NFC West: Seattle Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks needed Marshawn Lynch in order to reach the pinnacle of the NFL. The Seahawks do not need Lynch to stay there.

Lynch has been the heart and soul of the Seahawks' success for four seasons. Other than Mount Rainier, the two best known words in the Pacific Northwest are Beast Mode.

[+] EnlargeMarshawn Lynch
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY SportsSeattle running back Marshawn Lynch has rushed for over 4,000 yards during the past three seasons.
It’s an iconic term now to describe Lynch’s relentless running style, a symbol of the physical presence he brings to a team that takes pride in its aggressive style of play.

But as good as he is and as much as Lynch has meant to this organization, they do not need him for the team to continue to play at a championship level.

Want a little statistic proof?

  • The Seahawks won the 2014 Super Bowl by 35 points over Denver on a night when Lynch rushed for 39 yards on 13 carries.
  • The Seahawks played seven games last season when Lynch rushed for less than 70 yards. They were 7-0 in those games.

That’s not to downplay his contribution. Lynch has led the Seahawks to many important victories. He is a unique player and one of the best running backs in the NFL. But this team will keep winning without him, whenever that happens.

That’s why Lynch made a mistake in holding out to try to force changes to his contract. And it’s one reason his holdout could end soon, possibly Tuesday. The likelihood is this distraction will end soon and Lynch will be the team’s starting running back again.

The Seahawks, however, have talented running backs waiting in the wings -- second-year player Christine Michael and third-year back Robert Turbin are more than capable of carrying the load for a team that emphasizes a run-first philosophy.

“Both of those guys are going to be tremendous backs for us,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “Obviously, we want Marshawn to come back. We love the guy to death and all the things that he does. We have tons of respect for how Marshawn plays. But at the same time, Robert and Christine will be ready to go, that’s for sure.”

Exactly how good Michael and Turbin can be is a bit of an unknown, but neither of them can be what Lynch has been. Lynch is a throwback to a bygone era, a relentless power runner who sacrifices his body to do whatever it takes to move forward. Former Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell may be the best comparison to Lynch.

That style of running also takes a huge toll on a player’s body. Lynch has rushed for 4,051 yards over the past three seasons while carrying the ball 901 times. No man can take that many hits and continue to play at a high level over the long haul.

It’s been proven and is one reason the Seattle hierarchy is not inclined to give Lynch more money. General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll made it clear last week that they expect Lynch to honor his four-year, $30 million deal, which has two years to go.

Neither side is all right or all wrong in NFL contract issues. For example, it’s easy to say Lynch should honor his deal, but the team could release him after the 2014 season (a good possibility for salary-cap reasons) and owe him nothing on the final year of his contract.

So it’s not unreasonable for Lynch to want more money or some type of guarantee on his 2015 salary. But his leverage isn’t nearly as strong as he thinks. The Seahawks would move on without him if they had to without much concern.

“I feel good about it,’’ cornerback Richard Sherman said Sunday. “I think [Lynch] will be fine. I think whichever decision he makes, I will be fine with. I’m sure he is in shape and can take his 300 carries and be our work horse. But if it’s his time [to quit], then other guys will step up.”

Sherman was speaking about the idea that Lynch might retire, not likely since it would cost him $6.5 million in salary and bonuses this season.

Wilson has spoken to Lynch on the phone and communicated via texts the past few days.

“He wants to play,” Wilson said. “He loves playing. I hope that he comes back. He’s a great football player and he can do so many great things for us. We love him in the locker room. We love him on game day. So we definitely want him back.”

Of course they do. But this team has a quarterback who is starting his third NFL season and is well on his way to becoming one the league’s top players. It has a receiving corps with a healthy Percy Harvin, one of the NFL’s most explosive players. And it has young running backs capable of becoming 1,000-yard rushers.

All the Seahawks want Lynch to carry the load again this season, but they don’t need him to carry it.

 
RENTON, Wash. – Live TV from training camp, actually showing the players on the field during individual and team drills, is a first. But it’s something viewers across the country will have the opportunity to see Tuesday on ESPN at camp practice for the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

The two-hour "SportsCenter" special starts at 1:30 p.m. ET (10:30 a.m. PT) right as practice begins. "Monday Night Football’s" Jon Gruden, studio analyst Darren Woodson, "SportsCenter" anchor Kenny Mayne and ESPN senior writer John Clayton will take part of the telecast.

