Opting to reduce their roster down to 80 players ahead of the start of training camp rather than implement a split-squad approach, the Seahawks released nine players to reach the NFL's COVID-19-altered mandate.
Headlining Seattle's plethora of roster moves, the team parted ways with veteran center Joey Hunt and defensive end Branden Jackson. By releasing both players, the Seahawks will create north of $4 million in cap space, putting the team at an estimated $18.7 million above the cap.
Seattle also waived seven players, including guards Jordan Roos and Khalil McKenzie, running back Patrick Carr, tight end Dominic Wood-Anderson, receiver Seth Dawkins, safety Jordan Norwood, and linebacker Sutton Smith.
Hunt, a sixth-round pick out of TCU in 2015, stepped into the starting lineup midway through the 2019 season as a replacement for Justin Britt, who tore his ACL in Week 8 at Atlanta. Over four seasons with Seattle, he played in 34 games and made 11 starts.
As for Jackson, he spent three years with the Seahawks after being claimed off waivers from the Raiders in 2017. He played in 35 total games with four starts, recording 41 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three pass deflections.
With Hunt being released, B.J. Finney will step into the starting lineup at center replacing Britt and former second-round pick Ethan Pocic received a vote of confidence as a potential backup. Jackson became expendable with the additions of Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin in free agency as well as Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson arriving in April's draft.
While these transactions could be viewed as precursors to a potential signing by Seattle - including making another run at bringing back Jadeveon Clowney - releasing Hunt and Jackson now should allow both veterans ample time to land with a new team to kick off training camp.
After weeks of negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA to establish health and safety protocols, the Seahawks will report for camp on July 28.