NFC West: Jamar Adams

Definitive look at NFC West turnover

September, 8, 2010
Roster turnover is a leading topic for discussion in Seattle following the release of T.J. Houshmandzadeh in particular.

I've addressed the subject in depth across the division -- first May 26 and again July 30 -- and it's worth another look now that teams have reduced to 53 players for the regular season.

This time, I'm going to break down the changes by position, listing players no longer on the active roster at each main position group (with new players in parenthesis). Departures outnumber replacements because some players finished last season on injured reserve, meaning they were not part of the 53-man roster.

Some players no longer on the active roster remain with the team (they could be suspended, deemed physically unable to perform or part of the practice squad).

St. Louis Rams (34 off roster)

Defensive back: Eric Bassey, Quincy Butler, Danny Gorrer, Clinton Hart, Cordelius Parks, David Roach, Jonathan Wade (added Kevin Dockery, Jerome Murphy, Darian Stewart)

Defensive line: Victor Adeyanju, Adam Carriker, Leger Douzable, Leonard Little, LaJuan Ramsey, James Wyche (added Jermelle Cudjo, Fred Robbins, George Selvie, Eugene Sims)

Linebacker: K.C. Asiodu, Paris Lenon (added Na'il Diggs, Josh Hull)

Offensive line: Roger Allen, Alex Barron, Ryan McKee, Mark Setterstrom, Phillip Trautwein, Eric Young (added Renardo Foster, Hank Fraley, Rodger Saffold)

Quarterback: Kyle Boller, Marc Bulger, Keith Null, Mike Reilly (added Sam Bradford, A.J. Feeley, Thaddeus Lewis)

Running back: Samkon Gado, Chris Ogbonnaya (added Keith Toston)

Special teams: Ryan Neill

Tight end: Randy McMichael (added Mike Hoomanawanui, Fendi Onobun)

Wide receiver: Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton, Brooks Foster, Jordan Kent, Ruvell Martin (added Mark Clayton, Dominique Curry, Mardy Gilyard)

Seattle Seahawks (33 off roster)

Defensive back: Jamar Adams, Deon Grant, Ken Lucas, Josh Wilson (added Kam Chancellor, Kennard Cox, Nate Ness, Earl Thomas, Walter Thurmond)

Defensive line: Lawrence Jackson, Patrick Kerney, Cory Redding, Nick Reed, Darryl Tapp, Craig Terrill (added Kentwan Balmer, Raheem Brock, Chris Clemons, Dexter Davis, Junior Siavii, E.J. Wilson)

Linebacker: Leroy Hill, Lance Laury, D.D. Lewis (added Matt McCoy; note that Hill is suspended for the first regular-season game)

Offensive line: Trevor Canfield, Brandon Frye, Walter Jones, Damion McIntosh, Rob Sims, Steve Vallos, Ray Willis, Mansfield Wrotto (added Stacy Andrews, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Ben Hamilton, Russell Okung, Chester Pitts, Tyler Polumbus)

Quarterback: Mike Teel, Seneca Wallace (added Charlie Whitehurst)

Running back: Justin Griffith, Louis Rankin, Tyler Roehl, Owen Schmitt (added Quinton Ganther, Michael Robinson, Leon Washington)

Special teams: Kevin Houser, Jeff Robinson (added Clint Gresham)

Tight end: John Owens (added Chris Baker, Anthony McCoy)

Wide receiver: Nate Burleson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh (added Golden Tate, Mike Williams)

Arizona Cardinals (24 off roster)

Defensive backs: Ralph Brown, Bryant McFadden, Antrel Rolle (added A.J. Jefferson, Trumaine McBride, Brandon McDonald, Kerry Rhodes)

Defensive line: Jason Banks (added Dan Williams)

Linebacker: Monty Beisel, Bertrand Berry, Cody Brown, Karlos Dansby, Gerald Hayes, Chike Okeafor, Pago Togafau (added Paris Lenon, Cyril Obiozor, Joey Porter, Daryl Washington; Hayes can return from the physically unable to perform list after six games)

Offensive line: Mike Gandy, Herman Johnson, Reggie Wells (added Alan Faneca, Rex Hadnot)

Quarterback: Matt Leinart, Brian St. Pierre, Kurt Warner (added Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton)

Running back: Justin Green, Dan Kreider (added Jerome Johnson)

Special teams: Neil Rackers (added Jay Feely)

Tight end: Anthony Becht (added Jim Dray)

Wide receiver: Anquan Boldin, Sean Morey, Jerheme Urban (added Andre Roberts, Stephen Williams)

San Francisco 49ers (24 off roster)

Defensive backs: Dre' Bly, Walt Harris, Marcus Hudson, Mark Roman (added Phillip Adams, Tramaine Brock, William James, Taylor Mays)

Defensive line: Kentwan Balmer, Derek Walker

Linebacker: Scott McKillop, Jeff Ulbrich, Matt Wilhelm (added NaVorro Bowman, Travis LaBoy)

Offensive line: Tony Pashos, Chris Patrick, Cody Wallace (added Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati)

Quarterback: Nate Davis, Shaun Hill (added David Carr, Troy Smith)

Running back: Thomas Clayton, Glen Coffee, Brit Miller, Michael Robinson (added Anthony Dixon, Brian Westbrook)

Special teams: Shane Andrus, Ricky Schmitt

Wide receiver: Arnaz Battle, Isaac Bruce, Jason Hill, Brandon Jones (added Ted Ginn Jr., Kyle Williams, Dominique Zeigler)

The first chart shows how many players are back -- at least for now -- from Week 17 rosters and injured reserve lists. Seattle has the fewest number back with 26.

