Position paper: Safety first
Posted by Danny O'Neil
First, a simple swap:
On the bubble: Jamar Adams.
Uphill climb: Kevin Ellison.
Ellison has experience, having started nine games for the Chargers last year as a rookie. He also has history with Seattle's coach, having played at USC under coach Pete Carroll.
But Ellison has consistently played for the third-team defense, there are questions about the long-term health of his knee and of the six safeties in training camp, he probably has the longest road to travel to get a spot.
Adams on the other hand, has worked with the second-unit defense, has familiarity here having been with Seattle for the past two years. Is he a lock? Now. But he has a strong chance.
The next revision is a bit trickier. Kam Chancellor was listed on the bubble. That's probably not accurate. Chancellor was a fifth-round pick, he intercepted a pass in the first exhibition game, and his size makes him a potentially unique safety.
In the previous five years, only one player picked in the fifth round failed to make the team, and that was Tony Jackson of Iowa in 2005. He was a tight end in college, drafted to play fullback by Seattle and Leonard Weaver beat him out for that spot.
Looks safe: Kam Chancellor.
Now, the last player to consider is Jordan Babineaux. He is a potential backup to both safety positions, someone with starting experience in Seattle. Given that one of Seattle's starting safeties is 36 and the other is a rookie, it's probably in Seattle's best interest to have a capable reserve waiting in the wings.
But there's one other thing to consider: Babineaux triggered escalators in his contract with his playing time in 2009, something detailed exquisitely by Brian McIntyre of Scout.com. Now, there's no salary cap and the difference of $1.3 million is hardly going to capsize Seattle's payroll projections. However, it's a relatively big number for a backup safety, and not only that, but general manager John Schneider's history in Green Bay illustrates the value placed upon youth. So it's not just money, but would keeping Babineaux come at the cost of a spot for a younger player?
It's a question worth asking though let me be clear that I still would list Babineaux as someone who looks safe. He just doesn't look as safe as Chancellor does.
Now, as for the questions concerning linebacker, I'll stand by that breakdown, and say that I think there is a very large question as to whether Leroy Hill is on this team for the first game. In fact, it would surprise me if he was.
|S Deon Grant||S Deon Grant||S Deon Grant||S Ken Hamlin|
|S Jordan Babineaux||S Brian Russell||S Brian Russell||S Michael Boulware|
|S Lawyer Milloy||S Jordan Babineaux||S Jordan Babineaux||S Jordan Babineaux|
|S C.J. Wallace||S C.J. Wallace||S C.J. Wallace||S Oliver Celestin|
|S Mike Green|
|S Ken Hamlin||S Ken Hamlin||S Ken Hamlin||S Reggie Tongue|
|S Michael Boulware||S Terreal Bierria||S Terreal Bierria||S Terreal Bierria|
|S Marquand Manuel||S Michael Boulware||S Reggie Tongue||S Marcus Robertson|
|S John Howell||S Damien Robertson||S Curtis Fuller|
|S Harld Blackmon|
Dec 24 - 6:10 AM Looking back: Revisiting Sunday's scouting report
Dec 24 - 1:09 AM Seahawks' scoring binge
Dec 24 - 1:01 AM Video: Summing Seattle's victory
Dec 24 - 12:58 AM Video: Russell Wilson post-game comments
Dec 24 - 12:21 AM Rookie passing roll call