The Seattle Seahawks released former first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche as the team finalized their final 53-man roster. The defensive tackle was the No. 29 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Cardinals, but Nkemdiche’s pro career has not gone the way many expected. Seattle has one open roster spot after their final round of cuts.
Nkemdiche marks the second former highly-touted defensive linemen that the Seahawks signed this offseason only to release months later as Aldon Smith was cut at the beginning of training camp. Nkemdiche’s release comes less than a month after Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll praised the pass rusher.
“He’s a beautiful spirit now,” Carroll noted in August, per Associated Press. “He really cares about having fun and enjoying it. I can’t imagine someone putting a lid on him back in the day. Maybe that’s why some of the stories came out. Here we welcome the spirit of it and what he brings, and everyone has to get along and fit in and all that. He does, too. I don’t want to harness that kind of love for being outgoing, and expressive and all that. I don’t want to get in the way of all that.”
The Seahawks have never shied away from taking big swings on highly-touted players who have underperformed. Seattle opted to release Nkemdiche after a relatively quiet preseason. The release of Smith and Nkemdiche show the Seahawks have turned a former weakness into a position group of strength by bolstering the defensive line this offseason.
Here is a look at the 29 players the Seahawks cut as the NFL required teams to trim their roster to 53 men by August 31st.
Seahawks Roster Cuts 2021
|WR||Darece Roberson Jr.|
The Seahawks Kept 3 Quarterbacks on the Roster
Aside from Robert Nkemdiche, several promising wide receivers were among the Seahawks other notable releases including Penny Hart, Cade Johnson, Aaron Fuller and Cody Thompson. Another significant Seahawks move was the team’s decision to carry three quarterbacks by retaining both Geno Smith and Sean Mannion. The former Rams quarterback could be a significant addition given his familiarity with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s offense.
“His background with Shane, that he was with them is obvious,” Carroll said after the Seahawks signed Mannion, per Pro Football Talk. “He’s really smart. Really smart. (Quarterbacks coach) Austin (Davis) would tell you he’s been here a day and he’s already running the offense. He can already call the stuff. I don’t know how a guy can do that. Honestly, I don’t even know how I can do that. Because the terminology isn’t all the same. Conceptually, it’s the same, which he just eats up. So we’ll see what happens. Just liked him enough and then with that background I think he’s an interesting guy for us to bring to camp.”