The Seahawks made a series of roster moves on Tuesday to reduce their roster to 52 players— presumably the final spot will be filled once the trade for Sidney Jones, already announced by Jacksonville, becomes finalized—setting their initial roster heading into the regular season.
The roster established on Tuesday, however, is not fixed, and it's a near lock that more moves will occur between now and the season opener. The Seahawks could, for example, claim a player on Wednesday that was released by another team Tuesday, or they could bring back a veteran who was released Tuesday, something they've done each of the past two seasons due to rules regarding injured reserve.
For example, the Seahawks last year released Nick Bellore, a player who is not subject to waivers, allowing them to carry an injured Phil Haynes on the initial roster, then two days later they put Haynes on injured reserve and re-signed Bellore. The year before they made similar moves with Bellore, Geno Smith and Jaron Brown. The reason for such moves is that players who make the initial roster then end up on IR are eligible to return, while players on when the initial 53 is set cannot return, and vested veterans are not subject to waivers so they can be released and re-signed later without other teams able to claim them.
So with those disclaimers out of the way, here is a position-by-position look at the Seahawks' initial 52-man roster following Tuesday's roster moves:
Quarterback (3): Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, Sean Mannion
The Seahawks have usually kept only two quarterbacks on the roster, but Mannion, who has experience with Shane Waldron from their time together with the Rams, sticks around as the No. 3 behind Wilson and Smith.
Running Back/Fullback (6): Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Travis Homer, DeeJay Dallas, Alex Collins, Nick Bellore
This is a lot of backs, but the Seahawks have a lot of talent and depth there, and it would have been tough to part ways with any of the players listed above, either because of their talent as runners, their skills on special teams or both. It's also worth noting that Bellore has been working as a linebacker more than a fullback lately, so perhaps it would be more accurate to count him there, though for now at least he's still a fullback on the roster.
Receiver (4): DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge, Freddie Swain
Do the Seahawks have another move coming to add a player at receiver? Metcalf, Lockett, Eskridge and Swain seemed like locks to make the team all along, but the assumption was that one or two more receivers would make the cut—the Seahawks have usually carried five or six on the 53-man roster. There are several strong candidates for the practice squad among the players waived Tuesday, including Penny Hart, who appeared in 13 games last season, but it would still be surprising if the Seahawks don't add another player here at some point before the September 12 opener. Though if the Seahawks stick with four, the new practice squad rules instituted last year do allow players to be activated for game weekend, so they could still have five or six receivers on gameday even if there are only four on the 53-man roster.
Tight End (3): Gerald Everett, Will Dissly, Colby Parkinson
Everett, Dissly and Parkinson were the expected trio all along, but the only real question was whether or not the Seahawks might keep a fourth tight end, particularly with Parkinson still sidelined with a foot injury. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hasn't ruled out a Week 1 return for Parkinson, and the fact that the Seahawks didn't keep another player at this spot would seem to indicate his return will come soon.
Offensive Line (11): Duane Brown, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jamarco Jones, Jake Curhan, Stone Forsythe, Gabe Jackson, Damien Lewis, Ethan Pocic, Kyle Fuller, Phil Haynes
The Seahawks have usually carried nine or 10 linemen, but they like their depth both at tackle and the interior line, and the emergence of undrafted rookie tackle Jake Curhan made it even harder to trim the roster any further.
Defensive Line (10): Carlos Dunlap II, Kerry Hyder Jr., Darrell Taylor, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Benson Mayowa, Alton Robinson, Poona Ford, Al Woods, Bryan Mone
The Seahawks for now have only three defensive tackles in Ford, Woods and Mone, but they also have used players like Collier, Green and Hyder as interior linemen, particularly in pass-rush situations. Taylor is in line to be the starting strongside linebacker, and Robinson has worked at that spot too, and both will also feature in the pass-rush rotation.
Linebacker (3): Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks, Cody Barton
On the surface this looks like a problem—teams need more than three linebackers—but it's worth remembering that, as mentioned earlier, Bellore has been at linebacker for most of training camp and the preseason and has played very well there, and that Taylor and Robinson, though listed as ends, also play strongside linebacker, so even with only three players listed as linebacker, the Seahawks are essentially two deep at all three spots.
Cornerback (4): Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, D.J. Reed, Tre Brown
Again, the expectation is that former Husky Sidney Jones joins this group soon, and the four players kept were the four most likely to stick around. But while predicting who made the team might not have been that tricky, what's still unknown is who of those players will be starting when the season begins. Also worth noting is that Marquise Blair and Ugo Amadi are the top two players at the nickel spot, so while four cornerbacks might not seem like a lot, the positional flexibility of those two makes the secondary deeper.
Safety (5): Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, Ryan Neal
Another position that went as expected. The Seahawks have one of the best safety duos in Adams and Diggs, and a more than capable backup in Neal, who started four games in place of Adams last seasons. Blair and Amadi have split time between safety and the nickel spot in camp so whichever of them doesn't win the nickel job will also be available at safety.
Specialists (3): K Jason Myers, P Michael Dickson, LS Tyler Ott
There was zero mystery about these spots heading into cut day, not just because Myers, Dickson and Ott were the only players at their respective positions, but also because they're three of the very best at their jobs in the NFL, with each having a Pro-Bowl on his resume, and in the case of Dickson, first-team All-Pro honors in 2018.
See headshots and action shots of the complete Seattle Seahawks 2021 roster.