The dust has settled. The shock has worn off. The Seattle Seahawks have set their initial 53-man roster for the 2013 season.
The Seahawks are supposed have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. They're returning 20 of 22 starters, all three specialists, and most of their key backups. All of that should add up to a rather boring and uneventful cut period as the team reduces its roster down to 53 players, right?
The Seahawks raised plenty of eyebrows when they released the list of 53 players who had made the roster. This was true both for a few of the names that were on the list, and for a few names that were conspicuously absent as well.
Here are the top snubs and surprises from the Seahawks roster:
Snub: Michael Robinson
A little over a year removed from a Pro Bowl, FB Michael Robinson is now looking for a new job. He found himself on the wrong side of a salary cap decision, as well as being on the wrong side of 30 on a team that is among the youngest in the NFL.
Robinson had become a fan favorite in Seattle because of work on the Real Rob Report, and his release has created a bit of an uproar on Twitter and in the comments sections of local newspapers.
Surprise: Derrick Coleman
If Robinson was a surprise cut, then the player who will replace him as the starting fullback will be an even bigger surprise. Derrick Coleman entered camp as a complete unknown, but has battled his way onto the roster. Perhaps even more surprising is that Coleman is essentially deaf, though he insists that his disability has never affected his ability to play football.
Snub: Antoine Winfield
The Seahawks signed Antoine Winfield in April to upgrade their coverage of slot receivers in nickel situations. Instead, he was unable to hold off Walter Thurmond on the depth chart, leading the Seahawks to cut the 36-year-old CB. The move saves the Seahawks $1 million against the salary cap.
Winfield opted to retire after being cut by the Seahawks.
Surprise: Heath Farwell
The Seahawks kept seven LBs on roster. That alone was a bit of a surprise due to the depth at CB and the injuries on the defensive line, both of which seemed to suggest that the Seahawks might keep as few as five linebackers on the roster.
Even more surprising was that Farwell was among the names listed for those seven linebackers. His age (31), inflated salary for a backup and special teams player, and the Seahawks need for additional cap space all suggested that he was unlikely to make the team.
Snub: Sealver Siliga
The Seahawks traded guard John Moffitt to the Denver Broncos for DT Sealver Siliga just 11 days before final roster cuts were due to be set. It was assumed that Siliga was going to make the roster, especially after Siliga started in the fourth preseason game against the Oakland Raiders and played fairly well. Instead, Siliga was cut for a player who wasn't even on the roster in training camp.
Surprise: D'Anthony Smith
D'Anthony Smith was a Jacksonville Jaguar until just hours before the deadline for teams to set rosters. The Seahawks gave up a conditional draft pick for Smith in a trade, because they didn't think that he'd make it down to them on the waiver wire. That the team was willing to give up a pick for Smith, after already giving up a player for Siliga at the position, came as quite a surprise.
Snub: Sean McGrath
Sean McGrath was one of just two TEs who spent time on the field with the starting offense in the preseason while Zach Miller was recovering from injury. The rest of the TEs fighting to make the roster all had to wait until the backups were on the field before receiving any playing time. The rotation seemed deliberate and calculated.
Therefore, McGrath was thought to be a lock to make the roster by most fans as the team's third TE. Instead, he's now a Kansas City Chief after being cut and claimed off waivers.
Surprise: Michael Bowie
Michael Bowie was always going to make the Seahawks roster. He stood out in training camp and in the preseason games with the second-team offensive line and was given time with the starters at LG during the preseason game against the Packers.
The surprise here is that he didn't land on injured reserve. Bowie injured his shoulder in last Thursday's game against the Raiders. Pete Carroll had said that the injury "might be more serious that we hope," as noted by Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times. I guess it wasn't as bad as suspected, though the team has yet to issue an update on his status.
Snub: Chris Harper
Chris Harper never stood out in training camp or in the preseason, so not seeing his name on the roster isn't a complete surprise. On the other hand, he was a fourth-round pick in April's draft, and mid-round picks are generally locks to make the roster. In fact, Harper is the second-highest pick from the 2013 draft to be cut.
Surprise: Chris Clemons
While Chris Clemons was never in any danger of being cut, his inclusion on the roster was still a slight surprise. Clemons tore his ACL in the wild-card round of the playoffs last season. As recently as this past week, Pete Carroll indicated that the team was still unsure if Clemons was far enough along in his recovery to avoid the PUP list.
Clemons is now on the active roster, though it remains to be seen when he will see his first game action.