Nobody saw this one coming. Just one day after he survived the final roster cut, Kellen Winslow, Jr. has been released by the Seahawks.
There’s no word yet on why this move took place, but the reasoning is likely to be financial: he was scheduled to make $3.3 million this year, and $13.3 million total over the three years left on his contract. It’s entirely possible that Winslow was released so that the team could sign him to a new contract with a lower price tag (there are limits on how much you can restructure a contract, but it’s been awhile since I’ve browsed through that part of the collective bargaining agreement). However, until some new details emerge all we can do is scratch our heads and wonder what the hell just happened.
Addendum: Thomas Beekers over at Field Gulls raised the possibility that Winslow was cut so that the Seahawks wouldn’t owe the Buccaneers the conditional draft pick they traded in exchange for the veteran tight end.
UPDATE (6:06): It looks like the split is going to be permanent. The Seahawks just signed TE Evan Moore to replace Winslow on the roster. Moore is a receiving tight end who spent his first three seasons with the Browns after going undrafted out of Stanford. His stats aren’t too exciting (62 career receptions for 804 yards and 5 TDs), but he was buried on Cleveland’s depth chart.
Like a lot of receiving tight ends, Moore played basketball in college. As a result, he excels at high-pointing the ball and in general he’s known for his great hands and willingness to take a hit. Unfortunately, he’s also been plagued by injuries throughout his NFL career. He’s got the potential to really help out the Seahawks in the passing game, but if he gets hurt and ends up missing games the team isn’t out much money. Low risk, high reward — I hear that’s a specialty of John Schneider’s.