Looming roster cuts have spurred discussions on the blog regarding which players should stick past the reduction to 53 players Saturday.
Regular contributor Redzone59 wondered whether 2010 second-round choice Golden Tate had done enough to earn a roster spot in Seattle. He pointed to Doug Baldwin's emergence as one reason to question Tate's status following a disappointing preseason.
TateI'll offer a few thoughts for consideration.
Why to keep Tate: The Seahawks said they had a first-round grade on Tate in the draft. That was only 16 months ago. As recently as June, Carroll said he anticipated a "huge role" for Tate this season. Receivers often need time to grasp nuances of the pro game. Seattle has changed offensive coordinators, changed starting quarterbacks and endured a lockout that set back everyone. Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu, Tate, Kris Durham and Baldwin would give the team six receivers. That is one more than the Seahawks kept on each of their last two Week 1 rosters, but six is a manageable number. Deon Butler could remain on the physically unable to perform list entering the season if the team wanted to give his leg additional healing time. Tate can return punts if needed. There would be room for Ricardo Lockette on the practice squad. Isaiah Stanback hasn't been healthy enough.
Why to move on: Tate flashed ability during rookie camps with the team, but he has made more waves hawking donuts and stirring up NASCAR fans than catching passes. The Seahawks have had little trouble cutting their losses when appropriate. They weren't going to prop up Charlie Whitehurst just because they traded for him. Why ignore the obvious here? Tate hasn't produced, and Baldwin has looked like the superior option from the slot, where Tate was supposed to flourish. Rice, Williams, Obomanu, Durham and Baldwin give the team five promising options. Even without Tate, the Seahawks would lead the NFC West in 2010 draft choices projected to start this season (Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Walter Thurmond). Swallowing a little pride wouldn't hurt too bad.
What I would do: Keep Tate and put him on notice. It's early to give up on a second-round pick who has flashed potential (52-yard catch at Denver last season). Tate has barely had one month in a new offense. Situations at quarterback and along the offensive line haven't been ideal, either. A year ago, the Arizona Cardinals weren't sure what to make of third-round rookie receiver Andre Roberts. Now, Roberts starts opposite Larry Fitzgerald.