For starters, this isn’t going to be the most comprehensive thing you’ve ever read in your lives. I’m not getting into the 90-man roster so much as the 53-ish man roster.
When I list the “2013 Roster”, I’m talking about the 53-man roster we had for the Super Bowl, with a small handful of extras tacked on who made a somewhat big impact in the 2013 season. That having been said, let’s take a look at where we are and where we were.
I more-or-less already got into this subject a few weeks ago, but I thought I’d make it a little more visual-friendly (for my own sake, if nothing else). In essence, this is another call to Seahawks fans out there that this offseason hasn’t been as devastating as it seems.
|Def Line||Michael Bennett||Michael Bennett|
|Cliff Avril||Cliff Avril|
|Brandon Mebane||Brandon Mebane|
|Red Bryant||(Jesse Williams)|
|Tony McDaniel||Tony McDaniel|
|Clinton McDonald||(Greg Scruggs)|
|Jordan Hill||Jordan Hill|
|Benson Mayowa||Benson Mayowa|
As you can see, there aren’t a crazy amount of holes here. Red Bryant’s spot will most likely be filled by Michael Bennett, with a little help coming from Jesse Williams (if he’s recovered from his IR stint as a rookie in 2013), Greg Scruggs (who also found himself on the IR, though has bulked up considerably in anticipation of his return to the playing field), or a rookie/someone from off the scrap heap. I’m not TOO worried about replacing Red Bryant, because I believe Michael Bennett is a capable run defender, and other big bodies aren’t all that difficult to come by.
Also, I would anticipate Jordan Hill to improve and earn MUCH more playing time in 2014. He saw almost no action as a rookie in 2013, but with these holes in the line (specifically the Clinton McDonald-sized hole in our D-Tackle rotation), I expect Hill to pick up the slack admirably.
The real thing to worry about is finding that third pass rusher. I’m not so worried about the O’Brien Schofield spot, as that could be literally anybody at this point. But, who will replace Chris Clemons? That’s the most important question of the off-season, if you ask me. We carried Benson Mayowa for the entirety of 2013; you’d have to think he’s learned all he could and is ready to apply that knowledge. Mayowa had an impressive pre-season last year; let’s hope he carries that over. If not, I fully expect the Seahawks to hit the draft for a pass rusher, as well as hit HARD the free agent scrap heap as the season approaches and teams have to cut their rosters down to 53.
|Linebackers||Bobby Wagner||Bobby Wagner|
|K.J. Wright||K.J. Wright|
|Bruce Irvin||Bruce Irvin|
|Malcolm Smith||Malcolm Smith|
|Heath Farwell||Heath Farwell|
|Mike Morgan||Mike Morgan|
As you can see, we’ve got everybody back from this position group. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to keep it EXACTLY the same. My hunch is: the top four guys come back, and the team pushes HARD for the final two spots to be rookies, or otherwise cheaper replacements. Maybe not so much Mike Morgan, but certainly Farwell, whose cap number is around $1.67 Million. For a guy who only plays special teams (albeit, really fucking well), that’s kind of a high number. And, aside from that, you gotta figure this team will want to groom at least one future starter at this position, as it won’t be able to pay Wagner, Wright, AND Smith the type of money they’d command on an open market. I don’t see Farwell or Morgan as a starter type, so their jobs are probably in jeopardy.
|Secondary||Earl Thomas||Earl Thomas|
|Kam Chancellor||Kam Chancellor|
|Richard Sherman||Richard Sherman|
|Byron Maxwell||Byron Maxwell|
|Brandon Browner||(Tharold Simon)|
|Walter Thurmond||(Phillip Adams)|
|Jeremy Lane||Jeremy Lane|
|DeShawn Shead||DeShawn Shead|
|Jeron Johnson||Jeron Johnson|
As you can see, there aren’t any holes where it counts! The Legion of Boom (Byron Maxwell Edition) is entirely intact. We lost Browner, but we lost Browner last year too. We also lost Thurmond, but you figure that Jeremy Lane (who returns) is still here and did just as well, in my book anyway. Tharold Simon was a draft pick last year who spent 2013 on the IR. He COULD be a Browner replacement/depth guy, but that all depends on how seriously he takes his job and how much he’s grown as a player since his lost rookie season. I’d expect the team to look to the draft for one or two secondary guys. We lost reserve safety (and special teams whiz) Chris Maragos, but DeShawn Shead and Jeron Johnson both return. Phillip Adams was also re-signed by the Seahawks this offseason, so at least for 2014 we’ve got another experienced body to play on the inside.
