RENTON -- The acquisition of defensive end Jadeveon Clowney from the Houston Texans was not yet official when roster cuts had to be into the league at 1 p.m. on Saturday. So for the time being, the Seahawks initial 53-man roster is already immediately subject to change.
Clowney will be added to the roster as soon as the trade becomes official with Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin heading to Houston.
(Full story on the Clowney acquisition can be found here).
The continued presence of Mingo and Martin on the roster could also explain perhaps the most interesting name on the list of cuts Saturday afternoon: quarterback Geno Smith.
Smith was a part of nine veterans released during roster cuts on Saturday. With the team also waiving Paxton Lynch and J.T. Barrett, it leaves Russell Wilson as the only quarterback on the roster. The team will need a backup quarterback and Smith appeared to win the job pretty clearly throughout the preseason.
But as a veteran Smith doesn't have to clear waivers, which could allow Seattle to release him and re-sign him Sunday (perhaps with some financial incentive attached) to give them the temporary flexibility to complete the Clowney trade and get Mingo and Martin off the roster. Once completed they will have an open roster spot to bring Smith back. As an added bonus, it could allow the team to get any injured players (tight end Ed Dickson, center Joey Hunt, linebacker Shaquem Griffin) to the injured reserve list to preserve their ability to return later in the season as well, if needed.
Smith is now a free agent and he could absolutely decided to go somewhere else if the opportunity presented itself. Seattle released defensive tackle Tom Johnson last season with the hope of bringing him back as well early in the season only from him to elect to return to the Minnesota Vikings instead. Additionally, there could be a quarterback that was released elsewhere that strikes Seattle's fancy that they would like to pursue as well, but it certainly appears as though Smith will be back on the roster shortly.
The Seahawks acquired cornerback Parry Nickerson from the New York Jets in exchange for a conditional seventh-round draft pick. Nickerson was a sixth-round pick of the Jets last year and played in all 16 games for the team with two starts. At 5-foot-10, 182 pounds, Nickerson projects as an option at nickel cornerback. The team waived veteran Jamar Taylor, who appeared to be at the top of the team's current depth at the position following a possible career-ending neck injury to Kalan Reed. Nickerson, Akeem King and Ugo Amadi will get a chance to lock down the job moving forward.
The remaining seven veterans released were fullback Nick Bellore, wide receiver Jaron Brown, defensive end Cassius Marsh, defensive tackles Earl Mitchell and Jamie Meder, center Marcus Martin and defensive backs DeShawn Shead.
Brown is the most surprising of that group since David Moore (broken humerus) and DK Metcalf (knee) are dealing with injuries. Moore will miss the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals with Metcalf being questionable following a minor knee surgery. The release of Brown leaves Seattle with Tyler Lockett, Malik Turner and three draft picks available at receiver for the first game of the year, or two if Metcalf can't play.
However, the Seahawks apparently felt a need to recoup some salary cap space following the acquisition of Clowney and his nearly $16 million franchise tag contract for 2019. The trade of Mingo and release of Brown helps them accomplish that outcome.
Defensive tackle Jarran Reed was moved to the reserve/suspended list, where he'll be for the next six weeks following a suspension for a domestic incident. Guard Jordan Simmons was placed on injured reserve following knee surgery. Rookie draft picks guard Phil Haynes (sports hernia) and defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas (back) remain on the physically unable to perform list and will also be out at least six weeks.
Additional players waived by Seattle were: quarterback J.T. Barrett running backs Bo Scarbrough, J.D. McKissic and Xavier Turner, receivers Jazz Ferguson, Khalil Lewis, Nyquan Murray, Keenan Reynolds and Terry Wright, tackles Elijah Nkansah and Bryan Wallace, guards Will Holden, Jordan Roos and Landon Turner, tight ends Jacob Hollister, Jackson Harris and Wes Saxton, linebacker Jawuan Johnson, Logan Tago and Juwon Young, cornerback Simeon Thomas and safety Shalom Luani.
Cornerback Jeremy Boykins and linebacker Justin Currie were waived/injured.
The team will be able to name a 10-man practice squad on Sunday once players released during cuts clear waivers.
Seahawks 53-man Roster* (subject to change):
QB (1): Russell Wilson.
RB (4): Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, C.J. Prosise, Travis Homer.
TE (3): Ed Dickson, Will Dissly, Nick Vannett
WR (6): Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, David Moore, Gary Jennings, John Ursua, Malik Turner
OL (9): Duane Brown, Mike Iupati, Justin Britt, D.J. Fluker, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Jamarco Jones, Ethan Pocic, Joey Hunt
DE (7): Ezekiel Ansah, Quinton Jefferson, L.J. Collier, Rasheem Green, Branden Jackson, Shaquem Griffin, Jacob Martin*
DT (3): Poona Ford, Al Woods, Bryan Mone
LB (7): Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Austin Calitro, Cody Barton, Ben Burr-Kirven, Barkevious Mingo*
CB (5): Shaquill Griffin, Tre Flowers, Neiko Thorpe, Akeem King, Parry Nickerson
S (5): Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson, Marquise Blair, Ugo Amadi, Lano Hill
ST (3): Jason Myers, Michael Dickson, Tyler Ott
PUP (2): Phil Haynes, Demarcus Christmas
**Following completion of the trade with Houston, the Seahawks will add defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to the roster with Barkevious Mingo and Jacob Martin heading to Houston. The team is also expected to attempt to re-sign Geno Smith as the team's backup quarterback.
Photo Credit: EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 08: Cody Latimer #12 of the New York Giants runs after a catch against Parry Nickerson #43 of the New York Jets during their Pre Season game at MetLife Stadium on August 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)