The second chart shows how many players each team has shed since Week 17 last season. This counts players who were on injured reserve. Teams with lots of players on injured reserve had more players to lose.

San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Leonard Little, Jerheme Urban, Dre' Bly, Isaac bruce, Owen Schmitt, Josh Wilson, Mike Teel, Justin Green, Derek Anderson, Walt Harris, Tony Pashos, Brian St.Pierre, Darryl Tapp, Sam Bradford, Mark Roman, Dan Kreider, Steve Vallos, David Carr, Randy McMIchael, Ralph Brown, Lawrence Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst, Shaun HIll, Leroy HIll, Chris Patrick, Matt Leinart, Chike Okeafor, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Brian Westbrook, Bertrand Berry, Dominique Zeigler, Ricky Schmitt, Eric Bassey, Eric Young, D.D. Lewis, Nick Reed, Nate Burleson, Alex Barron, Samkon Gado, Kyle Boller, Brit Miller, Patrick Kerney, Quincy Butler, Michael Robinson, Arnaz Battle, Ray Willis, Jerome Johnson, Derek Walker, Glen Coffee, Brooks Foster, Monty Beisel, Renardo Foster, Mansfield Wrotto, Ken Lucas, Seneca Wallace, Donnie Avery, Karlos Dansby, Alex Boone, Marcus Hudson, Adam Carriker, Cody Brown, Kurt Warner, Cordelius Parks, Jeff Ulbrich, Chris Ogbonnaya, Neil Rackers, Pago Togafau, Scott McKillop, Kentwan Balmer, Lance Laury, Sean Morey, Mike Gandy, Mike Reilly, Anquan Boldin, Trevor Canfield, Marc Bulger, Mike Hass, Nate Davis, Cory Redding, Antrel Rolle, Matt McCoy, Brandon Jones, Alan Faneca, Anthony Davis, Keenan Burton, Jason HIll, Joey Porter, David Roach, Phillip Trautwein, Tyler Roehl, Taylor Mays, Mark Setterstrom, Travis LaBoy, A.J. Feeley, Craig Terrill, Keith Null, Jay Feely, Cody Wallace, K.C. Asiodu, Jordan Kent, Kyle Williams, Stacy Andrews, James Wyche, Reggie Wells, Victor Adeyanju, Jonathan Wade, Thomas Clayton, Deon Grant, LaJuan Ramsey, John Owens, Bryant McFadden, Matt Wilhelm, Gerald Hayes, Jeff Robinson, Herman Johnson, Walter Jones, Mike Williams, Justin Griffith, Jason Banks, Rob Sims, Jamar Adams, Kevin Houser, Anthony Becht, Damion McIntosh, Nate Ness, Louis Rankin, Brandon Frye, Ruvell Martin, Paris Lenon, Leger Douzable, Ryan Neill, Danny Gorrer, Russell Okung, Anthony McCoy, Clinton Hart, Earl Thomas, Leon Washington, Andre Roberts, Chester Pitts, Dan Williams, Mike Iupati, Ben Hamilton, Ryan McKee, Kennard Cox, Kerry Rhodes, Fred Robbins, Chris Baker, William James, Rex Hadnot, Hank Fraley, Mark Clayton, Quinton Ganther, Na'il Diggs, Chris Clemons, John Skelton, Mardy Gilyard, Rodger Saffold, Daryl Washington, Golden Tate, Jerome Murphy, Navorro Bowman, Walter Thurmond, E.J. Wilson, Mike Hoomanawanui, Nate Byham, Fendi Onobun, George Selvie, Thaddeus Lewis, Max Hall, Stephen Williams, A.J. Jefferson, Anthony Dixon, Max Komar, Eugene Sims, Kam Chancellor, Dexter Davis, Jermelle Cudjo, Darian Stewart, Keith Toston, Tramaine Brock, Jim Dray, Dominique Curry, Josh Hull, Phillip Adams, Trumaine McBride, Kevin Dockery, Shane Andrus, Tyler Polumbus, Clint Gresham, Roger III Allen, Cyril Obiozor, Brandon McDonald, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Junior Siavii, Troy Smith, Ted Jr. Ginn, Raheem Brock

NFC West practice squad eligibility

September, 5, 2010
NFL teams can begin signing eight or fewer players to their practice squads once the players clear waivers Sunday.

Players on practice squads earn $5,200 per week for the 2010 season. The collective bargaining agreement sets the following parameters for eligibility:
  • Players without an accrued season of NFL experience;
  • Free-agent players who were on the 45-man active list for fewer than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season;
  • Players who have not served more than two previous seasons on a practice squad.