All four men were watching practice on Sunday in preparation for the show.

“I’ve never seen this type of energy on a football field in training camp,” Gruden said Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle. “The energy level is amazing. If you want to see enthusiasm, watch the first three minutes on this show. It will be an eye-opener for people to see how the Seahawks conduct practice.”

Gruden also said he differs from his ESPN colleague Ron Jaworski on how they view Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Jaworski said he would take Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles over Wilson.

“I just saw Russell walk away with the Lombardi trophy,” Gruden said. “I like mobility and players who create offense when nothing is there. Just watch [Wilson] play. I’ve never seen intangibles like Russ has – dedication, leadership, work ethic, everything.”
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RENTON, Wash. -- If Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is looking at his holdout from a standpoint of financial losses, he might want to show up on Tuesday when the players return to the field after an off day Monday.

With the help of ESPN colleague John Clayton’s expertise of the collective bargaining agreement, here are the actual dollars Lynch stands to lose if his holdout continues into the middle of this week.

Lynch
Lynch is incurring fines of $30,000 a day for each day he holds out. It’s up to the team’s discretion how they count those days, but camp officially started last Thursday. If the team counts the player’s off day Monday, Tuesday will be the sixth day of training camp.

Starting with the sixth day, a player is subject to losing 15 percent of his signing bonus. For Lynch, that’s $900,000. He was paid a $6 million bonus when he signed his four-year contract in 2012.

For each day he continues to hold out going forward, he can lose another 1 percent of his signing bonus ($60,000) for up to 25 percent of the total bonus. So if Lynch held out an additional 10 days, starting with Day 6 of camp, he would forfeit $1.5 million of his signing bonus.

Also, Lynch will lose one regular-season paycheck for each preseason game he misses -- not a preseason game check, a regular season check. For Lynch, that’s $312,500 lost for each preseason game he misses.

If he holds out for all four preseason games, Lynch would lose $1.25 million in regular-season game checks.

Starting to get the picture here? This is a very costly stand if Lynch decides to continue holding out.

Seahawks Camp Report: Day 3

July, 27, 2014
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A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the Seattle Seahawks training camp:
  • Wide receiver Phil Bates probably is a longshot to make the team, but he certainly hasn’t hurt his chances the last two days. Bates had two touchdowns catches Sunday. He made a circus-like sideline catch on a 30-yard throw to the goal line, grabbing the ball over cornerback Chandler Fenner. Bates later made a juggling catch in the back corner of the end zone, beating cornerback Akeem Auguste on a pass from Tarvaris Jackson. Bates went back to his high school quarterbacking roots Saturday, completing a pass to Russell Wilson on a trick play off a reverse.
  • It’s easy to take for granted just how good Wilson is when you see him at practice every day, but he was really on his game Sunday. His passes were sharp and on the money. His decisions come quickly as he consistently finds he open man, and he ran the ball well several times when his receivers were well covered. When you watch all the Seattle quarterbacks work, there’s Wilson and then there’s everyone else.
  • The Willson on this team with two Ls in his last name also is putting on a show at camp. Tight end Luke Willson was the team’s top rookie last season, but he looks like a seasoned pro now. Starter Zach Miller may be slightly better as a blocker, but not much better. And Willson is much better as a receiver. He consistently gets separation on pass routes and has great hands. Expect big things from Wilson to Willson this season.
  • It’s rare to see the offense way ahead of the defense at any Seattle practice, but the offense dominated the first day in full pads. All three running backs had big runs -- Robert Turbin, Spencer Ware and Demitrius Bronson. Christine Michael was out with a bruised shoulder. Big receiver Morrell Presley, who was signed two days ago, had a touchdown catch, as did tight end Cooper Helfet.
  • It wasn’t all bad for the defense. Richard Sherman made one of his signature tip deflections on a deep sideline pass intended for Arceto Clark. And defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had been a disrupted force inside the last two days by making several plays in the backfield.
  • Speaking of Sherman, Sunday was the first time he has spoken to the local media in six weeks. Sherman has been upset that the address of his new home was published by a few media outlets, causing some fans to camp out in front of this home.
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael did not practice Sunday, but coach Pete Carroll said Michael is OK.

