Seattle Seahawks: Predicting 5 Unexpected Training Camp Cuts
Predicting 5 unexpected training camp cuts
NFL coaches and general managers are loath to cut draft choices. The word is out. "Draft and develop" is the preferred way to build a roster — occasionally complemented with veteran additions to fill specific needs.
Not all of the Seattle Seahawks 11 draft picks and a few key veterans will make the 2013 team.
Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and General Manager John Schneider have shown they are not opposed to making unexpected roster cuts and additions, as exemplified by the recent short stays in Seattle of Terrell Owens, Mike Williams, Reggie Williams and Kellen Winslow, Jr. They take risks and they try unconventional approaches. The Seahawks roster is always in a state of churn, under the watchful eyes of Carroll and Schneider.
The Seahawks' 2013 opening Week 1 roster will probably be no different. The bottom end of the roster will feature a few surprises, and there will likely be more changes coming early in the season. As for the front-line players, Seattle fans can probably name all of the defensive and offensive starters for the Seahawks already.
The draft did not yield any sure-fire starters. Seattle's top draft choice, running back Christine Michael, will start the season third on the depth chart behind Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. Seattle's first defensive draft choice, third-rounder defensive tackle Jordan Hill, figures to be a rotational player behind starters Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane.
Here are five possible training camp cuts that may surprise Seahawks followers. Not included in this list are Jared Smith and Michael Bowie. Both were late seventh-round compensatory draft choices, who were essentially fliers taken by the Seahawks brass. To make matters worse for Smith, he's switching from defense to offense at the NFL level. Neither would be considered surprises if they are cut at either of the roster cut-down dates.
You don't bring in a veteran quarterback in the offseason to back up an inexperienced starter just to cut him, right? Generally speaking, no. But Brady Quinn's odds of making the Seahawks' opening day roster went down considerably when Seattle opted to bring back former Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback and offensive captain Tarvaris Jackson. The Seahawks are content to let the two veterans compete for the backup role. Quinn started eight games for the Chiefs in 2012, while Jackson generated no statistics during his year in Buffalo. Still, give the edge in experience to Jackson, who returns with better familiarity with the offense than the recently arrived Quinn.
Fullback Michael Robinson began his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers as a wide receiver. He has versatility as his calling card at 30 years of age. Fullback is for the young and brutish, so Robinson must be wary of a challenge from rookie fullback Spencer Ware of LSU. Like Robinson, Ware comes in with a diverse skill set as well, posting 1,249 rushing yards and 404 receiving yards in his college career.
With the offseason addition of Percy Harvin, rookie wide receiver Chris Harper is looking at a stacked roster of veteran receivers in Seattle. Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and second-year local hero Jermaine Kearse are well ahead of the 2013 fourth-round draft choice from Kansas State. Harper’s size, strength and football smarts are what he will need to draw on to catch the coaches' eyes. A converted QB, he’s a project that will likely find it difficult adjusting to the NFL level in training camp. If he makes the final cut, it will probably come down to the value he can provide on special teams.
After finally finding a home in Seattle after furtively starting his career in Green Bay in 2008, right tackle Breno Giacomini could find himself as a cost-saving camp cut. With a 2013 cap figure north of $4 million, he is in danger of losing his starting spot — and roster spot — if former first-round draft pick James Carpenter can overcome his injury issues. With his cap figure, Giacomini will have to clearly outplay all comers at right tackle in training camp.
A 2013 draft pick, defensive end Ty Powell heralds from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Undersized but athletic, Powell is a player in the mold of Bruce Irvin. Unfortunately for Powell, Bruce Irvin already plays for the Seahawks. The Seahawks have one defensive end spot locked up with 2012 sack leader Chris Clemons and they brought in veterans Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to complete the unit. Powell will have to dominate as a speed rusher in camp to have a chance. Bruce Irvin’s suspension to start the season leaves the door open a crack for Powell to make the opening day roster, but a stint on the practice squad may be more likely.