Position Preview – Wide Receivers
Holdovers: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch, Deon Butler, Ben Obomanu, Mike Hass
Newcomers: Golden Tate (2nd round), Sean Morey (free agent), Ruvell Martin (free agent), Mike Williams (free agent), Kole Heckendorf (waivers), Marcus Maxwell (waivers), Isaiah Stanback (waivers)
Departures: Nate Burleson (free agent), Patrick Carter (waived), Michael Jones (waived)
Short-Stays: Chris Duvalt (waived), Victor James (waived), Reggie Williams (released)
Depth Chart Heading Into Training Camp
Who starts opposite Houshmandzadeh will be the one of the most-watched battles in training camp.
From an experience perspective, Branch would seem to be a logical choice. Head coach Pete Carroll sung Branch’s praises throughout the off-season, despite the oft-injured receiver missing nearly all of the on-field workouts as he recovered from a third procedure on his left knee.
Butler, the team’s third-round pick in 2009, has the best straight-line speed to pair opposite Houshmandzadeh, but he’s still quite raw as a receiver as he heads into his redshirt freshman season. Then there’s Williams, the 6-5, 230-pound former first-round pick of the Detroit Lions who has re-joined his college coach in an attempt to salvage his NFL career.
Butler is the only one of the three who is guaranteed to be on the roster come September–Branch’s high salary ($5.47M) and Williams’ lengthy absence from the game are working against them— but either of the three could be lined up opposite Houshmandzadeh when the Seahawks face the San Francisco 49ers in a freshly-painted Qwest Field on September 12.
Though selected in the second-round, Tate is not expected to earn a starting position this season, though it’s certainly possible that’s where could be. Tate repeatedy made big plays during the OTAs and mini-camp, and while some may call to question his judgment after his late night donut caper, Tate has been working out with Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald in Minnesota in the weeks leading up to training camp.
Morey, Obomanu, Martin, Stanback, and Hass will compete for reserve roles, with special teams being the determining factor in who gets the final 1-2 roster spots.
Of the receivers on the bubble headed to training camp, only Heckendorf has practice squad eligibility remaining.