“He just banged his shoulder a little bit,” Carroll said of Michael. “The trainers think he’ll be back on Tuesday.”

The players have the day off Monday after practicing in pads for the first time at training camp on Sunday.

Receiver Percy Harvin was back full speed Sunday after staying out of team drills Saturday. Carroll said it’s part of a plan to allow Harvin to take a break every few days and not overdo it in camp.

Rookie receiver Kevin Norwood missed practice for the second consecutive day because of a sore foot, but he is expected back Tuesday.

Starting left tackle Russell Okung, who had offseason toe surgery, was in pads Sunday, but did not take part in any drills.

“We talked last night about Okung,” Carroll said. “He probably is about two weeks away so we’re really sure he’s ready to roll.”

Defensive tackle Jesse Williams went full speed Sunday after missing most of Saturday’s practice, but Carroll said they also were resting Williams Saturday.

Rookie defensive tackle Jimmy Staten is out with a hyper-extended knee and a pulled hamstring, which Carroll said could sideline Staten for a while.

Outside linebacker Malcolm Smith (ankle) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (hip) still are recovering from offseason surgery, but both players are expected back soon.
RENTON, Wash. -- Will the NFL allow the Legion of Boom to be who they are this season?

The Seattle Seahawks secondary is known for its aggressive play with tight, press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Opponents often accuse them of grabbing and holding downfield.

The NFL hierarchy, however, made a point in the offseason to say it plans to crack down on overly physical play by defensive backs, which some have said borders on defensive holding or interference. NFL officials have said they plan to throw more flags to limit that contact.

Physical play in the secondary is such a big part of what the Seahawks do that this decision seems deliberately directed at Seattle, so much so that some people are calling it the “the LoB rule.”

“That’s a beautiful thing,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s respect, to me. If that’s the conversation, then it’s a sign of respect and people trying to figure it out. I think we’ve contributed to that.

“The rules that have been emphasized going into this year, there is some attention to the fact of aggressive play at the line of scrimmage. There was some talk of that at league meetings. The adjustments that we’ve made are palatable. We can handle it.”

The Seahawks secondary is an athletically gifted group, so doing whatever is necessary (depending on how tightly the officials call it) probably isn’t a problem.

But Seattle free safety Earl Thomas said the Legion of Boom won’t alter its way of doing things.

“We are who we are,” Thomas said. “People understand that we’re very aggressive. The corners like to do their thing and [strong safety] Kam [Chancellor] and me, we do the same thing. So we can’t worry about that. We’ve got to stay true to who we are. At the end of the day, defense is dictating the pace of what’s going on. We proved that.”

Thomas said he isn’t concerned about officials singling out the Seahawks secondary.

“If they call it, they call it,” Thomas said. “But we’re not playing timid. We’re going to stay on the attack. If you wait to get hit, you’re going to get knocked out.”

Seahawks Camp Report: Day 2

July, 26, 2014
Jul 26
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RENTON, Wash. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the Seattle Seahawks training camp:


  • The play of the day came when quarterback Russell Wilson caught a pass. The trick play started with a fake handoff before Wilson gave the ball to wide receiver Phil Bates on a reverse to the right. Wilson kept running into the left flat when Bates stopped in the backfield, turned and threw a nice pass to Wilson, who made the catch near the sideline past linebacker Mike Morgan.
  • It’s only the second day, but it appears the starting job at right offensive tackle is Justin Britt’s to lose. The rookie from Missouri is expected to battle Michael Bowie for the starting spot, but Bowie isn’t practicing because of a shoulder injury. Britt is taking all the first-team snaps and coach Pete Carroll praised him on Friday. Carroll even mentioned Wally Pipp in reference to Bowie. Pipp is the former New York Yankees first baseman who left a game because of a headache and was replaced by Lou Gehrig, who went on to play in 2,130 consecutive games.
  • Receiver Jermaine Kearse got a second chance at a great play Saturday. Early in practice, Kearse made an outstanding catch diving backwards on a deep sideline throw, but was flagged for offensive interference when the official said he pushed off. Near the end of practice, he got behind cornerback A.J. Jefferson on another deep sideline throw from Wilson and made a similar catch, but that one counted.
  • Left guard James Carpenter doesn’t look like the same player as one year ago, and that’s a good thing. Carpenter is slimmer, faster and healthier than he ever has been since coming to the Seahawks as a first-round draft choice in 2011. During Saturday’s practice, Carroll and offensive line coach Tom Cable made a point to come up and praise Carpenter for a pulling block he threw that enabled running back Christine Michael to get around the end on a sweep.
  • Safety Jeron Johnson, who missed most of last season with hamstring injuries in both legs, is healthy again and it shows. He had an interception Saturday when he pulled a short pass over the middle away from running back Robert Turbin. Johnson is playing strong safety with the first-team defense until Kam Chancellor returns from offseason hip surgery.
RENTON, Wash. -- Russell Wilson said he and free safety Earl Thomas have an unusual goal.

