While the Seahawks are bound to make a few more moves between now and Sunday -- and perhaps a little beyond -- the bulk of the team is set.
While it is possible they might bring back Leon Washington, cut Sunday by New England, tinker with their defensive line some more and perhaps add a third tight end, their main moves have been made.
They have 16 new players -- not including injured Percy Harvin (on PUP).
They added two street free agents (Tarvaris Jackson and Stephen Williams), two via trade (Harvin and D'Anthony Smith) and one via waivers (O'Brien Schofield).
They kept eight rookies -- five of their 11 draft picks and three undrafted players. Two draft picks also are on injured lists, and three others were signed to the practice squad.
They also kept four guys who were on the practice squad in 2012, although three of them -- Jermaine Kearse, Mike Person and Allen Bradford -- finished the season on the active roster so are not new players.
Among the positional changes -- so far -- they kept two more players on the defensive front seven than they started with last year (17 rather than 15). They kept one less player in the secondary and one less wide receiver, and they kept 10 offensive linemen rather than nine while keeping just two tight ends -- although you could argue that Person counts as a jumbo tight end since they experimented with six linemen in the preseason.
According to ESPN's Mike Sando, the Hawks have the youngest offense in the league now that Michael Robinson, 30, is not on the team. And they are the fourth-youngest overall. That certainly bodes well for some sustained success -- assuming they can keep their top players.
They seem far from done making moves, but the bulk of the team is in place, so it is now fair to ask: Are they better now than they were last year?
Let's look at it by position:
Active: Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson
Better, worse or the same? Better. Wilson will naturally build on his superb second half of 2012. Jackson is not necessarily an upgrade over Matt Flynn, and doubts certainly remain about his ability to win big games. But this is all about Wilson's maturation, and the ultra-focused QB will be improved.
Active: Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Chris Michael, Spencer Ware, Derrick Coleman
Better, worse or the same? Better. The Hawks definitely have a full stable of hard-charging runners, but the question is whether Ware and Coleman can fill the fullback shoes of departed veteran Michael Robinson. We'll assume so and call them better here.
Active: Zach Miller, Luke Willson
IR: Anthony McCoy
Better, worse or the same? The same. Miller is coming off a foot injury that kept him out for most of the preseason. Willson looks like he could be better than McCoy as the No. 2 tight end, but he still is a rookie. And the Hawks don't have a third tight end yet (and might not).
Active: Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Stephen Williams
PUP: Percy Harvin
Better, worse or the same? Better. Even with Harvin injured and Rice perpetually hobbled, this year's group is better because (a) Tate came into his own in 2012, (b) Baldwin is fully healthy, (c) Kearse is ready to play a lot and (d) Williams showed what a big-play threat he is (five catches of 38 yards or longer in preseason). There will be tons of questions about this group after this season, but for now it looks like the best group the Hawks have had under Pete Carroll.
Active: LT Russell Okung, LG Paul McQuistan, C Max Unger, RG J.R. Sweezy, RT Breno Giacomini, LG James Carpenter, C/G Lemuel Jeanpierre, OL Alvin Bailey, OT Michael Bowie, OT Mike Person
Better, worse or the same? Better. They lost two guys off last year's line, but neither John Moffitt nor Frank Omiyale was a major contributor. Otherwise, this unit is basically the same group as last year, not counting the back-end reserves. Another year under Tom Cable makes any line better. Sweezy's experience should make him better (assuming he doesn't make a habit of repeating his performance vs. Green Bay -- the penalties). And if Carpenter can get healthy, it could eventually lead to a powerful left side.
Active: Brandon Mebane, Michael Bennett, Jordan Hill, Tony McDaniel, D'Anthony Smith
IR: Jesse Williams
Better, worse or the same? Better. The Hawks replaced Alan Branch, Jason Jones , Clinton McDonald and Jaye Howard with Bennett, Hill, McDaniel and an unknown (Smith) who may or may not stick. Once they are all healthy, it should amount to an upgrade. Otherwise, why would the coaches have switched out everyone but Mebane?
5-TECH DEFENSIVE END
Active: Red Bryant, Bennett
PUP: Greg Scruggs
Better, worse or the same? The same. Bryant is still the anchor against the run, although Bennett and McDaniel can play here as well.
Active: Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Mike Morgan, Benson Mayowa
IR: Kenneth Boatright
Better, worse or the same? The same. On paper, this position looks better. But injuries to Clemons (ACL) and Avril (hamstring) have weakened it, and the Hawks might have to rely on converted rusher Morgan and undrafted rookie Mayowa early in the season. It won't be at its best until Clemons and Avril are. The improvement in the pass rush is going to have to come from Dan Quinn's strong-side rushers.
Active: K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner, O'Brien Schofield, Malcolm Smith, Allen Bradford, Heath Farwell, John Lotulelei
Suspended: Bruce Irvin
NFI: Korey Toomer
Better, worse or the same? Better. This is probably the strongest linebacker set the Hawks have had under Carroll. Wagner and Wright are solid pros, and Schofield offers some great versatility as he pushes Smith for the starting strong-side job. Bradford, Farwell and Lotulelei should help keep the Hawks' special-teams units strong.
Active: Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Byron Maxwell, Jeremy Lane
PUP: Tharold Simon
IR: Chandler Fenner
Better, worse or the same? Better. Thurmond and Maxwell had standout preseasons, and Lane is a year wiser after playing well as a rookie. This group is so strong that Antoine Winfield could not crack it.
Active: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Jeron Johnson, Chris Maragos
Better, worse or the same? Better. Chancellor played through several ailments in 2012 and his production tailed off in the second half. He is healthy now, and his play in the preseason showed he is ready to live up to the big contract extension he received this year. Johnson and Maragos offer nice depth and special-teams help again.
Active: P Jon Ryan, LS Clint Gresham, K Steven Hauschka
Better, worse or the same? Better. These guys were on it in the preseason. Ryan boomed his punts as usual, but the big revelation was Hauschka, who finally showed he could hit from beyond 50 yards. If he can do it in the regular season for once, this unit will be better. Meanwhile, the coverage teams appear poised to be the best yet under coach Brian Schneider, and the Hawks have tons of options in the return game despite losing Leon Washington.
Practice squad: DT Michael Brooks, TE Cooper Helfet, LB Ty Powell, OG Ryan Seymour, DB DeShawn Shead, DT Sealver Siliga, C Jared Smith and WR Bryan Walters.