One man's projection for what the 2010 Seattle Seahawks' 54-man roster (Leroy Hill doesn't count against 53-man roster) might look like at 3:01pm PST on Saturday.
Regardless of how it shakes out, expect the Seahawks to be very active on the waiver-wire over the next week.
Quarterbacks (3): Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, J.P. Losman
No intrigue here.
Running Backs (5): Justin Forsett, Leon Washington, Quinton Ganther, Owen Schmitt, [open slot]
Julius Jones could make the 53-man roster, but Forsett’s ability and Washington’s recovery from a gruesome leg injury have pushed Jones down the depth chart. The Seahawks may look to add a younger, less expensive option, and could stick with Ganther as the #3 running back. An option outside the organization is a consideration, as well. Schmitt has value as a lead-blocker, receiver, and special teams player. Ganther got a lot of playing time as the #1 fullback, but that may have been more to determine his viability in that role in a game situation.
Wide Receivers (5): Deion Branch, Mike Williams, Golden Tate, Deon Butler, Ben Obomanu
The news on Thursday that the Seahawks were open to trading T.J. Houshmandzadeh doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘Hawks have to trade or release him. This is a business, and Houshmandzadeh is a professional. However, the Seahawks have certainly showed that they’re willing to move on without him. Judging by the pre-season performances of Mike Williams, Deon Butler, Golden Tate, and yes, Deion Branch, that feeling may be justified. At this point, it may just be a matter of if the Seahawks are willing to throw Tim Ruskell under the bus and eat the $7 million in base salary guarantees.
Tight Ends (4): John Carlson, Chris Baker, Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah
You might have heard something about the Seahawks using more 2-TE sets under Jeremy Bates this season. As a result, I’ve got the Seahawks keeping four on the 53-man roster to start the season, which may be a necessity with Baker (hip) and McCoy (ankle) hobbled by injuries.
Offensive Line (9): Russell Okung, Ben Hamilton, Chris Spencer, Max Unger, Sean Locklear, Ray Willis, Mansfield Wrotto, Mike Gibson, Chester Pitts
Okung, Spencer, Unger, and Locklear are the locks to start. Wrotto appears safe, as are Gibson and Hamilton, one of whom will open the season as the starting left guard. For some reason, the Seahawks activated Pitts off the “Active/PUP” before they had to, which could tie a hand around their back to start the season if he’s unable to play. The status of Willis’ knee injury should be clarified on Saturday. If Willis is going to miss a month or two, injured reserve is a real option if Okung isn’t ready to start the season-opener, as the Seahawks will need to bring another tackle into the season.
Defensive Line (10): Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Colin Cole, E.J. Wilson, Kevin Vickerson, Craig Terrill, Kentwan Balmer, Chris Clemons, Dexter Davis, Nick Reed
The starters are established, with Wilson, Vickerson, and Davis cementing key roles with solid pre-seasons. Terrill may be the best “3” technique DT behind Mebane and bring special teams value, as well. Haven’t seen anything from Balmer, but Scot McCloughan may go to bat for his former first-round pick.
Linebackers (5): Aaron Curry, Lofa Tatupu, David Hawthorne, Will Herring, Matt McCoy [Leroy Hill is suspended, and does not count against 53-man roster.]
With Leroy Hill’s suspension, the Seahawks are likely going to keep either Tyjuan Hagler or McCoy to start the season. Both have played well enough to warrant a spot, with a slight edge to the more experienced Hagler. They’re about the same size, speed, age, and are slated to make the same amount of money, which as vested veterans, will be guaranteed if they’re on the roster to start the season. The determining factor could be Hagler willingness to play a special teams role only, or if he’d like to see if he could take his team-high 20 tackles and solid game tape to a team where he’d have a better chance of cracking the starting lineup.
Secondary (9): Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Walter Thurmond, Roy Lewis, Cord Parks, Kam Chancellor, Jordan Babineaux
First four start, with Thurmond and Lewis locking down the 3rd and 4th corner roles. Chancellor sticks, and Babineaux’s versatility and special teams prowess makes his high salary worth keeping. Parks looked impressive as a kick returner, and Seattle could use the Hill suspension to keep Parks around for a week to convince him to join the practice squad.
Specialists (3): Olindo Mare, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham
This battery hasn’t any major calamities this pre-season, but it would not be a surprise if the Seahawks hold long-snapper tryouts before September 12.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you’d like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.