Monday, August 19, 2013
On John Moffitt's departure from Seahawks
By Mike Sando
The Seattle Seahawks were once counting on 2011 third-round choice John Moffitt to bolster their offensive line. They traded him to the Cleveland Browns on Monday because their depth had improved and Moffitt never played well enough to win the job outright. He wasn't necessarily going to earn a spot on the initial 53-man roster.
The Browns, desperate for help at guard after injuries struck the position particularly hard, sent defensive end Brian Sanford to Seattle in return. Sanford, undrafted from Temple in 2010, played 62 snaps for the Browns in six games over the past two seasons. The 6-foot-2, 280-pounder has also spent time on the Browns' practice squad.
Teams generally keep no more than nine offensive linemen on their 53-man rosters. Seattle rookie tackles Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey have played well enough during training camp and the preseason to project as likely keepers. Both might help at guard as well. Russell Okung, Max Unger and Breno Giacomini are returning starters. Veteran Paul McQuistan and second-year pro J.R. Sweezy are candidates to start, as is James Carpenter, provided Carpenter can get healthy. Moffitt's departure leaves veteran Lemuel Jeanpierre as the player best suited to back up Unger at center, it appears.
McQuistan, Sweezy and Carpenter are the top starting candidates at guard.
K.J. Wright and Richard Sherman remain as key starters from Seattle's 2011 draft class. Carpenter could join them, health permitting. Malcolm Smith, one of two seventh-rounders that year, could start at linebacker. Sixth-rounder Byron Maxwell has impressed in camp at cornerback and is pushing for a roster spot in a deep secondary.
Moffitt became best known in Seattle for his outgoing personality and sense of humor. Those characteristics fit best on an offensive line when backed by dependable, credible play on the field. Moffitt started as a rookie before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He has had a hard time getting back into the lineup and staying there.
Note that the playing-time information in the chart shows games played only for Seattle. Some of the players have played for other teams as well.