According to the CBA, "A player shall be deemed to have served on a practice squad in a season if he has passed the club's physical and been a member of the club's practice squad for at least three regular-season or postseason games during his first two practice squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third practice squad season."

What about bye weeks? More CBA: "A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular-season or postseason weekend in question."

The first chart shows eligible players released by the Arizona Cardinals. Chris Johnson, Alfonso Smith and Mark Washington were waived/injured. Dean Muhtadi was released from injured reserve.

The second chart shows eligible players released by the Rams.

The third chart shows eligible players released by the 49ers (Brandon Long was released with an injury settlement).

The fourth chart shows eligible players released by the Seahawks (Jonathan Lewis was released with an injury settlement).

Post-camp roster analysis: Seahawks

August, 30, 2010
NFL teams have until Saturday to reduce their rosters to 53-man limits, with the 75-man deadline passing Tuesday.

I've been putting together roster breakdowns similar to this one for roughly 10 years. They're a quick read and worthwhile exercise because they require thinking through each position. The numbers in parentheses shows how many players the team has on its roster. The average number kept since 2003 reflects Week 1 counts by position.

In some cases I've used the "looking safe" category for players that could qualify as "keepers" (the term "locks" is one I used previously). The Seattle Seahawks remain somewhat unsettled at quite a few positions and they could be active in claiming players off waivers. Some players looking safe one day could become expendable quickly. The same could be said for some keepers.

Here's what I'm thinking Monday:

Quarterbacks (3)

Average number kept since 2003: 2.9

Keepers: Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst

Looking safe: J.P. Losman

Comment: Some teams keep only two quarterbacks when other positions demand special considerations. Seattle could have some interest in Matt Leinart if the Arizona Cardinals released him. I wouldn't expect the Seahawks to invest anything trade-wise, however.

Running backs (6)

Average number kept since 2003: 5.3

Keepers: Justin Forsett, Leon Washington, Julius Jones, Quinton Ganther

On the bubble: Owen Schmitt

Also: Louis Rankin

Comment: Schmitt isn't a top special-teams player and he isn't versatile enough to carry the ball. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates says he has room for traditional fullbacks on his roster. We'll see if that's enough to spare Schmitt. I don't think the team would release Jones even though Forsett and Washington have sometimes looked better.

Wide receivers (9)

Average number kept since 2003: 5.3

Keepers: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch, Mike Williams, Golden Tate

Looking safe: Deon Butler

On the bubble: Ben Obomanu, Brandon Jones

Also: Ruvell Martin, Kole Heckendorf

Comment: Jones probably needs to make an impact over the next week, including during the final exhibition game, to prove he's worth a roster spot. Obomanu can play multiple positions, he's good on special teams and he's caught the ball when given chances. Jones has shown more during past regular seasons and he can also provide special-teams value. Butler's strong offseason should be enough. Houshmandzadeh seems to be gaining momentum following an injury-affected offseason.

Tight ends (5)

Average number kept since 2003: 3.1

Keepers: John Carlson, Chris Baker

On the bubble: Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah

Also: Nick Tow-Arnett

Comment: McCoy has dropped too many passes, but he's a draft choice and he also scored a touchdown during the preseason. It's possible the Seahawks could keep four tight ends. They'll use more double-tight personnel groupings this season, most likely. Carlson and Baker are clearly the top two. I'm not sure McCoy or Morrah would rank among the 53 best players overall.

Offensive linemen (15)

Average number kept since 2003: 8.9

Keepers: Russell Okung, Sean Locklear, Chris Spencer, Max Unger, Mansfield Wrotto, Mike Gibson, Ray Willis, Chester Pitts

Not sure what to think: Steve Vallos, Ben Hamilton

Also: Mitch Erickson, Jeff Byers, Joe Toledo, Gregg Peat, Jacob Phillips

Comment: This position is difficult to figure. The Seahawks expect Willis back at some point early in the season. If that holds true, the team wouldn't want to place him on injured reserve. Pitts falls into the keeper category if his knee holds up (reserve/PUP is not an option for him after Pitts passed a physical). Spencer and Unger can both play center, and Gibson could start at guard, making me wonder if there's a spot for Vallos. Hamilton entered camp as a starter. Line coach Alex Gibbs values him as a mentor for Okung. But with Gibson overtaking Hamilton recently and with Pitts getting medical clearance, Hamilton appears less valuable. Seattle might want to keep 10 while the injury situation settles out. Expect the Seahawks to check out the waiver wire, too.

Defensive line (15)

Average number kept since 2003: 9.6

Keepers: Chris Clemons, Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, Colin Cole, Kevin Vickerson, Nick Reed, Kentwan Balmer, E.J. Wilson, Dexter Davis

Looking safe: Quinn Pitcock

On the bubble: Craig Terrill

Also: Ricky Foley, Rob Rose, Amon Gordon, Jonathan Lewis

Comment: Clemons suddenly rivals Okung as the non-quarterback Seattle could least afford to lose. This reflects Clemons' strong play during preseason and the lack of attractive alternatives. Pitcock's youth and third-round potential could give him an edge over Terrill, at least in my view. Terrill has fought through knee trouble to remain in the mix.

