It’s Friday, and that’s when we dip into the mailbag to answer readers’ questions.
Today, however, we use a thimble, rather than a shovel. Maybe it’s because we’re in the dog days between the end of the final minicamp and the start of training camp practices on July 31. Maybe it’s because there are no questions left to ask, or too many remain despite a busy offseason.
Whatever the reason, there’s only one new question, so let’s get to it …
Q: I have a couple quick questions: How many players are invited to training camp, and how do you cut down the rosters? – John, Tacoma
A: The NFL has an 80-man roster limit, John. That’s players under contract, so the Seahawks currently have 83 players on the roster because their top three draft choices are unsigned – left tackle Russell Okung, free safety Earl Thomas and wide receiver Golden Tate. When each signs, a player will have to be released to clear a roster spot.
The league mandates that the 80-man roster must be cut to 75 players by Aug. 31 and then the final 53-man limit by Sept. 4. Many of the cuts become obvious as the training-camp practices and preseason games progress, but a rash of injuries at a certain position can force the coaches to carry a player – or two – who otherwise would have been cut.
There also can be surprises, like undrafted rookies showing enough potential that they stick. It happened with linebacker David Hawthorne two years ago and safety Jordan Babineaux in 2004.