Seahawks roster moves: These players are falling out of favor at other training camps
8/10/22: Gardner Minshew, Garrett Bradbury, Laviska Shenault, and 12 other names who could be on the move
The Seattle Seahawks made a roster move on Wednesday, signing cornerback Jameson Houston following a rash of injuries at the position over the last week, including missed practices from Sidney Jones IV, Artie Burns, Ugo Amadi, and John Reid. With Tre Brown yet to practice because he’s on PUP, the Seahawks are realizing just how close a “deep” secondary is to starting two rookie cornerbacks in Week 1 against Russell Wilson’s Denver Broncos.
The Seahawks’ move to add Houston to the 90-man roster in place of guard Keenan Forbes, himself only added to the team in late July, is not one of security or insurance to the cornerback position. Houston’s availability at this stage of the offseason is in itself a sign that he is not likely to make an NFL roster after only playing 22 snaps through his first two years in the league.
But not all players who change teams between now and September’s opener will be denoted as camp bodies and cannon fodder. Some could even be quite good.
Tuesday was the most-viewed day in Seaside Joe history, mostly thanks to YOU (we are approaching the 1,000-subscriber milestone a month ahead of schedule) but in part thanks to Roquan Smith’s trade request and his potential fit with the Seattle Seahawks—even if I do not think that such a trade will happen, nor am I necessarily endorsing it. Usually what I do at Seaside Joe is give my view on what is possible and why situations are probable or improbable; not giving my opinion on what “I would do.”
When I want to make it clear what I would do, I’ll say, “This is what I would do.”
The Seahawks signed Jameson Houston on Wednesday because they could. Pete Carroll will have many more opportunities in the next four weeks to add new players and prospects to the Seahawks roster maybe not only because he can, but because he gets to.
That’s why for Wednesday’s first Seaside Bonus post for Regular Joes, I wanted to scour the other 31 training camps for potential names that are falling out of favor on their current rosters. These names will not invoke excitement like “Roquan Smith” or other rumored players asking for an exit (Kareem Hunt, for example) but they do fall closer to the realm of realistic when Carroll decides to start tinkering with the back end of the roster and developmental options with potential long-term value.
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Last year, the Seahawks claimed C Dakoda Shepley and DB Nigel Warrior at final cuts. Two years ago it was LB D’Andre Walker, QB Danny Etling, but Seattle also claimed D.J. Reed from the 49ers early in August. The year before that, the Seahawks lost J.D. McKissic to the Lions after cutting him.
There are roster moves ahead and many of you have inquired about who the Seahawks might target in the coming weeks, who may be left behind on other rosters, and whether someone like Jimmy Garoppolo could eventually land with Seattle. I’ve already written enough about Garoppolo and it’s too late for anyone other than Drew Lock or Geno Smith to be the starting quarterback to open the Seahawks season.
However, these are 15 names, including two QBs, potentially worth monitoring ahead.
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QB Gardner Minshew, Eagles
Though there will be talk between now and next year of the Seahawks potentially trading for an established veteran quarterback instead of drafting one, I think the Eagles will try to sneak to the front of that line and be one of the first teams to make calls about Lamar Jackson, Ryan Tannehill, or Kirk Cousins. Because Philadelphia does have a good team, they do have a good supporting cast, but Jalen Hurts is headlining the uncomfortable play of Eagles’ quarterbacks in training camp so far.
I almost always root for players to succeed—football is better when the football players do good at playing football—but one of the things I hate the MOST about modern NFL journalism is the will of the media to overhype trendy players at any given opportunity. It gives fans a distorted view of reality and unfairly paints a forgiving picture of anybody who the media deems as “worthy” of relentless positivity and immune to constructive criticism.
So if you want to get reports on Jalen Hurts, you might search for them on Twitter or Google, and the top hits will all be about “Wow, here’s one single good play from practice!” “Now *THIS* is what you should expect from this guy that you already like! Please like ME too!”
That’s not how I do reporting. There are maybe 12 good quarterbacks in the entire world and it isn’t unfair to say that Hurts has a long ways to go before he could be considered among them. It’s actually the definition of fair to treat all quarterbacks on an even field of judgment and in Hurts’ case, he didn’t even become a media darling until it became obvious that he was going to be Philly’s only hope.
I remember the media criticizing him for falling out of favor at Alabama, for being a discount version of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray at Oklahoma, for being an underwhelming consolation quarterback in the 2020 draft. Now they’re lining up to call Hurts good before he’s good, just in case he is good.
If he’s bad? No harm, because there are no consequences for saying things that turn out to be untrue. Fans move on. Writers definitely move on when they’re wrong.
None of which is to say that Jalen Hurts can’t be adequate-to-good with A.J. Brown replacing Jalen Reagor, I’ll root for his success. More to the point is that if Gardner Minshew can’t push Hurts for a job—and is in fact losing ground to Reid Sinnett—surely any hopes of him rescuing the Seahawks are about as realistic as Ian Rapoport reaching a top shelf.
Minshew’s career stats, and Hurts’s to a degree, are more of a product of modern NFL passing rules/schemes than above-average talent. At 26, Minshew is maybe one or two camps away from starting his career in a different pro football league unless he can really establish himself as a valuable backup. The idea of him starting in this league should have sailed when he lost that role with the Jaguars and then was only traded for a sixth round pick, first serving as Philly’s third string quarterback until midseason.
If Sinnett wins the backup role with the Eagles, Minshew could hit waivers or the trade block. The Seahawks are not likely to have an open roster spot for Minshew on the 53, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s available to add later in the year. Seattle fans hoping that Minshew can prove skeptics wrong may still have their opportunity, even if he won’t be starting for the Seahawks any time soon.
WR Laviska Shenault, Jaguars
Staying with the Jaguars, tangentially speaking, a recent second round pick with 121 career receptions might be the latest player to fall out of favor in Jacksonville.
Shenault, 6’1, 227 lbs, had 86 catches for 1,011 yards as a sophomore at Colorado, also rushing for five touchdowns, but he was far less productive when Mel Tucker (Ken Walker’s head coach at Michigan State last year) took over in 2019. But the Jaguars still picked Shenault 42nd overall—ahead of Chase Claypool—and he caught 58 passes for 600 yards as a rookie.
Most of that was with Minshew, but four of his five touchdowns came when Mike Glennon was at quarterback.
But Shenault has seemingly no chemistry with Trevor Lawrence and he failed to catch a touchdown over 16 games last season. Jacksonville signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in the offseason, both securely ahead of Shenault, and they’ve retained Marvin Jones, Jamal Agnew, and Laquon Treadwell.
A camp injury has further hurt his standing with the team and Shenault could be traded before the preseason is even over. You would think that 179 targets in two years is enough to convince a team that Shenault isn’t as disastrous as someone like Jalen Reagor, so a trade seems realistic, but the Jags may just decide to hang onto him “in case.”
Like…in case they keep being the Jaguars.
The Seahawks need to be taking a long look at all potentially available wide receivers with a modicum of talent. The depth behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf is not good enough entering the season and definitely not when looking past 2022.
Now onto center Garrett Bradbury, a recent first round pick, and many more potential options for Seattle to look at over the next month including cornerbacks, receivers, offensive linemen, and edge rushers who were picked in the top-10.