Linebackers (8)

Average number kept since 2003: 6.9

Keepers: Lofa Tatupu, Aaron Curry, David Hawthorne

Looking safe: Matt McCoy, Tyjuan Hagler, Will Herring

Also: Joe Pawelek

Comment: Leroy Hill will open the regular season on the reserve/suspended list. He'll join the keepers once eligible. Hill, Curry and Tatupu have never played a full game together during the 2009 regular season or the 2010 exhibition season.

Defensive backs (15)

Average number kept since 2003: 7.9

Keepers: Marcus Trufant, Earl Thomas, Josh Wilson, Lawyer Milloy, Walter Thurmond, Kam Chancellor

Looking safe: Kelly Jennings, Jordan Babineaux

On the bubble: Kevin Ellison, Jamar Adams, Roy Lewis

Also: Cordelius Parks, Kennard Cox, Josh Pinkard, Marcus Brown

Comment: Trufant's return to form stands out as one of the most welcome developments for Seattle this summer. Thomas upgrades the coverage and playmaking ability of the secondary. The more Milloy plays, the more he looks like an enforcer type. Thurmond's return from knee surgery qualifies as the most pleasant surprise for Seattle in the secondary. Jennings' durability could be a concern. Babineaux's versatility makes him valuable even though it's looking as though the team doesn't have significant long-term plans for him.

Specialists (4)

Average number kept since 2003: 3.1

Keepers: Olindo Mare, Jon Ryan, Clint Gresham

Also: Clint Stitser

Comment: Mare missed from 43 yards against Minnesota on a strange night for kickers in the NFC West. Joe Nedney and Shane Adrus missed for the San Francisco 49ers.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart declined comment until Friday after learning Derek Anderson would start against Chicago in the third exhibition game. Somers: "Whisenhunt selected his words carefully Thursday, but it's no secret the Cardinals want to see more confidence and leadership qualities from Leinart, the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft. Leinart has thrown only 13 passes, completing 10, but most of those have been short throws, and Leinart has developed a reputation for "checking down" from his primary receivers, perhaps too quickly. It's a critical season for Leinart, who is due a hefty pay raise in 2011. If Leinart proves himself a starter, the Cardinals likely would renegotiate the contract. If Leinart fails, the Cardinals are likely to release him." Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. was apparently right all along in discounting Leinart this offseason. We spoke for the Football Today podcast Friday. I'll post that audio when it's available.

Darren Urban of did not expect Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt to make a quarterback change at this stage. Urban: "I’m not going to lie, and anyone who has read my stuff knows this anyway: I thought all along Matt Leinart would at least start the season under center. I suppose that can still happen. He will have Beanie Wells behind him at running back for the first time in Chicago barring something unforeseen, so maybe that helps in some way. But clearly, had Leinart played the way the Cards were hoping, Derek Anderson would not be starting against the Bears. I can still see a scenario where Leinart plays against the Rams Sept. 12, and obviously, I can see Anderson playing as well."

Also from Urban: The Cardinals want to see how Leinart and the rest of the team respond to Anderson's promotion.

Ben Malcolmson of says Earl Thomas was among the Seattle players most scared by a snake prank at team headquarters. This one comes with video. Nicely played.

Clare Farnsworth of says the team is looking for a way to keep cornerback Roy Lewis.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times gives Jamar Adams the edge over Kevin Ellison for a Seahawks roster spot at safety.

Greg Johns of says Leon Washington, not LenDale White, wound up being the most important running back Seattle acquired during the draft.

Also from Johns: A sore hip is sidelining Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks plan to play their starters into the third quarter at Minnesota.

Matt Maiocco of says the 49ers and quarterback Alex Smith probably will not talk seriously about a new contract until after the season. Smith's agent was at practice Thursday. Also: "Undrafted rookie receiver Kevin Jurovich and rookie cornerback Phillip Adams are expected to see some action on punt and kickoff returns, along with Bobby Guillory, who muffed two punts in the first two exhibition games."

Also from Maiocco: Frank Gore will play one series, possibly more, against the Raiders on Saturday night. The starting offensive line will play the first half.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Gore, Michael Crabtree and Brian Westbrook will make their 2010 preseason debuts for the 49ers at Oakland.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Sam Bradford passed a significant test by playing well in his first preseason start. Thomas: "Yes, Bradford missed a wide-open Laurent Robinson for what would have been a third TD in the closing seconds of the first half. Robinson caught the ball, but out of bounds, right at the goal line. But maybe coach Steve Spagnuolo should concede what looked obvious Thursday, that Bradford will be his starter on Sept. 12 against Arizona."

Also from Thomas: New Rams majority owner Stan Kroenke addressed the team before the game Thursday night. He also had nice things to say about Bradford.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams suddenly appear relevant with Bradford at quarterback and Kroenke owning the team. Burwell: "So here's where new owner Stan Kroenke's presence could be immediately felt. No longer hamstrung by any budgetary restraints, general manager Billy Devaney needs to find a way to get Bradford some real receiving weapons. If you have invested as much in Bradford as reported (guaranteed $50 million), and now it looks like he's clearly worth the investment, wouldn't it be an equally wise strategy to surround him with the tools he needs to not only survive, but thrive?"

