It was well known that the Seattle Seahawks faced some difficult roster decisions last week as they entered Saturday’s 53-man roster deadline. The surprise came when they decided to cut projected starting fullback Michael Robinson, among others.
Robinson, 30, had been a Seahawk since 2010, was a pro bowl player two seasons ago and a team leader. Instead of being a starter week 1 for a team with its eyes set on the Super Bowl, Robinson finds himself on the street as a free agent.
It was a risky move in every regard. Not only did general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll cut one of their most dependable players and important leaders in the locker room, they have decided to go with youth in second year pro Derrick Coleman and rookie Spencer Ware at a critical position. Factor in the aspirations the team has for the season and the degree of risk becomes even more clear.
Make no mistake about it, the NFL is a business. The team winds up saving $1 million towards next year’s salary cap by making the move, every dollar important as it looks to keep the young core of its team around for a bright future. It’s also always a thin line being walked between competing in the present while positioning the team to be competitive for the future.
While the Seahawks do have the highest of expectations this year which makes the move such a gamble, they also realize that they have to continue to get younger by developing young talent that can hopefully contribute in future years if the player(s) aren’t quite capable of providing significant contributions this year.
With that goal in mind, the Seahawks kept eight rookies on a roster that was arguably the best going into the offseason. That means the team exchanged eight talented veterans for unproven players. A big time gamble, for a team that has its eyes set on playing into February.