Numbers games: Seahawks roster in perspective

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks kept only seven defensive backs pending Lawyer Milloy's expected signing.

What does it mean? Well, the team kept only seven on its opening-day roster last season and the Seahawks haven't kept more than eight on their Week 1 rosters since 2003. The 49ers, in contrast, have kept at least 10 defensive backs on their Week 1 roster in each of the last four seasons.

That is the sort of perspective I'm hoping to provide by comparing initial 53-man positional roster counts against Week 1 counts since 2003. Seattle has never kept more than 10 defensive linemen on its Week 1 roster during the period in question. The Seahawks have 11 now, but for how long? If they choose to supplement another position, defensive line might be a logical place to clear a roster spot, based purely on numbers.

I'll provide similar charts for the other teams in the division. Seattle's roster moves jumped out because the team released a projected starter in free safety Brian Russell. Note that the numbers from 2003-2008 reflect opening-day counts. Current rosters figure to change as the week progresses.