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Butler, Durham waived
When you ask as much from your players as Pete Carroll does, it’s difficult to say goodbye.
But that’s how the Seahawks’ third-year coach spent a good portion of his Friday, as the team reached the league-mandated 53-man roster by making 22 moves.
The club waived two former draft choices – Deon Butler and Kris Durham – at the overcrowded wide receiver position, where 11 players had to become six. With veteran Braylon Edwards and Charly Martin staying, someone had to leave to make room for the wide-outs who were signed in January (Martin) and late July (Edwards). Edwards and Martin join Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Ben Obomanu.
Also waived: quarterback Josh Portis; cornerback Phillip Adams; defensive end Pierre Allen; offensive lineman Paul Fanaika; linebacker Allen Bradford; and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. All were with the Seahawks last season. Nine rookie free agents also were waived: offensive linemen Kris O’Dowd and Rishaw Johnson; tight end Sean McGrath; wide receivers Jermaine Kearse and Lavasier Tuinei; linebacker Kyle Knox; defensive end Cordarro Law; and safety DeShawn Shead.
Linebacker Korey Toomer was the only member of this year’s draft class to be waived.
Cornerback Walter Thurmond remains on the physically unable to perform list. He must sit out the first six games and then will have a three-week window to practice before the team decides whether to activate him or leave them on the injured list. Thurmond also began last season PUP.
Two other players were waived/injured – tight end Cooper Helfet and running back Vai Taua; while veteran linebacker Matt McCoy was placed on injured reserve.
But James Carpenter, last year’s first-round draft choice, was taken off PUP and added to the roster.
That’s a lot of moves on what was a moving day for Carroll and his staff.
“These guys have brought so much across the board,” Carroll said after Thursday’s 21-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders that tied an appropriate bow on the Seahawks’ 4-0 preseason. “We had a very strong feeling about these guys.
“What’s happened is that they’ve created value for themselves in our program. If we have to go back to guys we can’t keep on the roster, or can’t keep on the practice squad, we know we have guys out there that can play our style of football and can understand it.”
Ah, the practice squad. Several of the players released on Friday could be signed to the eight-man practice squad on Saturday, after they clear waivers.
Friday’s flurry of activity left the Seahawks with only two quarterbacks – rookie Russell Wilson, the starter; and Matt Flynn, who was acquired in free agency during the offseason and will be the backup. That decision played into allowing the club to carry a fifth running back – Kregg Lumpkin, who ran for 71 yards in the win over the Raiders.
The club kept 10 defensive backs, five corners and five safeties. In addition to starters Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman (the corners) and Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas (the safeties), the group also includes corners Marcus Trufant, Byron Maxwell and rookie Jeremy Lane and safeties Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos and rookie Winston Guy.
There are nine offensive linemen, but Carpenter will not be ready to play against the Cardinals in Arizona on Sept. 9 either.
“Carp is doing marvelously,” Carroll said this week when asked about Carpenter, who continues his rehab from a severe knee injury that ended his rookie season. “He’s not far away from looking like he can practice and play for us, but it’s still a crucial time here and we’re going to have to make a big decision on how we handle this.”
The decision was to carry Carpenter on the 53-man roster for a couple of weeks, rather than lose him for the first six games if he remained on PUP.
But don’t call this the final 53-man roster. Not with the always-active Carroll and general manager John Schneider having the weekend to tweak the roster before the players return on Monday to begin preparing for the opener against the Cardinals.