More from Thomas: Donnie Avery's knee injury appears serious.
Matt Maiocco of explains why Aubrayo Franklin's play improved over the last one-plus seasons and why the 49ers aren't rushing out to extend the nose tackle's contract beyond 2010. Maiocco: "The 49ers never seemed all that determined to get a deal done with Franklin, whose play was consistently strong from the mid-point of the 2008 season through last year. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky simplified the defense after the firing of Mike Nolan, and Franklin did not have as many two-gap responsibilities from that point forward. It wasn't until the second half of last season that the 49ers decided the best course of action was to restrict Franklin's ability to hit the free-agent market with the application of the franchise tag. The club wants to see him continue to perform at a high level before extending him with the kind of lucrative, multi-year offer the other 'franchise' nose tackles received from their respective clubs."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers are interested in extending contracts for their best young players, but Franklin isn't all that young any longer. Barrows: "He turns 30 next month, and while he may have avoided wear and tear early in his career, the 49ers have to wonder whether he's reached his peak. They also have to wonder why Franklin had his best season in his contract year."

Taylor Price of looks at the team's offense heading into training camp. Price on running back Michael Robinson: "Primarily known for his role as the 49ers special teams captain, Robinson is a leader on the field and in the locker room. On offense, Robinson adds value as a third-down back and proved his importance on 'Monday Night Football,' with several important catches in the second half of the 49ers season sweep of the Arizona Cardinals."

Nick Wagoner of profiles rookie quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, who played in a pro-style offense at Duke. Lewis: "It helped me a whole lot. I wasn’t fazed at all coming out to these practices because he makes his practices up tempo and fast. The transition was great so that part wasn’t hard at all. It’s just learning the language. The language is different. You have to forget everything you learned in college. Pretty much, the route concepts and running plays are the same. The defenses never change. They add a few things to it but it’s pretty much the same."

Michael Silver of checks in with Rams running back Steven Jackson, who says he does not feel as though his career is wasting away. Jackson also shares details from a shark-watching trip he took to Seal Island near the Capetown coast. Jackson spent 10 minutes in an underwater cage while sharks feasted nearby. Jackson: "I was freaking out all the way down. I had a lot of trouble with the air at first; I was breathing really fast and [screwing] up the oxygen tank. Eventually, by getting control of my breathing, I calmed myself down, but it was still pretty insane. Like I told my mom when I got back, the scariest part isn’t when first see the shark or when he eats the bait right in front of you -- it’s when he disappears into the murky water and you’re like, 'Where the hell did he go?' " Jackson laments the Rams' struggles and says he hopes coach Steve Spagnuolo has enough time to implement his program.

Jim Moore of says Pete Carroll's new book offers a glimpse into how the Seahawks' new coach operates. An exerpt: "By paying close attention to the actions, mannerisms and traits of our players…and by taking note of the clothes they wear, the hairstyles they choose, their personal interests, and the people they choose to hang out with, we get mountains of information." provides photos from recent efforts to paint Qwest Field's white roof blue. The white roof had become a brown roof thanks to dirt.

Clare Farnsworth of says about 1,000 gallons of paint were used in the roof project.

Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the arrest of former Chargers safety Kevin Ellison, now of the Seahawks, triggered an investigation into a Chargers team doctor. Schrotenboer: "The case’s origins can be traced to the arrest in May of former Chargers safety Kevin Ellison, who had been charged with illegally possessed 100 Vicodin painkiller pills when he was stopped for speeding in Redondo Beach. The Chargers have said the Vicodin was not provided by the team or its doctors."

Gerry Spratt of says Carroll plans to make a book-related appearance July 23 in Seattle.

Doug Pacey of the Tacoma News Tribune offers quotes from Seahawks safety Jamar Adams after Adams "pulled 7 Gs" in a high-performance jet. Pacey: "Adams flew with the Patriots Jet Team out of Olympia Regional Airport as they practiced maneuvers in preparation for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Expo this weekend." Adams called it "the best fun" he's ever had.

Darren Urban of provides a screenshot of Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt from the new Madden 11 game. The simulated shot shows the Bucs leading the Cardinals, 14-7, with 2:38 left in the third quarter.

Also from Urban: Newly signed rookie receiver Andre Roberts has a shot at becoming the fourth wideout. Urban: "Roberts, from The Citadel, is a wide receiver vying for the fourth spot behind Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and Early Doucet. He is expected to battle veteran Onrea Jones for that work, although Roberts is also in the mix to replace Breaston as punt returner. Breaston, moving to the No. 2 receiving slot, will likely lose return duties to protect him for offense."

Draft Watch: NFC West

March, 17, 2010
NFC Needs Revisited: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Draft Watch: Biggest needs (2/17) | Busts/gems (2/24) | Schemes, themes (3/3) | Recent history (3/10) | Needs revisited (3/17) | Under-the-radar needs (3/26) | History in that spot (3/31) | Draft approach (4/7) | Decision-makers (4/14) | Dream scenario/Plan B (4/21)

Each Wednesday leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Biggest needs revisited.

