First Cuts Claim 12

First Cuts Claim 12

They're the worst words a football player can hear – when the Turk comes to your room and says, "The coach wants to see you … bring your playbook". 12 players who went through the rigors of training camp with the Seahawks were given their releases so the team could meet the 75 man roster limit. Read on to find out who is gone and if they might have what it takes to catch on elsewhere...

After Monday's practice, Mike Holmgren confirmed that the Seahawks had indeed cut 12 players to get down to their league-mandated roster limit of 75. They'll have to get down to 53 on September 1st, though all teams can add eight players to their practice squads by September 2nd. The Thursday game against the Oakland Raiders will be the last chance for those on the bubble to impress.

"It's never easy," Holmgren said. "The young guys we had to let go, most of them were the young guys we played in Europe, the free agent guys who came in to help us. They thanked us for the opportunity. They talked to a few coaches. I told them if there (was) anything I can do for them in the future, don't hesitate to phone. They were good guys and they came and worked very hard. The tough part about this is that they all can't make it. They handled it very professionally and I appreciate what they did for us."

Here are those 12 players:

QB Erik Meyer – Payton Award winner at Eastern Washington University and NFL Europa standout who didn't get a lot of time to show what he could do, but Meyer could impress some pro scout with his mobility and effeciency.

WR Robert Ortiz The young man from San Diego State was a long-shot to make the final roster, but he has the talent and size to be a solid possession receiver if he's able to locate the right situation. His speed is average, so he needs to become a better route-runner and learn to read defenses, because the NFL is littered with guys who have the same physical attributes as Ortiz.

WR Chris Jones A gifted athlete, Jones was caught up in the numbers game this year as the Seahawks have at least seven receivers who are legitimate threats to make the final roster and the team is likely to only keep six…possibly five. Jones has the physical tools to be a successful receiver in the league.

RB A.J. Harris Harris may have had a better chance of making the final roster if Marquis Weeks hadn't stepped up with one of the best pre-seasons of all the backs (as Weeks generally does). Harris is a solid runner, but he got very few chances to show what he can do. Special teams, especially kickoff returns and coverage, are where he'll need to find a home with another team.

TE Andy Stokes With the depth issues the Seahawks had heading into camp, you had to believe that any tight end who could block and catch the ball would have a chance. However, Stokes didn't get much of an opportunity to show what he could do, and the team decided to stick with a more talented youngster in Joe Newton for now. Newton's size and hands make him a more intriguing target than Stokes at this point.

OG Jason Murphy Murphy has interesting potential, but the Seahawks have a ton of experienced players who can play inside and one of their youngsters, Mansfield Wrotto, showed himself to be much more ready for game-action than was originally thought. With Murphy's mauling style and his experience against top notch talent in the ACC during his college career, expect him to eventually catch on somewhere. Teams in need are always looking for tough interior linemen.

C Austin King The Seahawks have had the luxury of an experienced center for the past several years, but the retirement of Robbie Tobeck and the promotion of third-year C Chris Spencer means there's an opening in the backup pivot position, but King just isn't strong enough at this point to allow him to handle the 320-pounders who inhabit the middle of the defensive lines across the league.

OG Jonathan Alston Alston is a great athlete and he was with the Washington Redskins' training camp the past two years. He's just not physical enough in his play and didn't have much of a chance to make Seattle's roster.

LB Marcus Rucker Rucker is a solid athlete, but Seattle is loaded at linebacker with two perennial Pro Bowlers and an underrated player at weakside linebacker in Leroy Hill. Rucker has to find a home on special teams with someone. Since he just switched to linebacker for his senior season at Rice, he's got a lot of catching up to do as far as technique is concerned.

CB Dennis Davis Davis is talented enough to play in the NFL, but he hasn't found the right situation yet. Seattle has some talented young players already on the roster in Kelly Jennings and Josh Wilson, who were their top draft choices the past two years, and an established veteran in Marcus Trufant on the other side. Also complicating matters for Davis is the fact that Kevin Hobbs a rookie himself, has had an excellent camp.

S Patrick Ghee Ghee is a big hitter, but struggles in coverage and will be a liability on that side of the ball. He has to hope to catch on as a special teams demon somewhere.

K Kurt Smith I doubt Smith had any illusions as to making the final roster with the presence of Josh Brown, so it's more likely he used his time during training camp and the preseason as a showcase of his talents to the other NFL squads. Teams are constantly looking to replace kickers and get better in their kicking game so Smith will likely have ample opportunity to make a name for himself sometime in the near future.


Scott Eklund writes for Seahawks.NET and Dawgman.com. Feel free to e-mail him here.

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