Just two weeks remain until the Seattle Seahawks, and the other 31 teams across the NFL, must trim their rosters down to 53 players. As we barrel towards that date with three more preseason games for the Hawks in twelve days and the debate about who will and who will not make the roster, here’s a look at how things have shaken out by position in seasons past.
Obviously, this season the biggest positions of debate appear to be at wide receiver and linebacker. At receiver, fans are wondering whether the Hawks will carry five or six wide receivers, when history shows us that under Pete Carroll and John Schneider Seattle has had six or seven wide receivers on the roster (five times) initially more often than they’ve carried five (four times). At linebacker, the team has carried as few as five, and as many as seven, with the position traditionally playing a big role in special teams.
In addition to the number of players carried on the initial roster by position, at the bottom of the table I’ve included a row which shows how many players from different position groups have contributed 200 or more special teams snaps. This information is not included for the 2010 or 2011 seasons because of the simple fact that the NFL did not start publishing snap counts until the 2012 season.
Initial roster breakdown by position for Seahawks for 2010 through 2018 seasons
|200+ Special Teams Snaps||N/A||N/A||LB (3), DB (2), FB||LB (3), DB (3)||LB (3), DB (2)||DB (2), LB (2), FB, DE||DE, TE, LB (3), DB (2)||DB (3), WR, LB (3), TE (2)||LB (4), DB (3), FB|
In any case, the trends seem to show that when there is turnover or a myriad of injuries at a position that the team carries an extra player or two into the next season. For example, in 2011 the team added wide receiver Sidney Rice in free agency and also added rookies Doug Baldwin and Kris Durham after moving on from veterans Brandon Stokley and Deon Butler. Similarly, in 2014, the team carried seven wide receivers initially following Golden Tate’s departure and the uncertainty surrounding one William Percival Harvin III. The seven included three rookies in Paul Richardson, Kevin Norwood and Phil Bates, with Ricardo Lockette as a second year player and special teams monster.
In short, look for the team to head into 2019 lighter at running back than last year with Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Nick Bellore basicallly locking down three spots there. With the offensive line returning four of five starters, carrying more than nine in that group seems unlikely, but if the injury bug continues to keep many of the linemen out as the season approaches, that number could end up higher.
In any case, keep this link handy as the debates about the roster move from a low simmer to a heated boil over the coming weeks.
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