Carroll trims Seahawks' roster, leaving just two quarterbacks
If Seattle doesn't make any roster moves before next Sunday, the team will enter the season with only Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn on the depth chart at quarterback after cutting Josh Portis.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Did you know
• If Seattle doesn't add a quarterback to the current pair of Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn, it would be only the third time in 10 years the Seahawks went into a season with only two quarterbacks.
• The release of DE Cordarro Law left Seattle without any undrafted free agents this year on the 53-man roster. At least one undrafted free agent had made the team every season since 2006. Last year there were three: WR Doug Baldwin, S Jeron Johnson and QB Josh Portis.
• The release of Deon Butler leaves Seattle with just five players on the roster drafted during Tim Ruskell's five years as president: DE Red Bryant, DT Brandon Mebane, LB Leroy Hill, WR Ben Obomanu, C Max Unger.
• Rookie receiver Jermaine Kearse was among the undrafted free agents waived. He was the last former UW Husky on the team's roster.
Sunday, Sept. 9
Seahawks @ Cardinals, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 13
The Seahawks began training camp with a three-man competition at quarterback.
They ended August with only two quarterbacks on the roster: Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn.
Second-year quarterback Josh Portis was among the 20 players let go by the Seahawks on Friday as they trimmed their roster to 53 players. Portis made the team as an undrafted free agent last year out of California University (Pennsylvania), and spent 2011 as the No. 3 quarterback. He was not part of the quarterback competition in training camp, and his most extensive playing time in an exhibition game this year was in Thursday's finale. He was 1 for 6 passing in the fourth quarter.
Receiver Deon Butler, a third-round pick in 2009 who made the team the past three seasons, was released as the Seahawks chose to keep receiver Charly Martin instead. Kris Durham, a fourth-round pick a year ago, was also let go as Ben Obomanu remains on Seattle's roster.
Butler's best came in 2010 when he caught 36 passes before suffering a severe broken leg in San Francisco in December. At 5 feet 10, Butler never had the height the Seahawks coveted in their outside receivers under coach Pete Carroll, and this training camp, Butler was designated a slot receiver, which doesn't utilize his speed.
Durham did have that size, but never got much of an opportunity in games, either this year in training camp or during his rookie season when he caught three passes before he was placed on injured reserve and had shoulder surgery. He is the second player picked in the fourth round under Carroll to be released. Defensive end E.J. Wilson was cut during his rookie season in 2010 after he was picked in the fourth round out of North Carolina.
Nine of the 10 players Seattle chose in the draft last April made the team, the only exception being linebacker Korey Toomer, who was a fifth-round choice out of Idaho. Toomer is an exceptional combination of size and speed, but was behind starter K.J. Wright and backup Mike Morgan on the depth chart at strongside linebacker.
Toomer didn't have the special-teams impact the team hoped for in Seattle's exhibition games.
Just as significant as who is not on the 53-man roster, though, is one player who is: offensive lineman James Carpenter. He did not practice at all during training camp as he continued his recovery from a knee injury he suffered in practice last October.
Carpenter was last year's first-round pick, and he was on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since training camp began. Had he been placed on that list to begin the season, he would not have counted against the 53-man roster limit, but also would have been ineligible to begin practicing with the team until after its sixth game.
Cornerback Walter Thurmond is on the PUP list and will be out at least the first six weeks as he recovers from a leg injury. The fact Carpenter was moved to the active roster indicates the team expects he can begin practicing before the sixth game. When he returns, he is expected to play guard.
Tackle Allen Barbre also remains a Seahawk, but he is suspended the first four weeks for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He does not count against the 53-man roster limit during that time.
Other players released: DB Phillip Adams, DE Pierre Allen, LB Allen Bradford, T Paul Fanaika, G Rishaw Johnson, WR Jermaine Kearse, LB Kyle Knox, DE Cordarro Law, WR Ricardo Lockette, TE Sean McGrath, C Kris O'Dowd, DB DeShawn Shead, WR Lavasier Tuinei, TE Cooper Helfet, RB Vai Taua.
LB Matt McCoy was placed on injured reserve.