Arizona Cardinals

Losing Karlos Dansby in free agency and not signing Larry Foote left the Cardinals with a need at inside linebacker even though Paris Lenon's addition helped some.

Safety could have been another concern, but the Cardinals acted quickly to replace Antrel Rolle with Kerry Rhodes. The Cardinals also protected themselves on the offensive line by adding guard Rex Hadnot and re-signing tackle Jeremy Bridges. Those moves bought some flexibility in the draft.

The Cardinals aren't picking early enough to seriously consider landing a franchise quarterback, although that could be a position of need even after the team signs a veteran to push Matt Leinart. Leinart's contract balloons in value in 2011.

Arizona still could stand to bolster its defensive line in the draft, particularly at nose tackle.

San Francisco 49ers

The opening weeks of free agency have only confirmed the 49ers' needs on the offensive line. It's important for the team to find a starting right tackle. A starter or at least quality depth at guard would also help.

Offensive tackle was a draft need even before Tony Pashos signed with Cleveland and Barry Sims scheduled a visit with the Redskins. Sims has had value as a swing tackle. Pashos provided more depth even though he was one-dimensional as a right tackle only

Cornerback remains an obvious position for the 49ers to target in the draft. They've relied on older veterans at the position in recent seasons. Nate Clements' long-term future with the team is in some question. The 49ers haven't addressed the position in free agency. The draft awaits.

Finally, the 49ers have been visiting with free-agent linebacker Akin Ayodele. Signing Ayodele would give the team welcome veteran depth at inside linebacker behind Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes. That type of signing would address a potential draft need.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks' needs have become more obvious since the free-agent signing period opened. Deon Grant's release left Jordan Babineaux and Jamar Adams as the only safeties under contract. That's a position the Seahawks need to address, probably in the draft.

Existing needs included offensive tackle, guard, quarterback, defensive end and cornerback.

Seattle could sensibly address the need at guard by signing a veteran free agent such as Ben Hamilton, who has experience in line coach Alex Gibbs' system. The Seahawks' interest in Chargers backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst could lead to a trade that would address another need.

The team is different but not necessarily better at defensive end after sending Darryl Tapp to the Eagles for Chris Clemons and a 2010 fourth-round choice. Defensive end remains a need as Seattle tries to improve its pass rush.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams' draft scenarios came into clearer focus when the team signed A.J. Feeley as its No. 2 quarterback before adding defensive tackle Fred Robbins.

The moves set up the Rams to select a quarterback first overall if Sam Bradford appeals to them. Feeley could mentor Bradford while Robbins provided needed muscle on defense (the Rams would be bypassing defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy under this scenario).

The Rams haven't upgraded their front-line talent in free agency. Their core draft needs remain. Losing pass-rushers Leonard Little and/or James Hall in free agency would accentuate the immediate need for help in that area. The Saints might have interest in one or both.

Placing the lowest tender on restricted free agent Oshiomogho Atogwe showed the Rams could be willing to part with him. Losing him would create another need along with linebacker. The Rams have shown interest in veteran linebacker Na'il Diggs, but they need more young talent at the position and the draft could help.
Deon Grant should find another NFL job and possibly one as a starter after Seattle released him Monday.

Grant, who turned 31 on Sunday, was scheduled to earn $4 million in salary for the 2010 season. The Scouts Inc. read Insider on him entering last season was still quite positive:
Grant is an experienced starting safety who has good size and instincts. His overall speed and range are starting to descend but he can compensate with his ability to anticipate. He is a smart player who takes good angles and can help get others lined up before the snap. Grant is agile with his movements and he has good body control in space. He can flip quickly and accelerate to the ball with solid burst. He has quick feet to pedal and turn and does a good job of maintaining leverage on receivers in passing situations. As a run defender he shows good agility in traffic and can keep his feet to play off contact. He's not a real stout hitter but he can break down effectively and provide good wrap on tackles. Overall, Grant has the awareness and instincts teams covet on the back and he still moves effectively enough to be a solid starter.

Grant played through a wrist injury last season. He has started every regular-season game for nine consecutive seasons, making him one of the NFL's most durable players.

I would expect the Seahawks to get younger under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. They moved in that direction by cutting Grant. They'll need to fortify the position. Jamar Adams and Jordan Babineaux are the only other safeties on the roster. Lawyer Milloy, 36, is an unrestricted free agent.

Seattle holds the sixth and 14th overall choices in the draft. The team could have a shot at Tennessee's Eric Berry, considered the best safety in the draft.

Julius Jones inactive for Seahawks

November, 29, 2009
Starting running back Julius Jones is among the players Seattle named inactive against the Rams in Week 12.

The Seahawks have become a passing team. They have favored quite a few three-receiver personnel groupings.

Backup Justin Forsett is pretty well suited to those groupings.

Also inactive for Seattle: Jamar Adams, Mike Gibson, Mansfield Wrotto, Red Bryant, Cameron Morrah and Derek Walker. Mike Teel is the third quarterback.