“We talk about trying to be legendary in some way,” Wilson said Saturday.

Some Seahawks fans might say both players already have reached that status after winning the Super Bowl last season. But Wilson’s point is they push each other to be the best they can be.

Thomas
Wilson
“Earl and I, we have a connection that’s really good,” Wilson said after Day 2 of training camp. “We talk about football and talk about life.”

Wilson and Thomas also have a contest each day to see which man is the first one to arrive at the team facility and which is last to leave.

“We do things together because I think we feed off each other," Wilson said. “We want to be great players, great human beings and great leaders. So being around each other is a good thing.”

They spent more time together in the offseason, two men who want to make sure the Seahawks don’t get complacent about their success.

“We have something to protect now and we love that,” Thomas said. “All we focus on is getting better.”

Thomas entered the NFL two years before Wilson and has watched Wilson continue to improve.

“He’s a different guy now,” Thomas said of Wilson. “He’s more in control and he’s a great leader. I’m excited to see what he’s going to bring this season.”
RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks made several roster moves Saturday morning, adding rookie safety Steven Terrell and rookie linebacker Brandon Denmark. The team also released defensive tackle Dewayne Cherrington.

Terrell (5-foot-10, 195 pounds) played college ball at Texas A&M. He wasn’t drafted, but signed with the Houston Texans as a rookie free agent before being released at the end of May.

Denmark (6-3, 245) played at Florida A&M. Denmark attended the rookie minicamp of the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks are a little short at linebacker for now with Bruce Irvin and Korey Toomer on the PUP list, and Malcolm Smith still not practicing after offseason ankle surgery.

The Seahawks were able to add two players and release only one because running back Marshawn Lynch does not count as a roster spot while he’s holding out.
RENTON, Wash. -- Here are few interesting comments from Seattle Seahawks' training camp:

Quarterback Terrelle Pryor put to rest any talk of him playing another position.
“I can’t catch,’’ Pryor said Friday. “I’m either going to play quarterback or I’m going to be out of this league.”

Receiver Percy Harvin said Friday the Seahawks need running back Marshawn Lynch, who is holding out.
“He’s the engine that gets this thing going,” Harvin said. “We’re going to need him out here to piece this thing all together. We know Beast Mode. It’s a business and he has things he’s going to get worked out. Until then, we’re going to keep working.”

Coach Pete Carroll said he believes wide receiver Sidney Rice did the right thing in deciding to retire.
“He took his time figuring it out and I think he’s making a great choice,” Carroll said. “He’s had a series of injuries and problems staying healthy. He’s had a number of concussions and that goes into it as well, so he’s very comfortable with the decision.

“Of course, he’s lament that he’s not going to be able to play, but I think he feels strongly that he’s making a good decision and so we support the heck out of him. We’ll miss him and he’ll always be a part of us."

