Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

10 Sep 2008

Seahawks Make Two Bewildering Cuts

Actually, the Seahawks made three cuts, but one seems reasonable: Punter Ryan Plackemeier was cut after a horrible game against Buffalo (including a pair of 22-yard punts, plus being partially responsible for Roscoe Parrish's touchdown return), and Seattle immediately signed Jon Ryan to replace him. Fine.

From there it gets bizarre. Rookie Justin Forsett, a seventh-round running back out of Cal, was let go. Forsett shined in the preseason as a runner, receiver, and kick returner. With top punt returner Nate Burleson out for the year and top running back Mo Morris out for at least a few weeks, you might think Forsett would help out in one or both of those roles. You would be wrong. Forsett also got the ax.

Wait! There's more! Wide receiver Jordan Kent, a sixth-round draft choice in 2007, spent all of last season on Seattle's practice squad. He played his first NFL game in Buffalo on Sunday, and failed to catch a pass. And now he is unemployed. With Kent looking for work, Burleson going on injured reserve, and Bobby Engram and Deion Branch still recovering from offseason injuries, here is a COMPLETE LIST of wide receivers on Seattle's roster who will be healthy enough to play in Seattle's home opener against San Francisco on Sunday:

  • Courtney Taylor (a second-year player with seven career catches in nine games)
  • Logan Payne (an undrafted rookie who caught two passes in his NFL debut against the Bills)

THAT'S IT. They also have Michael Bumpus, an undrafted rookie from Washington State, on their practice squad, and will likely activate him for Sunday. And there's always Seneca Wallace -- unless Matt Hasselbeck's back injury kicks in.

Forsett and Kent were released to make room for Jordan Babineaux and Rocky Bernard, each of whom had been suspended for the opener (Babineaux for a substance abuse violation, Bernard for an arrest on a domestic violence charge). Bernard in particular should be a big boost for the defense, but the Seahawks may have to win a lot of 6-3 games to return to the playoffs.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 10 Sep 2008

23 comments, Last at 11 Sep 2008, 10:14am by Yaguar


by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 4:01am

Never deviate from the plan.

by putnamp (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 4:11am

no, seattle will not be winning any 6-3 games. defensively they're built on speed, which only works if their offense can stay on the field long enough to give the defense a rest. they can't, so the defense will tire by the end of the second and third quarters as they always seem to do.

by Will (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 4:18am

And yet, somehow, the Seattle Seahawks still have two kickers on their active roster. One, Olindo Mare, who handled both kickoffs and FGs Sunday, and Brandon Coutu, who did nothing and was inactive.

We had to keep either Forsett or Kent. Now we have two WRs and no returner. Wow.

by Joe in Seattle (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 4:30am

I am usually a Tim Ruskell and Hawks FO supporter, but this is a massive over-reaction to the WR struggles on Sunday.

Seriously why would they cut Kent/Forsett over Brandon Coutu? Mare won and has the kicking job, send Coutu packing, he has no value to the team and isn't very good.

And if they wanted to cut an offensive player, why the hell is Jeb Putzier still on this team? He played worse than anyone on Sunday and is light years behind John Carlson in what he can bring to the team.

I imagine both Forsett and Kent stick on the PS, but this is still frustrating.

by Snowglare (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 5:24am

Well, they did sign Billy McMullen. That's something.

by DGL (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 6:35am

Maybe they're going to run the single wing.

by tom (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 7:06am

re: 5. No, it's not. Trust me on this, I'm a long-suffering Eagles fan :)

by andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 7:18am

#7 - Billy McMullen has some value. Apparently you can trade him to Brad Childress for a Hank-Baskett level talent.

by Eorr (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 7:50am

Bumpus sounds like he was made up for this story. That is the least real sounding name.

Ha, I'm sure Seattle could use an imaginary wide receiver right now.

by Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabbadu (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 9:26am

#9: No, they already have a bunch of those.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:04am

#5 - McMullen was the most productive receiver for the Redskins in preseason. I suspect he would have made the team if not for a pair of under-achieving high-round picks taking up space on the roster.