|Quarterbacks||Russell Wilson||Russell Wilson|
|Tarvaris Jackson||Tarvaris Jackson|
As you can see, we’re solid at quarterback.
|Kicker||Steven Hauschka||Steven Hauschka|
|Punter||Jon Ryan||Jon Ryan|
|Long Snapper||Clint Gresham||Clint Gresham|
As you can see, we’re solid at kicker, punter, and long snapper.
|Receivers||Percy Harvin||Percy Harvin|
|Doug Baldwin||Doug Baldwin|
|Jermaine Kearse||Jermaine Kearse|
|Sidney Rice||Sidney Rice|
|Ricardo Lockette||Ricardo Lockette|
|Bryan Walters||Bryan Walters|
As you can see, we’ve got just a Golden Tate-sized hole in our receivers unit. Of course, one could argue that since Harvin only appeared in three games last year, it’s kinda like we replaced Tate with Harvin going into 2014. Nevertheless, I fully expect a wide receiver to be drafted (and probably pretty high), and I expect a fierce battle among the undrafted free agents and other younger guys already on this roster. In short, I expect Lockette and Walters to be replaced by two guys not even on our radar right now. Also, I don’t expect this team to hold onto seven receivers, so disregard the table in that respect.
|Backs||Marshawn Lynch||Marshawn Lynch|
|Robert Turbin||Robert Turbin|
|Christine Michael||Christine Michael|
|Derrick Coleman||Derrick Coleman|
|Spencer Ware||Spencer Ware|
As you can see, our running backs are intact. Michael Robinson is always an option, but probably won’t make the opening day roster unless there are some injuries we’re dealing with. Expect Lynch, Turbin, Michael, & Coleman to be locks to make the roster. Ware will probably have to win a job (doesn’t help his cause that he had that DUI last year). There’s maybe an outside chance that the team trades Turbin for a low-end draft pick, but that’s only if the team is confident in Michael’s ability to block for the quarterback.
|Tight Ends||Zach Miller||Zach Miller|
|Luke Willson||Luke Willson|
|Kellen Davis||(Anthony McCoy)|
As you can see, we’re good at tight end. Anthony McCoy re-signed after being on IR all of last year. If he’s healthy, he’s a pretty sure bet to be this team’s third tight end and REALLY give us some versatility. McCoy is probably a better blocking tight end than Willson, and he’ll give us some better hands in the passing game than Kellen Davis.
|Off Line||Max Unger||Max Unger|
|Russell Okung||Russell Okung|
|J.R. Sweezy||J.R. Sweezy|
|James Carpenter||James Carpenter|
|Lemuel Jeanpierre||Lemuel Jeanpierre|
|Michael Bowie||Michael Bowie|
|Alvin Bailey||Alvin Bailey|
|Caylin Hauptmann||Caylin Hauptmann|
As you can see, just a tiny bit of work to do along the offensive line. Max Unger, Russell Okung, and J.R. Sweezy have all locked down their respective spots (Center, Left Tackle, Right Guard). Left guard is still up for grabs, but James Carpenter probably has the early lead in that battle. Right tackle will be brand new, and maybe Michael Bowie or Alvin Bailey wins that job. Maybe one of them wins the left guard job. Maybe this Caylin Hauptmann guy who was on the roster for most (if not all) of 2013 will shock the world and steal a spot somewhere. Regardless, I like our line, and I like our depth. By my count, I’ve got 6-7 guys in that roster who can start for me and not give me any gray hairs
So, when you look at it, there’s not a lot of places where we have to plug guys in. Depth might be a little bit of an issue, but that’s what’s going to make this training camp and pre-season so interesting. Who’s going to fill out in the back-end of the secondary and offensive line? Who’s going to assume that third pass-rusher role? With new, bigtime deals for Sherman and Thomas (presumably), one would figure that their roles in special teams will go away; who picks up that slack?
I’ve got, in my head, somewhere around 44-46 players listed above who are locks to make this team (and another handful that are on the bubble). That means there could be upwards of 7-9 guys on the 2014 opening-day 53-man roster that we’ve never heard of! On a Super Bowl champion, no less!
Again, these are merely depth positions, but who knows? You could be talking about the next stars on this team starting with 2015 and beyond.
It’s exciting to be a Seahawks fan right now. It helps that we’re coming off of a championship, but still.