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Michael Robinson released, Antoine Winfield retires

Posted Aug 31, 2013

When the Seahawks reached the league-mandated roster limit of 53 players on Saturday, the release of fullback Michael Robinson and retirement of Antoine Winfield were the biggest moves.

With Michael Robinson and Antoine Winfield out, who’s in?

Seahawks 53-Man Roster

When the Seahawks reached the league-mandated 53-man roster limit on Saturday, Robinson, a Pro Bowl-caliber fullback and special teams co-captain, had his contract terminated; while Winfield, a three-time Pro Bowl cornerback with the Minnesota Vikings who was signed during the offseason to be the nickel back, decided to retire after the team terminated his contract.

Robinson was the lead blocker for All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, who has rushed for 2,794 yards and 23 touchdowns the past two seasons. But Robinson missed the final two preseason games because of a virus, which allowed second-year back Derrick Coleman and sixth-round draft choice Spencer Ware to show they could play the fullback position. The Seahawks also lined up tight ends Zach Miller and Luke Willson at the fullback spot during the preseason.

“Derrick shows that he can do it,” running backs coach Sherman Smith said of Coleman during training camp. “He’s got the want-to and he’s a very intelligent guy, so he’s handling it mentally. He’s doing a nice job. I think the guy has a chance to be a good fullback in this league.”

Winfield was expected to replace long-time starter Marcus Trufant, who filled the nickel back spot last season (Trufant was released on Saturday by the Jacksonville Jaguars, who signed him in free agency). But fourth-year cornerback Walter Thurmond outplayed Winfield during the preseason. So the 36-year-old Winfield decided to call it a career – a 14-season NFL career.

The Seahawks also traded for defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith, pending physical examinations. The Jacksonville Jaguars will get an undisclosed future draft choice if the deal is finalized.

In reaching the 53-man limit, the Seahawks also made the following moves:

Waived

WR Phil Bates
DT Michael Brooks
DT Dewayne Cherrington
WR Arceto Clark
TE Darren Fells
DB Winston Guy
WR Chris Harper
TE Cooper Helfet
DT Jaye Howard
G Rishaw Johnson
TE Sean McGrath
DB Ron Parker
LB Ty Powell
G Ryan Seymour
DB DeShawn Shead
DT Sealver Siliga
C/G Jared Smith
WR Bryan Walters

Terminated Veteran Contract

DT Clinton McDonald
QB Brady Quinn

Thurmond said after Thursday night’s preseason finale that Winfield had served as a mentor in their short time together.

“I’ve really just been studying Antoine Winfield’s game,” Thurmond said in the locker room at CenturyLink Field after a 22-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders capped an unbeaten preseason. “He’s been playing 15 years and he’s somebody that I look up to.”

As for his own performance this summer, Thurmond added, “I thought I had a pretty solid camp. I’ve been trying to get better each day and I’m continuing the mission and I’m letting the chips fall where they may at this point.”

In addition to making an interception against the Raiders that displayed his instincts and athletic ability, Thurmond also broke a 29-yard punt return – prompting Carroll to say in his post-game news conference that Thurmond would share the duties with Golden Tate. Thurmond had a 46-yard punt return in the preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers.

“You’ll see both those guys playing in games, we’re not to rely on just one guy,” Carroll said. “They’re both too good to do it, and I like having them back there.”

Cornerbacks Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell, incumbent backups, also had strong summers, so they were retained along with Thurmond to complement starters Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.

Game Rewind: Seattle Seahawks