The Seahawks released Terrelle Pryor, Eric Winston, Benson Mayowa and 19 others as they reduced their roster from 75 to 53 on Saturday.
They kept seven wide receivers and also acquired defensive back Marcus Burley from Indianapolis for a sixth-round pick in 2015.
The Hawks’ other cuts: QB B.J. Daniels, running backs Kiero Small, Demitrius Bronson and Spencer Ware; wide receivers Bryan Walters, Arceto Clark, Chris Matthews; tight ends RaShaun Allen and Morrell Presley; offensive linemen Caylin Hauptmann, Nate Isles, Patrick Lewis; defensive linemen Jimmy Staten and Andru Pulu; linebacker Korey Toomer; defensive backs Akeem Auguste, Phillip Adams, Terrance Parks and Steve Terrell.
Defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith was placed on injured reserve.
Pryor was one of the major roster questions after the Seahawks sent a seventh-round pick to Oakland in April for the fourth-year quarterback. He showed pretty much the same stuff he had in 15 games (10 starts) for the Raiders over the past three years: spectacular athleticism but an underwhelming grasp of the NFL passing game.
The Seahawks chose not to use a roster spot on a third quarterback, something they rarely have done under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. They also released Daniels, who was on the active roster for a few weeks last season.
Winston, a seven-year veteran signed in July when Michael Bowie was lost to injury, seemed to be a lock to make the team as a backup, but the Hawks chose to go with undrafted rookie Garry Gilliam instead. They apparently preferred Gilliam’s raw upside to Winston’s $955,000 salary. If Winston isn’t picked up for Week 1, it is possible the Hawks will bring him back in Week 2, when his contract will no longer be guaranteed.
Mayowa showed enough as an undrafted free agent last year to make the roster. He spent most of the season on the inactive list and was expected to push for significant playing time this season with Chris Clemons gone. But O’Brien Schofield, given the chance to play LEO full time, outplayed Mayowa, and the Hawks let the second-year player go.
Because he was active for fewer than nine games last season, Mayowa is eligible for the 10-player practice squad if he clears waivers Sunday.
Burley, who is 5 feet 10 and 185 pounds and runs a 4.35 40-yard dash, reportedly had a good training camp with the Colts, and the Hawks apparently noticed. An undrafted rookie in 2013, he spent time on practice squads of Jacksonville, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Indianapolis last season but did not play in a game.
Phillip Adams and Akeem Auguste didn’t show very well against Oakland, and the Hawks obviously wanted an upgrade at the fifth corner spot — especially with Jeremy Lane and Tharold Simon dealing with injuries heading into the first game.
The Seahawks can afford the sixth-round pick because they should receive four compensatory choices in the 2015 draft.
While going with their standard two quarterbacks and reducing to four running backs, the Hawks surprisingly kept seven receivers. Rookie Kevin Norwood is on the active roster even though he missed the preseason after foot surgery, and Ricardo Lockette and Phil Bates were retained over backup return man Walters.
The Hawks, who have not thrown the ball very much under Carroll, were expected to keep six receivers and might end up adjusting downward. Or, they might be hedging against the health of Norwood and Percy Harvin.
They kept seven linebackers, as expected, and releasing Toomer means they fully expect Bruce Irvin to come off PUP this week.
They ended up keeping five of their eight remaining draft picks. They released fifth-rounder Staten, who was injured all preseason, and seventh-rounder Small. Sixth-round offensive lineman Garrett Scott was released earlier in the offseason due to a heart problem, and sixth-round defensive back Eric Pinkins is on the non-football injury list.
The Seahawks can set a 10-player practice squad on Sunday, and top candidates include Mayowa, Daniels, Toomer and Hauptmann. Ware also is eligible.
Pending other possible moves, here’s a look at the 53-man roster:
QB: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
RB: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman
WR: Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Paul Richardson, Kevin Norwood, Ricardo Lockette, Phil Bates
TE: Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet
OL: LT Russell Okung, LG James Carpenter, C Max Unger, RG J.R. Sweezy, RT Justin Britt, OL Alvin Bailey, C Lemuel Jeanpierre, OT Garry Gilliam, OG Stephen Schilling
DL: Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, Kevin Williams, O’Brien Schofield
Greg Scruggs, Jordan Hill, Cassius Marsh
LB: K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, Mike Morgan, Brock Coyle, Bruce Irvin, Kevin Pierre-Louis
CB: Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, Tharold Simon, Marcus Burley
FS/SS: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, DeShawn Shead
ST: P Jon Ryan, LS Clint Gresham, K Steven Hauschka