Seahawks Camp Report: Day 1

July, 25, 2014
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Here are six observations from the first day of training camp for the Seattle Seahawks:
  • One clear standout was rookie receiver Kevin Norwood. He made one sensational leaping catch on a cross pattern while two defenders were closely covering him. Norwood also made a tough catch on a deep out, then turned and juked his way past linebacker Horace Miller to race down the sideline. Paul Richardson is the rookie speedster who wows people with his speed, but Norwood has been a pleasant surprise with his sure hands, consistent route running and polished skills every time he's on the field.
  • Rookie safety Dion Bailey of USC got a standing ovation from the crowd when he leaped to intercept a Russell Wilson pass on a Wilson bootleg. Bailey was a free-agent signee who is hoping to earn a backup spot behind Earl Thomas.
  • The punt returning job remains wide open. Seven players took turns fielding punts Friday -- Thomas, cornerbacks Richard Sherman, Phillip Adams and A.J. Jefferson, and receivers Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Bryan Walters.
  • Sherman had a deja vu moment in practice when he was covering Chris Matthews on a deep sideline pass to the right corner of the end zone. Sherman reached up and tipped the ball away at the last second. It was similar to his game-saving play in the NFC Championship against the 49ers when he tipped the pass away from Michael Crabtree, which Malcolm Smith intercepted. By the way, Sherman also was wearing neon lime green shoes that were blinding.
  • Harvin had some nice catches Friday, but the biggest thing is just seeing him on the field 100 percent healthy. "This is the best I've felt in a very long time," Harvin said. "I'm doing some things I haven't been able to do in a while."
  • It's just the first day with no pads, but running backs Christine Michael and Robert Turbin took full advantage of Marshawn Lynch's absence and had several impressive runs. Michael really shows off his speed on outside runs around the edge, usually out running linebackers to the sideline before the defensive back can catch him.
RENTON, Wash. -- So what can the Seattle Seahawks do to make Marshawn Lynch happy, and what might they be willing to do?

Lynch has two years left on a four-year deal that pays him $30 million. He will earn a $5 million base salary this season and $5.5 million in base salary for 2015, but he also received a $6 million signing bonus two years ago.

Lynch
Lynch wants more money this season because he knows he could become a salary-cap casualty in 2015 when he will count $9 million against the cap.

It’s not likely the Seahawks would be willing to restructure Lynch’s deal to pay him more money this season. However, the team might tell him it will guarantee a portion of his 2015 salary.

For example, maybe the Seahawks tell Lynch that $1 million on his 2015 base salary is guaranteed. If they decided to release him after the 2014 season, they would owe him $1 million.

No one knows if that would be enough to make Lynch happy or whether the Seahawks would make the offer.

It’s also wise to factor in that Lynch just might want to skip some of training camp and is willing to pay the $30,000 a day it will cost him. Lynch came to minicamp (he didn’t participate because of a “sore ankle”), but he showed the coaches he was in shape.

So Lynch doesn’t really need the training-camp time. The truth is he probably wouldn't get more than half a dozen carries in the preseason games even if he arrived on Saturday.

And it’s good to give the extra practice time to running backs Christine Michael and Robert Turbin.
RENTON, Wash. -- The Marshawn Lynch watch and his possible holdout is the No. 1 concern as training camp starts Friday for the Seattle Seahawks, but there are four other guys who may or may not practice on Day 1.

Those four players had offseason surgery -- offensive tackle Russell Okung (toe), outside linebackers Malcolm Smith and Bruce Irvin (hip) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (hip).

We'll see how many of them are participating full speed. The coaches have said they expect Okung, Smith and Chancellor to be ready to go, but all three are key players for the team, so they may take it slow at first.

There's no reason to push it now. The important thing is to be ready for the start of the regular season, which still is six weeks away.

Irvin is the player who could take a little longer to get back to 100 percent because his surgery was June 2, much later than the other three players. However, Irvin has been tweeting that his rehab is going great and he feels good.

So after everyone checks to see if Beast Mode makes it to training camp Friday, they also will want to see if four veteran players are fully recovered and ready to play.
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No one wants to walk away from the game at 27, but Sidney Rice is doing the right thing. It was time to move on for the popular Seattle Seahawks receiver.

Rice announced his retirement Wednesday, which came as quite a shock to many fans. But injuries have taken a toll on Rice, and a history of concussions had become a concern.

He is one of the most respected and well-liked players in the Seahawks' locker room, but the truth is Rice had a tough road ahead of him in making the team this season. He could see what was happening around him.

The Seahawks drafted two talented receivers in speedster Paul Richardson and polished Alabama wideout Kevin Norwood. They signed free agents Chris Matthews and Taylor Price and are bringing a total of 12 receivers to training camp. Ricardo Lockette was a standout in minicamp.

