SEATTLE – The Seahawks on Tuesday released veteran receiver Brandon Marshall, the team announced.
It turned out to be the only move concerning the 53-man roster that the Seahawks made on Tuesday, which also served as the NFL’s trade deadline day.
A year ago, the Seahawks had been a major player at the deadline, trading for left tackle Duane Brown on the day before.
But with a surging team that coach Pete Carroll seems a little more enthusiastic about with each day, and having already dealt three of its 2019 draft picks (including a second-rounder as part of the Brown deal), Seattle stayed pat at the deadline this year.
The release of Marshall left Seattle with just 52 players on its active roster at the moment and no indication yet how or when the Seahawks will fill the open spot.
It’s possible Seattle could leave it vacant for a little while as the Seahawks have a pretty healthy roster and will likely have to declare some healthy players inactive on gameday Sunday against the Chargers, anyway.
Seattle also knows that running back/receiver J.D. McKissic can return next week after having been placed on Injured Reserve the first week of the season (McKissic has to miss at least eight games – the contest against the Chargers Sunday is Seattle’s eighth of the season).
The release of Marshall leaves Seattle with just four listed receivers and Seattle could add one off the practice squad (Keenan Reynolds and Malik Turner are on the PS) or add someone at another position, or just leave the spot open and wait for McKissic next week.
As for Marshall, his release on Tuesday before the trade deadline allowed him to become an immediate free agent. Had Seattle waited until after the trade deadline he would have had to go through waivers. So Seattle was likely doing a little favor for Marshall with the timing of the move – it was reported that Marshall wants to continue to play, and this way he can pick his own team rather than potentially being claimed on waivers.
What was clear is that the Seahawks didn’t have much need or use anymore for Marshall as his playing time had steadily decreased in recent weeks.
The 34-year-old Marshall was signed as a free agent in the summer to add depth, experience – and, ideally, at 6-4, 229, an imposing red zone target – to a young receiving corps.
And he had some good moments early with seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown in the first two games of the year, the score coming against Denver, a game in which he almost had another touchdown before it was nullified when he was called for offensive pass interference.
But Marshall had seen his production and playing time decrease in recent weeks – he had a costly drop in a game against Arizona and a couple more the week before against Dallas – which coincided with the emergence of second-year receiver David Moore.
His playing time decreased so much that Marshall had just two snaps against the Lions in a 28-14 Seattle win Sunday in Detroit.
Marshall had just two catches for 16 yards in the last four games and just one for 11 in the last three, that coming late in the win over the Raiders in London.
Asked about Marshall’s lack of playing time against Detroit on Monday, coach Pete Carroll said: “We threw the ball 17 times and there’s not a lot of chances, so it just didn’t work out for him. He’s been working hard.”
Marshall ends his Seattle tenure with 11 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown. He moved into 22nd on the all-time receiving yards list this year and has 12,351 in a career that dates to 2006.
As for the Seahawks, any additions to their roster now will have to come via waiver claims or signing street free agents with Seattle staying out of a trade market that yielded a few big moves (such as the trade of former Seattle receiver Golden Tate from Detroit to Philadelphia).
That wasn’t a surprise, though, as the Seahawks don’t have much salary cap space available for the remainder of this season ($3.188 million as of Tuesday) and the lack of 2019 draft picks also left Seattle with not a lot to offer, and also likely a reluctance to want to give up even more future draft capital.
Seattle did make one addition on Tuesday, re-signing tight end Tyrone Swoopes to the practice squad, releasing offensive lineman J.J. Dielman to make room.
Swoopes was signed to the active roster prior to the win over the Raiders, and had a 23-yard reception to key Seattle’s first touchdown drive. But he was waived on Saturday to make room for the return of veteran Ed Dickson off the Non-Football Injury list. Swoopes went unclaimed on waivers, though, and will now remain in the Seattle organization.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.