The knock on him is you have to hit him in the numbers if you want him to catch the ball.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:05am

The Seattle front office has been incompetent for years in managing offense.

by Grand Weepers (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:10am

Oh God! When do my Redskins play them this year? Please be soon...Please be soon. What? Nov. 23rd? Crap! We'll probably be down to two receivers by then!

by Grand Weepers (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:15am

#5 and #10.

In this kind of situation you'd have to feel lucky to have a guy like McMullen on the street. He's got some experience, and specifically in a west coast system. He spent the entire offseason in what was basically the exact same offense. When in a pinch you don't often have a guy waiting in the wings like that. Not that he is immensely talented, but at least you don't have to coach 'em up! The perfect stopgap!

But, he is sssslllllooowwwww! And he's a body catcher. His routes are good and you know he can get open....against Practice Squad guys at least. That should be enough to beat the Rams and Niners secondary!

by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:28am

Ha, I’m sure Seattle could use an imaginary wide receiver right now.

Maybe they could convince Tacopants to give up his infinite eligibility at Michigan.

by billsfan (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:28am

Imaginary wide receivers aren't nearly as much fun as irrational wide receivers.

by coltrane23 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:31am

Agreed with Joe in Seattle: this seems like a massive overreaction to one game. Maybe they saw something in practice, but . . .

Putzier had a lousy game, but I saw enough of him in Denver to not have a problem keeping him on the roster.

I don't understand getting rid of Forsett or Plackemeier, those seem like unnecessary cuts when you know Burleson is headed to IR--now you have no one to return punts (Josh Wilson can return kicks, so at least you've got that going for you, which is nice), you have to hire a punter off the street (c'mon Plack was OK last year, Sunday looked like just a bad game to me), and you still have an extra placekicker taking up a roster spot. Bruce DeHaven should be going nuclear right now.

I always had the sense that Kent was "on the bubble," so the fact that they cut a WR with a pulse and two good knees is surprising. The fact that it was Jordan Kent, not so much.

Seneca Wallace must be feeling like Spinal Tap's newest drummer.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 10:55am

You know...I have nothing against the Seahawks, but I would love to see the GM run the organization into the ground before handing the reins over to Jim Mora Jr.

by zzyzx (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 11:23am

Well at least the rain hasn't started yet, so that's good.

Going to be a long year in the Pacific Northwest.

by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 11:31am

Seattle has a three running backs, to get rid of a 4th at a fungible position they didn't invest a lot into, isn't that far of a reach. Even if Forsett is average, is he going to play over Julious or Morris? The position is fungible and I don't see him as the next AD or LT.

Let me tell you a story about a football team I was on. We had some injuries at RB, and instead of the coaches letting the very weak backup play, they moved a guy from another postion, because the backup just wasn't good enough. Seattle probably felt the same with Kent. Why keep him on the roster when he isn't worth anything yet and I'd guarantee you he isn't as good as Mcmullen.

Seattle might not be great at WR now, but Branch and Engram will come back! I'd still take this Seattle team over SF next week.

They wouldn't be asking Mcmullen to be T.Owens, just understand where you are supposed to be and catch the ball. I saw Jeb drop 3 balls last week, Burelson had an easy drop in the endzone before his TD catch, and the first pass of the year for Seattle was a drop.

by coltrane23 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 11:57am

Is Inanimate Carbon Rod still available at WR?

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/10/2008 - 12:07pm

#20 - I'm not taking Seattle's scrub receivers against SF's secondary, no sir...not against Nate Clements and Walt Harris, who all of a sudden remembered how to play football the past two seasons.

With their lack of skill on the flanks we'll probably see Seattle using a lot of 2 receiver sets and running the ball with their shiny new fullback throwing lead blocks. In other words, they'll be playing to SF's defensive strengths.

If Seattle wins, it will be a squeaker, maybe capitalizing on SF's abysmal offense for cheap turnover points.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Thu, 09/11/2008 - 10:14am

22: Remember that the Seattle defense's mismatch against the San Francisco offense is staggering.