NFL Nation: Junior Siavii
- Seattle Seahawks: released kicker Jeff Reed, defensive lineman Junior Siavii, defensive lineman Pep Levingston and linebacker David Vobora; claimed defensive lineman Landon Cohen (New England), kicker Steven Hauschka (Denver), defensive lineman Al Woods (Tampa Bay) and tackle Jarriel King (New York Giants).
- Arizona Cardinals: released rookie linebacker Quan Sturdivant and veteran tight end Stephen Spach; put in a failed waiver claim for receiver Brandon Tate; agreed to terms with veteran running back Chester Taylor; claimed defensive backs Crezdon Butler (Pittsburgh) and Korey Lindsey (Cincinnati) off waivers.
- St. Louis Rams: lost quarterback Thaddeus Lewis to Cleveland, defensive end George Selvie to Carolina and receiver Mardy Gilyard to the New York Jets on waiver claims; agreed to terms with veteran interior offensive lineman Tony Wragge.
- San Francisco 49ers: claimed quarterback Scott Tolzien off waivers from San Diego, releasing linebacker Keaton Kristick with an injury designation to make room on the roster; put in a failed waiver claim for former New England tight end Lee Smith.
Teams are also assembling practice squads. The 49ers announced adding seven players to theirs, all released by the team on the reduction to 53 players. I'll round up those additions once they become official.
1. Pass protection: The Seahawks want their offensive line to make strides in preparation for the regular-season opener at San Francisco. Starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has taken seven sacks and avoided several others. The pressure has played a role in his 3.8-yard average per attempt. The Raiders have only four sacks through three exhibition games, including zero in first quarters and only one in first halves. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging a healthy 7.9 yards per attempt against Oakland overall. The 49ers' Alex Smith, under siege against New Orleans and Houston this preseason, completed 8 of 13 passes for 136 yards with no sacks when facing the Raiders. The Seahawks will remain without starting left tackle Russell Okung, their best lineman. But they should still expect improvement in pass protection against this opponent. Right tackles James Carpenter and Breno Giacomini are in the spotlight for this game.
2. Golden opportunity: Lame cliched lead-in, I know, but at least it's an accurate one. Receiver Golden Tate should expect to play more reps than usual. Seattle is missing a few receivers to injury in this game. The team would like to accelerate Tate's development following a condensed offseason. Tate, chosen in the second round of the 2010 draft, has four receptions for 24 yards to this point in the exhibition season. He dropped a pass against Minnesota, leading to a turnover. Tate does not appear to be fighting for a roster spot, but neither has there been signs he's going to factor into the offense as much as coach Pete Carroll has said he expects.
3. Young defensive players. Wait, that covers pretty much everyone, come to think of it. Linebacker Malcolm Smith, linebacker K.J. Wright and free safety Mark LeGree are the youngest players on the Seahawks' defensive roster. Safety Jeron Johnson and cornerback Richard Sherman aren't far behind. I'll be attending this game and hope to get a better feel for the young depth on defense, to the extent that is possible in a fourth preseason game. Oh, and there are five Seattle defenders in their 30s: Raheem Brock, Junior Siavii, Colin Cole, Marcus Trufant and Jimmy Wilkerson. Only one, Trufant, starts.
Williams' foot and ankle injuries threatened his ability to play a full game, however, and the Seattle Seahawks felt they could not commit a roster spot to him against San Francisco, particularly after Williams did not practice all week.
Williams does not play special teams, another consideration.
Keeping Williams active as a luxury would have required paring the roster elsewhere. The team did not feel comfortable sitting down one of its eight active defensive linemen.
The team needed to guard against depth issues on the defensive line in case nose tackle Colin Cole suffered another injury. Cole is coming back from an ankle injury and well ahead of Williams in the recovery process. He practiced all week.
Seattle kept eight defensive linemen active Sunday: ends Chris Clemons, Raheem Brock, Dexter Davis and Kentwan Balmer, plus tackles Brandon Mebane, Cole, Junior Siavii and Craig Terrill.
I would expect Williams to start against Atlanta in Week 15.
Mebane has been recovering from a calf injury. Pitts is attempting to come back from microfracture knee surgery; he has not yet played this season.
Mebane is one of the Seahawks' better defensive players. Junior Siavii will start in his place. Update: Kentwan Balmer starts in Mebane's place. My bad.
Also inactive for Seattle: defensive back Nate Ness, cornerback Kennard Cox, offensive lineman Allen Barbre, tackle Breno Giacomini, tight end Anthony McCoy and defensive end E.J. Wilson.
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.
The team said it has released offensive linemen Mansfield Wrotto and Steve Vallos, and safety Kevin Ellison. The team said it has claimed off waivers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith from the Green Bay Packers and defensive back Nate Ness from the Miami Dolphins. The team also announced offensive lineman Stacy Andrews' acquisition from Philadelphia.
The team made no mention of previously reported moves involving Julius Jones, Jordan Babineaux, Kevin Vickerson or Junior Siavii.
