This will be a tough week for players, fans, and front offices alike.
NFL teams must cut their roster down to 80 (from 90) on Tuesday and this means a few things. First, there is going to be a new group of 320 or so free agents that the Seahawks will be looking at closely in the next few days, and second, it means a few bubble Seahawks are going to be without a job.
This is an exciting time of year but it's also kind of a sad time. From a player perspective, no one on the team likes to see players get cut, especially teammates that you've grown to like. As fans, you hate to see a guy that you've become a fan of get released. From the front office's perspective, it has to be the hardest to let a player with a lot of potential go, but it's the way of the NFL. Teams are only allowed to hold on to 53 players during the regular season (and 8 on the practice squad) so the free agent market is about to be flooded with talented players.
Here are some players that are in most danger of falling off the bubble (in italics). This isn't an official roster depth chart, but something that will give you an idea of who these players are up against. I'm not saying they'll get cut today, but they're in for quite a battle to make the team.
QB: Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst, Josh Portis
FB: Michael Robinson, Ryan Travis, Dorson Boyce
RB: Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Leon Washington, Thomas Clayton, Vai Taua
LT: Russell Okung, Tyler Polumbus, William Robinson
LG: Robert Gallery, Paul McQuistan, Lemuel Jeanpierre
C: Max Unger, Mike Gibson, Brent Osborne
RG: John Moffitt, Paul Fanaika, Zach Hurd
RT: James Carpenter, Breno Giacomini,
TE: Zach Miller, John Carlson, Anthony McCoy, Dominique Byrd
WR: Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham, Isaiah Stanback, Chris Carter
WR: Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Ricardo Lockette, Pat Williams
LDE: Chris Clemons, Raheem Brock, Dexter Davis, A.J. Schable, Jameson Konz
LDT: Alan Branch, David Howard, Teryl White
RDT: Brandon Mebane, Junior Siavii, Jay Alford, Pep Levingston
RDE: Red Bryant, Jimmy Wilkerson, Pierre Allen
OLB: Leroy Hill, Malcolm Smith, Neal Howey
MLB: David Hawthorne, K.J. Wright, Michael Johnson
OLB: Aaron Curry, Matt McCoy, David Vobora, Mike Morgan
LCB: Marcus Trufant, Richard Sherman, Kennard Cox, Jesse Hoffman
RCB: Walter Thurmond, Brandon Browner, Kelly Jennings, Byron Maxwell, Ron Parker
SS: Kam Chancellor, Josh Pinkard, Jeron Johnson
FS: Earl Thomas, Mark LeGree, Rickey Thenarse
Injured/PUP: (likely to be placed on PUP list to start the year, or possibly injured reserve)
Just a few guys to keep an eye on for Tuesday, and especially for Sunday, when rosters cut down again.
An update on the 2011 rules: Tueday, rosters must be cut to 80. On Sept 3, rosters must be cut again down to 53, which will be an extremely difficult day for John Schneider and Pete Carroll. The next few days, the Hawks will troll for talented 'cut' players and look to add depth at key positions. This means a few more players will likely get cut to make room for those guys.
It's going to be crazy. Free agency all over again, but this time with back-end players for your roster. Last year, the Seahawks picked up key free agents Michael Robinson, Junior Siavii, and Raheem Brock during this time. Both played key roles on the team last year and figure to this year as well, so it's not a trivial thing.