With only six spots -- at the most -- available, Rice was 50/50 to make the team. And he was coming off ACL surgery from the middle of last season. The fact he doesn’t play special teams also hurt his chances.

[+] EnlargeSidney Rice
AP Photo/Julio CortezSidney Rice will retire from the NFL after seven seasons, 81 games, 3,592 receiving yards and 30 TDs.
The Seahawks released Rice in the spring to save more than $7 million in salary-cap space. He was a free agent who could have signed with any team, but big offers didn’t come and he returned for a base salary of $1 million.

The fact the Seahawks made any offer to Rice shows how much they respect him, hoping he still could fill the role as the team’s big receiver. But Norwood (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) looks more than capable of handling those duties, even though he’s smaller than Rice (6-4, 200). Matthews (6-5, 220), who was the rookie of the year in the CFL two seasons ago, will get an opportunity there as well.

So Rice came to the wise conclusion that his NFL days probably are over. He plans to stay in the Seattle area as a businessman. He is opening five Wingstop franchises, the first of which already has opened in Tacoma, Washington.

It’s a shame more players don’t end their career this way rather than continuing and playing at a greatly reduced performance level. Rice had no intention of just trying to hold on.

 
Examining the Seattle Seahawks' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)

The first two spots are locked with Wilson and Jackson as his backup, but the third QB spot is a battle between Pryor and B.J. Daniels. Pryor has the clear advantage due to his size and speed.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

The question is whether Lynch will get fewer carries to keep him fresh, and if so, will Michael or Turbin be the one who gets more carries as the backup. Most are betting on Michael, but Turbin may surprise people this season.

FULLBACKS (2)

Coleman and Ware are converted running backs, and the Seahawks may see Ware as more of a running back now. The only true fullback is rookie Kiero Small (5-foot-8, 250 pounds), who could beat out Ware but will likely start the season on the practice squad.

RECEIVERS (6)

Four of these spots are set -- Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse and Richardson, the rookie speedster from Colorado. But nine players are vying for the final two spots. The odd man out for me is veteran Sidney Rice, but he could beat out Lockette or Norwood, the rookie from Alabama. Placing Norwood on the practice squad would be a big risk.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

McCoy returns after missing all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon. One of the two rookie tight ends, Rashaun Allen or Chase Dixon, will make the practice squad.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

The one starting battle is at right tackle between Bowie and rookie Britt. Rookie tackles Garry Gilliam and Nate Isles, along with rookie guard Bronson Irwin, have a chance to make the practice squad.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

This will be a great battle to watch. A surprise cut is coming and it could be Jordan Hill, the second-year player from Penn State. He may be fighting second-year DT Jesse Williams for a spot, but Williams has to prove he’s healthy. Signing Kevin Williams before minicamp was a major addition to the rotation at defensive tackle. Scruggs’ return after missing last season will help the depth at defensive end. The Seahawks are high on UCLA rookie defensive end Marsh, who also can play inside. Rookie Jimmy Staten probably goes to the practice squad, and free-agent rookie Jackson Jeffcoat of Texas is the man who could sneak in here with a great preseason showing.

LINEBACKERS (6)

Irvin is coming off hip surgery, but he was probably going to lose his spot as the starting strongside linebacker anyway. Depending on his recovery, he could start the year on IR. Toomer has been the biggest surprise of offseason workouts with his stellar play. Pierre-Louis is a super-fast rookie who will contribute a lot on special teams this season. O'Brien Schofield is on the bubble as an outside linebacker/defensive end.

CORNERBACKS (5)

Another tough cut is coming here. Phillip Adams looked good, and he can return kicks. Lane will start as the nickelback and Shead can play corner and safety. Simon, who missed his rookie year last season with injuries, has impressed everyone in the offseason workouts.

SAFETIES (4)

Johnson probably is the first backup at both safety spots. Rookie Eric Pinkins is a safety the Seahawks are trying to convert to cornerback, but he could be headed to the practice squad. USC rookie Dion Bailey is on the bubble for making the roster, as is Parks. But Parks has shined in offseason workouts.

SPECIALISTS (3)

These spots are set unless an injury occurs.

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