The roster appears in flux to such a degree that meaningful analysis should be postponed. My plan is to step outside for the next hour or so, mow the lawn, then come back inside and see if the pieces have come together any more clearly. The grass is getting high, anyway -- unless Pete Carroll and John Schneider cut that, too.
Potential unrestricted free agents: G Montrae Holland
Potential restricted free agents: NT Junior Siavii, WR Miles Austin, DE Stephen Bowen, CB Cletis Gordon, DE Jason Hatcher, WR Sam Hurd, T Pat McQuistan, C Duke Preston, G Cory Procter, S Gerald Sensabaugh, DE Marcus Spears, S Pat Watkins, K Shaun Suisham.
What to expect: Anything is possible with Jerry Jones in charge, and the Cowboys could make a big splash after an underwhelming offseason a year ago. But in terms of team needs and what is required to take the next step, Dallas really doesn’t need much. A big-time impact safety makes some sense and could make a very good defense great, but that might be a project for the draft in a trade-up scenario for someone like Earl Thomas. But Darren Sharper might pique their interest. They also need to get younger along the offensive line, particularly at tackle, but that seems like a draft-day project, too. Maybe Jones gets real aggressive in the wide receiver market, as Roy Williams certainly is not living up to his billing, but the Cowboys are still rather stacked with pass-catchers. All in all, this is a team that is sitting pretty and doesn’t have a prominent unrestricted free agent who is poised to leave.
New York Giants
Potential unrestricted free agents: QB David Carr, LB Danny Clark, P Jeff Feagles, DT Fred Robbins
Potential restricted free agents: WR Domenik Hixon, TE Darcy Johnson, DE Dave Tollefson, G Kevin Boothe, S C.C. Brown, DT Barry Cofield, CB Kevin Dockery, WR Derek Hagan, WR Sinorice Moss, T Guy Whimper, LB Gerris Wilkinson.
What to expect: Big things could be in the works here, as there are already rumors swirling that New York could be a prime suitor for linebacker Karlos Dansby. An impact linebacker is certainly near the top of their wish list and Dansby fits the bill. Plus, he is extremely versatile. Getting faster on defense is a huge priority with new coordinator Perry Fewell stressing the ability to cover a lot of ground. However, Dansby isn’t really the thumper they need in the middle and is more of an outside linebacker for this system, although he would be great on passing downs. This is a group of decision-makers who might be starting to feel some heat, so do not rule out a big move or two.
Potential unrestricted free agents: DE Jason Babin, S Sean Jones, LB Jeremiah Trotter, LB Tracy White
Potential restricted free agents: LB Akeem Jordan, P Saverio Rocca, WR Jason Avant, C Nick Cole, LB Omar Gaither, LB Chris Gocong, CB Ellis Hobbs, G Max Jean-Gilles, TE Alex Smith, FB Leonard Weaver.
What to expect: There are questions on the offensive line, but overall, the Eagles are in a prime situation to improve their defense, particularly up front and at safety. Remember, they have quarterbacks to dangle as trade bait and really do not have any unrestricted guys that they need to bring back. This is a possible landing spot for Julius Peppers and he would be terrific on the opposite side of Trent Cole, who is among the most underrated players in the game and could blow up with someone taking pass protection attention away from his side. Count on the Eagles being aggressive in the free-agent and/or trade market. It might just be enough to get them that ever elusive Lombardi trophy. Stranger things have happened.
Potential unrestricted free agents: LS Ethan Albright, DE Phillip Daniels, T Levi Jones, C Casey Rabach,
P Hunter Smith, T Mike Williams, DE Renaldo Wynn, TE Todd Yoder.
Potential restricted free agents: DE Lorenzo Alexander, T Stephon Heyer, LB Chris Wilson, QB Jason Campbell, S Reed Doughty, DT Kedric Golston, LB Rocky McIntosh, DT Anthony Montgomery, C Will Montgomery, CB Carlos Rogers.
What to expect: This is a difficult team to get a grasp on in terms of what they might do in free agency, but I think it is safe to say that ownership will not hold Mike Shanahan and company back from opening up the check book and signing (and even overpaying) players whom they desire. It would be wise for Washington to have an excellent idea of what they are going to do with the fourth overall draft pick in terms of going quarterback or offensive tackle before really devising a free-agency plan. Rebuilding the offensive line is a must and Shanahan needs lighter, quicker (and younger) linemen than are on the roster. A running back they can trust wouldn’t hurt either, although it looks as though Clinton Portis will return, which they may regret. But don’t forget, this is a team that -- unwisely in my opinion -- is switching to a 3-4 scheme, so inside linebacker help is required, as are defensive linemen who fit the new scheme. The Redskins have a long wish list, but also have the ownership to endorse big spending when free agency opens.
Here are a few quick-hitting observations from the Cowboys' 37-21 win over the Falcons on Sunday:
- The Cowboys decided to play nose tackle Junior Siavii earlier in the game than usual and that seemed to help starter Jay Ratliff. Siavii did a really nice job against Michael Turner and he helped collapse the pocket against Matt Ryan. He said it was his goal for the defense's production not to fall off while he was on the field -- and I'd say he accomplished that.