Why the Seahawks named Schmitt inactive

November, 15, 2009
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Seahawks' decision to name fullback Owen Schmitt inactive against Arizona reflects a couple of things for Seattle.

Return specialist Louis Rankin gives the Seahawks a fourth active running back. Another special-teams player, receiver Ben Obomanu, is also active after an injury sidelined him last week.

The Seahawks might also be evolving to more of a one-back, three-receiver offense without a fullback. That was the case against Detroit in Week 9.

Safety Jamar Adams, guard Mike Gibson, guard Mansfield Wrotto, defensive tackle Red Bryant, tight end Cameron Morrah and defensive end Derek Walker are also inactive for Seattle.

Why the Seahawks released 'Edge'

November, 3, 2009
Posted by's Mike Sando

The Seahawks' decision to sign veteran running back Edgerrin James made sense when Seattle was expecting to immediately contend for an NFC West title.

James apparently became a luxury the team couldn't afford once it struggled to a 2-5 start, particularly with Justin Forsett backing up the promise he showed during the preseason (minus that fumble Sunday).

That probably explains why the team released James on Tuesday. James isn't contributing on special teams and the Seahawks aren't getting much from him in the running game.

I would expect the Seahawks to give playing time to recently signed running back Louis Rankin, who played for offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in Oakland.

In another move, the Seahawks released safety C.J. Wallace. They signed receiver Mike Hass, safety Jamar Adams and cornerback Roy Lewis.

Catching up with the Seahawks' cut list

September, 10, 2009

Posted by's Mike Sando

Seahawks Player Released on Cutdown Pos. Current Team Capacity
Brian Russell
DB Jaguars Active Roster
Marquis Floyd
DB Browns Active Roster
Kevin Hobbs
DB Lions Active Roster
Devin Moore
RB Seahawks Practice Squad
Jamar Adams
DB Seahawks Practice Squad
Mike Hass
WR Seahawks Practice Squad
Logan Payne
WR Seahawks Practice Squad
Baraka Atkins
DL -- --
Brian De La Puente
OL -- --
Brandon Coutu
K -- --
Dave Philistin
LB -- --
Jeff Rowe
QB -- --
David Kirtman
RB -- --
Courtney Greene
DB -- --
Nate Ness
DB -- --
Na'Shan Goddard
OL -- --
Andre Ramsey
OL -- --
William Robinson
OL -- --
Joe Newton
TE -- --
Jordan Kent
WR -- --
Courtney Taylor
WR -- --
Cory Withrow
OL -- --
D.D. Lewis
LB -- --

The tough decisions teams face in reducing their rosters to 53 players sometimes aren't so tough.

They were arguably tougher for the Seahawks than for other teams in the division.

Three of the players Seattle released on its initial cutdown to 53 players have joined active rosters elsewhere in the league. Aaron Francisco, cut by the Cardinals, and Phil Trautwein, cut by the Rams, are the only other initial NFC West castoffs to join active rosters for other teams.

Seattle's Brian Russell (Jaguars), Marquis Floyd (Browns) and Kevin Hobbs (Lions) currently reside on active rosters. The Seahawks re-signed to their practice squad running back Devin Moore, safety Jamar Adams, receiver Mike Hass and receiver Logan Payne.

The apparent drama at receiver left Jordan Kent and Courtney Taylor on the outside. Kent reached an injury settlement following his release. Taylor remains available. Neither player has eligibility for the practice squad.

Defensive lineman Baraka Atkins and kicker Brandon Coutu appeared close to earning roster spots. The Seahawks once thought Coutu might have trade value. That wasn't the case in the end.
NFC West roster counts, including practice squads
QB 3 3 3 3 3.0
RB 5 6 5 6 5.5
WR 8 8 5 7 7.0
TE 3 3 4 3 3.3
OL 10 10 10 11 10.0
DL 8 8 12 11 9.8
LB 8 9 8 7 8.0
DB 9 11 11 10 10.3
ST 3 3 3 3 3.0
Totals 57 61 61 61 60.0

Posted by's Mike Sando

The seven players Seattle signed to its practice squad tell coaches, in general, how many players they'll have for practice at a given position.

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo pointed to this often overlooked figure when asked about the Rams' lack of depth at receiver. The team has only four receivers on its 53-man roster. What mattered to Spagnuolo in the short term was how many receivers the Rams had available to practice. The number stands at five. The Rams would like six.

The chart shows positional roster counts for NFC West teams, including players signed to practice squads. The Cardinals have only four players on their practice squad. Their numbers in the secondary are relatively low.

None of the NFC West teams has signed a quarterback to its practice squad.

Also: Seattle's initial 53-man practice squad features receiver Mike Hass, receiver Logan Payne, safety Jamar Adams, running back Devin Moore and tackle Kyle Williams, all released during the reduction to 53 players. The team also signed center Blake Schlueter, formerly of the Broncos, and cornerback Roy Lewis, formerly of the Steelers.

