making themselves vulnerable.
Aaron Curry, Walter Thurmond, David Hawthorne, Lofa Tatupu, LeRoy Hill, Brandon Mebane, Charlie Whitehurst, John Carlson, Mike Williams, Deon Butler, Max Unger, Red Bryant, Dexter Davis
GAP FILLERS (Total = 28) These players are generally 28 or older, and are considered core parts of this year’s team. Next year and beyond is unclear.
Matt Hasselbeck, Chris Clemons, Lawyer Milloy, Marcus Trufant, Kevin Vickerson, Colin Cole, Chris Spencer, Chester Pitts, Sean Locklear, Ben Hamilton, Chris Baker, Leon Washington
POTENTIAL OVER PERFORMANCE (Total = 36) These are players who are young enough, and possess enough potential to have certain roster spots this season. Next season is less clear.
Kam Chancellor, Roy Lewis, EJ Wilson, Mike Gibson, Anthony McCoy, Justin Forsett, Will Herring, Quinton Ganther
HERE UNLESS THEY’RE NOT (Total = 50) These are guys who are likely 2010 Seahawks, but are replaceable if something better comes along.
Mansfield Wrotto, Ray Willis, Nick Reed, Kentwan Balmer, Quinn Pitcock, JP Losman, Deion Branch, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Tyler Polumbus, Kelly Jennings, Jamar Adams, Jon Ryan (he’s a punter, relax), Olindo Mare, Long Snapper
DON’T GET ATTACHED (Roster Total = 53) These are players who have a 50/50 shot of being on the roster. They also could make the initial cut, and then get replaced a week or two later.
Jordan Babineaux – Babs makes it based on veteran experience, special teams play and the ability to play CB in a pinch.
Cameron Morrah – The Hawks use many two TE sets now, and Morrah was every bit the player the other TEs were in pre-season, maybe more.
Matt Mccoy – I really, really want to pick Hagler, but I think the USC tie matters when it’s a coin flip, and McCoy appears to be a better special teams player than Hagler.
Craig Terrill, Tyjuan Hagler, Brandon Jones, Julius Jones, Owen Schmitt, Kevin Ellison
I admit that it’s unlikely the Hawks will only keep 3 at the RB/FB slot, but I don’t see how Jones or Schmitt deserve a spot. It’s easy enough to cut someone if you have a need week-to-week. We will want to see the number of players in the top three categories grow over time, especially the top two. If I had done this same analysis last year, I’d bet the number would be half of what it is now for the top two categories.