- I'm not sure what was going on with Roy Williams, but at least for one game, the Cowboys didn't need him. With Miles Austin having another big day, Williams finished with one catch for 16 yards. He dropped at least one ball and he cut off his route on another. He said his ribs weren't bothering him, but I thought he looked lost on the field. Williams is a very willing blocker, but he was acquired to catch passes. Right now, he's playing more like a No. 3 receiver.
- I'm the first to rip Wade Phillips, so let's give the man a little credit today. This hasn't been the fierce pass-rush that we anticipated, but on Sunday, Phillips did a nice job of putting his players in winning situations. When Marcus Spears and Stephen Bowen are breaking through to rush the passer, it creates so many more options. That opened things up for DeMarcus Ware later in the game. This has not been a big-play defense, but the Cowboys won the turnover battle against the Falcons. It was pretty impressive.
- Is Ratliff the best player on this defense? I think Ware's one of the most dynamic players in the league, but I truly think this defense feeds off Ratliff's energy. I'm not sure there's another player on the team who can match his intensity. The Falcons' center didn't know what to do with Ratliff. He'd get bull-rushed for a little while and then he'd get humiliated by Ratliff's speed. This is a guy who will keep going to Pro Bowls for years to come.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
- Former Cowboys safety Roy Williams visited an old friend in Cincy.
- Guess which Cowboys TE has a Twitter account.
- Anyone remember Junior Siavii? The Cowboys think he could be a reliable backup at nose tackle.
- Terence Newman recently talked about the moment he first knew Tony Romo would be a great quarterback. He apparently looked past the five picks Romo threw in that fabled KSU-EIU matchup.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist and local radio icon Randy Galloway made some phone calls to find out whether NFL experts thought Jay Cutler was a better option than Romo.
New York Giants
- One Giants season-ticket holder is filing a lawsuit over PSLs.
- Bill Hutchinson of the Daily News has more on the lawsuit.
- Here are some news and nuggets from the Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo. He has the numbers from Corey Webster's re-structured contract.
- Andy Reid thinks the Eagles can win without Brian Dawkins.
- Here are some excerpts from Reid's interview with Dave Spadaro.
- Uh-oh. It looks like the Birds' Eye View is picking a fight with the Eagletarian. This is too good.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
After talking to a couple people with the Cowboys, here's a list of the guys who I think will be cut. Coming down the stretch, cornerbacks Evan Oglesby and Alan Ball were in a dogfight for a roster spot. Still don't have a great feel for what will happen there, but a conversation last night led me to believe there was hope for Ball. But he's still getting cut on my list:
The Mosley cuts:
Todd Lowber, WR (not even "Hard Knocks" could save this talented but RAW kid.)
Danny Amendola, WR (prime practice squad candidate.)
Mark Bradford, WR (not familiar with his work.)
James Marten, G (this is the only slight surprise. Marten was a third-round draft choice in 2007.)
Adam Stenavich, G (Adam, we hardly knew ya. He was cut to make room for Larry Allen to retire as a Cowboy.)
Ryan Gibbons, C (no real need for a third-team center.)
Rodney Hannah, TE (did some really nice things late in camp. If you can keep him on the practice squad, do it. Great size and played under an excellent college coach named Art Briles.)
Drew Atchison, TE (nice effort during camp, but not enough.)
Julius Crosslin, FB (never met him.)
Alonzo Coleman, RB (flashed at times in practice and might help on practice squad.)
Keon Lattimore, RB (Ray Ray's going to be upset.)
Junior Siavii, NT (Cowboys hoping to drum up some trade interest. This guy could help someone.)
Marcus Dixon, DE (never could get on the field because of an injury.)
Darrell Robertson, LB (had his moments, but this team's OK at linebacker.)
Tyson Smith, LB (best known for getting lit up by Marion Barber on "Hard Knocks.")
Tearrius George, LB (flashed against the Vikings the other night, but a little too late.)
Erik Walden, LB (If Alan Ball and Evan Oglesby both make the team, something has to give. And even though Walden has some huge supporters at Valley Ranch, I'm afraid he'd be the guy to go.)
Dowayne Davis, SS (It's too bad because he did some serious damage during camp. And I love his name.)
A lot of people have third-team quarterback Richard Bartel getting cut, but as of this morning, he was on the 53-man roster.
Final Chicago 17 Detroit 34 Final Philadelphia 33 Dallas 10 Final Seattle 19 San Francisco 3
1:00 PM ET Washington Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET Tennessee Houston 1:00 PM ET Cleveland Buffalo 1:00 PM ET San Diego Baltimore 1:00 PM ET New York Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET Oakland St. Louis 1:00 PM ET New Orleans Pittsburgh 1:00 PM ET Carolina Minnesota 4:05 PM ET Arizona Atlanta 4:25 PM ET New England Green Bay 8:30 PM ET Denver Kansas City