Following up: Chart has been updated to relfect the 49ers' signing of Tony Pashos and placement of Diyral Briggs on the practice squad. Also, the Seahawks have signed linebacker Thomas Williams, formerly of the Jaguars, to fill out their practice squad.
Ex-Seahawks eligible for
practice squad
Jamar Adams
Brandon Coutu
Brian De La Puente
Marquis Floyd
Na'Shan Goddard
Courtney Greene
Mike Hass
Devin Moore
Nate Ness
Joe Newton
Logan Payne
Dave Philistin
Andre Ramsey
William Robinson
Jeff Rowe

Posted by's Mike Sando

NFL teams can begin forming eight-man practice squads once released players clear waivers this afternoon.

The Seahawks faced tougher decisions on the reduction to 53 players because some of their young prospects, notably receivers Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent, had no remaining eligibility for the practice squad following an injury-plagued 2008 season.

Defensive end Baraka Atkins, cornerback Kevin Hobbs and fullback David Kirtman are also among the recently released Seattle players without eligibility for the practice squad. Receiver Mike Hass also caught some fans' attention.

The chart shows recently released Seattle players who remain eligible. Safety Jamar Adams, kicker Brandon Coutu, safety Courtney Greene, receiver Logan Payne and tight end Joe Newton could be among the candidates.

Seahawks: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009

Posted by's Mike Sando

Biggest surprise: Starting free safety Brian Russell, signed in 2007 after the Seahawks grew tired of assignment errors in the secondary, seemed to fend off a challenge from versatile backup Jordan Babineaux. That made Russell's release a surprise even though coach Jim Mora had said Babineaux would compete for the job in camp. The team went with Ben Obomanu as its fifth and final receiver, releasing Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent. Rookie defensive linemen Nick Reed and Michael Bennett joined preseason surprise Derek Walker among 11 defensive linemen, prevailing at Baraka Atkins' expense -- a big surprise. Rookie seventh-rounder Cameron Morrah beat out Joe Newton as the third tight end. Veteran kicker Olindo Mare beat out second-year pro and 2008 draft choice Brandon Coutu in a close battle. The team cleared another spot by placing starting corner Marcus Trufant on the physically unable to perform list, helping corner Travis Fisher earn a spot among the initial roster. Keeping 11 defensive linemen meant keeping only six linebacker, costing versatile veteran D.D. Lewis a job.

No-brainers: The Seahawks also released safety Jamar Adams, guard Brian De La Puente, cornerback Marquis Floyd, tackle Na'Shan Goddard, safety Courtney Greene, receiver Mike Hass, cornerback Kevin Hobbs, fullback David Kirtman, running back Devin Moore, cornerback Nate Ness, tight end Joe Newton, receiver Logan Payne, linebacker Dave Philistin, tackle Andre Ramsey, tackle William Robinson, quarterback Jeff Rowe.

What's next: The Seahawks reduced to 52 players with these moves, but the team was expected to add veteran safety Lawyer Milloy for depth and experience.
Posted by's Mike Sando

Thoughts and observations through most of the Seahawks' final exhibition game of the 2009 season:
  • Defensive line battle. Rookie end Nick Reed and rookie defensive tackle Michael Bennett have both made strong cases for consideration on the 53-man roster. Both have fumble recoveries. Both are pressuring the Raiders' quarterbacks. This game is affirming what the Seahawks have already seen from them, perhaps not making the decision much easier. Finding a way to keep 10 defensive linemen would seem desirable.
  • Obomanu steps up. The Seahawks figure to keep five or six receivers. Ben Obomanu appears to be affirming his status as the likely fifth wideout, followed by Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent. Obomanu played 20 snaps in the first half, catching two passes for 58 yards and a touchdown. He looks dependable, though not very flashy. Taylor played 19 snaps in the first half and did not catch a pass, but he looked good and nearly made a spectacular touchdown catch in the third quarter, laying out for the ball in the end zone. Kent played six snaps in the first half and failed to make two catches he conceivably could have made, and he limped off the field early in the third quarter. Update: Kent suffered an ankle injury and will not return.
  • Morrah or Newton? I thought seventh-round tight end Cameron Morrah might make a strong run through camp, but Joe Newton might be better prepared to be the third tight end. The race could be close. The Seahawks took a long look at Morrah in the first half, giving him 18 snaps. Newton, who played more a week ago, took one first-half snap. Starter John Carlson played five. Newton appears better than Morrah in run blocking, in my view. Both are eligible for the practice squad and one of them figures to land there.
  • Curry having fun. Rookie first-round choice Aaron Curry appeared to be having more fun than at any point since signing with the Seahawks. He was the lone defensive starter to play and he stood out with four tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. He played with attitude.
  • Domino effect. Louis Rankin's 45-yard touchdown run for the Raiders went down this way: Tight end Tony Stewart somehow cleared out massive Seahawks defensive tackle Red Bryant, and towering tackle Erik Pears then pancaked linebacker Will Herring, who inadvertently took out safety Jamar Adams. Bryant and Herring both appeared to be standing a bit too upright, sacrificing leverage.

Those are a few things I've noticed. As noted previously, I'll watch the Cardinals' game next, followed by the Rams game in the morning. Looking forward to them all.