Roster cutdown day has come and gone and the Seattle Seahawks have their 53 players. Technically, it’s 52 and they’ll add Sidney Jones once that trade is official, but you get the idea. We know that the initial roster can often change in just a matter of days and certainly before the first regular season game, but that doesn’t stop us from having immediate takes about it, does it? No? So here are mine.
Biggest surprise inclusion: All the backs
Five running backs? Really? Well that’s the case at this moment. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny figured to be locks — yeah we’ve had our Penny discourse on this site but he seemed safe from the chopping block — but all three of DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer, and Alex Collins are on the 53. Nick Bellore moves to linebacker so Seattle’s already sparse use of a fullback seems all but eliminated now with Shane Waldron at offense.
We’ll see if one of Dallas, Homer, or Collins ends up traded or cut for another player in the coming days. If not then expect a lot of healthy scratches among the three of them or for Dallas and Homer at the very least to have a heavy dose of special teams snaps over actual offensive snaps.
Biggest surprise cut: Penny Hart
This keeps in mind that he may just go on the practice squad, but I thought Hart would’ve been the 5th wide receiver on the depth chart. He’s quite versatile and might have had the odd opportunity here and there to get involved in the Seahawks’ offense. Hart also had a couple of impressive plays on special teams last season, so his exclusion is unexpected to me. That Seattle only kept four WRs in the first place is also curious, which reminds me…
We can stop the Doug Baldwin comparisons now
It was John Ursua in 2019 and Cade Johnson in 2021. There is only one Doug Baldwin. Johnson may yet make the practice squad or may end up as a 5th WR later on in the season. But as it pertains to Cade specifically and why the Doug comparisons have to stop, it seems pretty simple to me:
In 2011, Baldwin had an amazing camp and preseason and was the #1 receiver on a team that had an injured Sidney Rice and a young Golden Tate as two of its top receivers. We are in 2021 and the Seahawks have one of the best wide receiving tandems in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Dee Eskridge was the Seahawks’ first selection of this year’s draft and figures to feature quite a bit in this offense. There is almost no way “a next Doug Baldwin” can emerge under these circumstances. It was always going to be hard for Cade to make the roster, let alone match Doug’s career trajectory.
Jamarco Jones survives roster cuts
Seattle kept (again, for now) 11 offensive linemen. I thought both Phil Haynes and Jake Curhan would’ve been enough to push Jones off the roster, but they also had another semi-surprise cut in Jordan Simmons that suggests they preferred Jones over Simmons. Unlike Jones, Simmons doesn’t play tackle but we’ve seen Jamarco at tackle and it’s not been good. Presumably Jones will be guard depth given how many tackles the Seahawks have.
Three quarterbacks? Probably not in the long-term
It’s been seven years since the Seahawks had three quarterbacks on the regular season roster and right now they have Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, and Sean Mannion. I don’t think this holds up and we’ll see either Geno or Sean gone pretty soon. It may be wise to some extent to keep an extra QB for COVID-19 reasons but if Seattle didn’t do it last year (pre-vaccine, mind you) then I doubt they do it now. There may be value in keeping Mannion around due to his familiarity with Shane Waldron, otherwise I still see Geno keeping his backup spot. I’m not going to stan for either one of them as even decent and for as long as Wilson maintains his ironman streak it seems pointless to get into deep discussion about this. The top-heavy structure of this roster makes it almost guaranteed that the Seahawks wouldn’t be able to field a competitive team without Russell Wilson under center.