Seahawks Insider Blog

Seahawks set 53-man roster, waive Kasen Williams; Richard Sherman can’t believe it, either

Former UW wide receiver Kasen Williams (18) had a new reason to yell Saturday, when the Seahawks set their 53-man regular-season roster without him on it.
Former UW wide receiver Kasen Williams (18) had a new reason to yell Saturday, when the Seahawks set their 53-man regular-season roster without him on it. AP

What a day.

The Seahawks never do anything routinely. But Saturday’s Kasen Williams injured-not-injured-waived-Richard-Sherman-dismay set a new level of bizarre.

The Seahawks waived Williams. And Sherman had the same reaction you -- and probably Kasen Williams -- did.

“There is no explanation for this!” Sherman posted on Twitter Saturday when word leaked Williams, who made six spectacular catches in four preseason games plus plays on special teams and has been around the team for going on three seasons, wasn’t on the 53-man roster his hometown team set Saturday per league deadline.

To add to the fun, the Seahawks initially listed him as waived-injured – even though he played throughout Thursday’s preseason finale at Oakland with no apparent injury. The team or coach Pete Carroll did not mention Williams when detailing players hurt against the Raiders.

The team then corrected itself that Williams was just waived. Not injured.

Williams will go through waivers over the next 24 hours. If none of the other 31 NFL teams claims him, the former University of Washington and Skyline High School in Sammamish wide receiver could go on Seattle’s practice squad, which he was on for most of the first two seasons after Seattle signed him as an undrafted rookie out of UW. With his size and the game film he has from the preseason, it’s highly unlikely another team will not claim and sign him.

Williams essentially lost out to Tanner McEvoy, an undrafted rookie last year, and rookie Amara Darboh.

Darboh had just three catches in the preseason, all in Thursday’s final exhibition game at Oakland, and he spent all of training-camp practices catching throws from backup quarterbacks while Williams was grabbing passes from Russell Wilson. But the Seahawks weren’t going to cut a third-round pick, Darboh, a few months and zero real games after drafting him.

Plus, J.D. McKissic’s emergence worked against Williams. McKissic, claimed during last season off waivers from Atlanta, made the team. He’s listed as running back with his number changed to 37 this week. But he has also been a wide receiver in training camp and is insurance on special teams as a kick returner. Lockett, a Pro Bowl returner two seasons ago, still hasn’t played in a game since he broke two bones in his leg on Christmas Eve.

Still, Williams could not have done much more than he did all of August to make the team.

Austin Davis won the No.-2 quarterback job behind Wilson. The veteran and one-time for the Browns and Rams beat out 2016 undrafted rookie backup QB Trevone Boykin with decisively better throwing and decision-making in four preseason games.

The Seahawks kept just five wide receivers after the surprising move with Williams after Friday’s big trade of Jermaine Kearse and a second-round pick to the New York Jets for one-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. The five wide receivers on the first 53-man roster of the regular season: Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, Tanner McEvoy and Amara Darboh.

The Seahawks kept rookie running back Chris Carson, after the seventh-round pick’s impressive preseason. They waived 2016 draft pick Alex Collins, whom Carson beat out for the No.-4 running back job.

Seattle terminated the veteran contracts of until-now-starting defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, fullback Marcel Reece and linebacker Mike Morgan. That saved about $3.7 million against this year’s salary cap. Tre Madden, for now, is the fullback, though the Seahawks could bring back Reece after the week-one game at Green Bay Sept. 10 and then not have to guarantee all his $775,000 contract for 2017. The team did that last year with fullback Will Tukuafu.

This turned out to be a no-Dawg day: The Seahawks went from three Washington Huskies to zero in 24 hours. They traded Kearse. They waived Williams. They cut Reece.

The Seahawks went into clearinghouse mode on the defensive line after acquiring Richardson and his $8 million-plus salary-cap charge for this year. Earlier Saturday they traded end Cassius Marsh to New England for a fifth-round and seventh-round draft choice.

The Seahawks kept 10 offensive linemen, more than usual: Germain Ifedi, Justin Britt, Mark Glowinski, Luke Joeckel, Rees Odhiambo, Oday Aboushi, rookie second-round pick Ethan Pocic, Matt Tobin, undrafted rookie guard Jordan Roos and tackle Isaiah Battle. They acquired Battle Saturday in a trade with Kansas City for a conditional draft choice.

As expected, the Seahawks put 2016 starting cornerback DeShawn Shead on the physically-unable-to-perform list. He had reconstructive knee surgery after getting hurt in January’s playoff loss at Atlanta. The PUP-list designation means if Shead could return to practice after the sixth and before the 11th week of the regular season. If Shead is not ready to return by then, he must go on injured reserve or be released. If he is actived off PUP, the team has three weeks to activate him to play in games, or place him on IR or release him.

All of the Seahawks moves:

And here is the 53-man roster. For now:

Quarterbacks (2): Russell Wilson, Austin Davis

Running backs (5): Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise, Chris Carson, J.D. McKissic

Fullback (1): Tre Madden

Wide receivers (5): Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, Paul Richardson, Tanner McEvoy, Amara Darboh

Tight ends (3): Jimmy Graham, Luke Willson, Nick Vannett

Offensive line (10): Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi, Mark Glowinski, Oday Aboushi, Luke Joeckel, Rees Odhiambo, Jordan Roos, Ethan Pocic, Matt Tobin, Isaiah Battle.

Defensive line (8): Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Frank Clark, Sheldon Richardson, Jarran Reed, Marcus Smith, Nazair Jones, David Bass.

Linebackers (6): Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, Terence Garvin, Michael Wilhoite, D.J. Alexander, Dewey McDonald.

Cornerbacks (5): Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane, Shaquill Griffin, Neiko Thorpe, Justin Coleman.

Safeties (5): Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Bradley McDougald, Delano Hill, Tedric Thompson.

Specialists (3): Blair Walsh (kicker), Jon Ryan (punt), Tyler Ott (long snapper).