The Seahawks reduced their roster from 75 players to the mandatory 53 Friday, cutting, most notably, wide receiver Deon Butler, the club’s third-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft out of Penn State. The Seahawks also bid adieu to WR Kris Durham, the club’s fourth-round selection in the 2011 draft, and WR Jermaine Kearse, who starred at the University of Washington.
Butler suffered a broken leg in December 2010. The rehab caused Butler to miss the first 11 games of the 2011 season, but he was considered to have considerable upside. But the Seahawks, who had 11 receivers on their roster after Thursday’s preseason romp over Oakland, wanted new talent.
Butler ends his Seahawks career with 57 receptions for 611 yards and four touchdowns. Durham caught three passes as a rookie before he was placed on injured reserve to rehab a shoulder injury.
Kearse, who finished his UW career ranked No. 2 on the career charts for receptions (180), receiving yards (2,871) and receiving TDs (29), could be added to the Seahawks practice squad.
The Seahawks waived the following players Friday in order to reach the 53-man roster limit: DB Phillip Adams, DE Pierre Allen, LB Allen Bradford, WR Deon Butler, WR Kris Durham, OG Paul Fanaika, OG Rishaw Johnson, WR Jermaine Kearse, LB Kyle Knox, DE Cordarro Law, WR Richardo Lockette, TE Sean McGrath, C Kris O’Dowd, QB Josh Portis, DB DeShawn Snead, LB, LB Korey Toomer and WR Lavasier Tuinei.
In addition, the Seahawks released injured TE Cooper Helfet and RB Vai Taua and reached an injury settlement with DL Lazarius Levingston.
The Seahawks also placed LB Matt McCoy on injured reserve, DB Walt Thurmond on the physically unable to perform list, and OG Allen Barbre on the reserve/suspended list.
Former University of Washington tailback Chris Polk, who went undrafted (21 running backs selected) in April, made the Philadelphia Eagles’ 53-man roster and probably will be moved to fullback. The Eagles apparently want to take advantage of his blocking skills (he often served as the lead blocker on Jake Locker’s quarterback draws).
Polk finished his UW career last season as the second-leading rusher in Husky history. He could have returned to Washington for his senior year, but opted to take his chances in the draft. No team selected him. Polk signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent and showed enough during preseason that the Eagles kept him on their roster.
Another ex-Husky, QB Isaiah Stanback, who played under Tyrone Willingham, failed to stick as a wide receiver with the New York Giants.
Three former Seahawks were among the NFL’s notable cuts Friday. New England released WR Deion Branch (2006-10), Cleveland jettisoned QB Seneca Wallace (2003-09), and New Orleans released PK John Kasay (1991-94).
Branch was cut to make room for younger players who can help on special teams. Wallace, a Mike Holmgren favorite, was released in favor of Colt McCoy. Kasay lost out to Garrett Hartley.