Your Seahawks summer love didn’t make it out of this spring.
The team on Wednesday waived running back Troymaine Pope, Seattle’s leading rusher in four 2016 preseason games. Last year’s undrafted rookie from Jacksonville State was one of a whopping 19 Seahawks to carry the ball in a game in 2016. He rushed 11 times for 43 yards in three games from November into mid-December.
The Seahawks also waived undrafted rookie wide receiver Speedy Noil. They had signed him from Texas A&M this month following a tryout in rookie minicamp.
Seattle signed Jordan Simone, a former Skyline High School and Arizona State defensive back, plus defensive back Marcus Cromartie to fill out the 90-man offseason roster.
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Pope averaged 6.8 yards per touch in Seattle’s 2016 preseason. He scored two touchdowns. He won his first NFL game, the preseason opener at Kansas City, with a two-point conversion run with no time left. He and the Seahawks ran off the sidelines and mobbed him like the new guy had just won a playoff game.
The following exhibition he romped for 86 yards against Minnesota, and for 52 yards in the preseason finale at Oakland Sept. 1. Seahawks fans thought he could challenge for meaningul carries behind Thomas Rawls in 2016.
But last Sept. 3, he was gone. Seattle put Pope on waivers at the end of the preseason hoping he’d clear those so the team could sneak him onto its practice squad to begin the regular season. The New York Jets claimed him and put him on their active roster to begin the season instead.
"When they released me I didn’t know what to think," Pope said last fall of the Seahawks.
"I really just wanted to get the (active-roster) money so I can help take care of my daughter."
Pope has a preschool-aged daughter, Cassidy. He earned $31,765 per week for two months with the Jets even though he played in just one game. Practice-squad players in the NFL make a minimum of $6,900 per regular-season week.
The Jets eventually released him. Seattle re-signed him in November to its practice squad. He signed his exclusive-rights tender to remain with the Seahawks this offseason, but then the team signed free-agent running back Eddie Lacy to share the lead role with Rawls. C.J. Prosise rested and got healthier after an injury-filled 2016 rookie season. Then a month ago Seattle drafted Chris Carson in the seventh round out of Oklahoma State. Coach Pete Carroll gushed about how hard Carson runs and plays, calling him “one of my favorite players in the draft.”
It took only one organized-team-activity practice on Tuesday before the Seahawks decide to waive Pope.
Cromartie did not get drafted out of Wisconsin in 2013. He’s spent time with San Diego, Cleveland, San Francisco and Buffalo. He has one career start, with the 49ers in 2015, and 21 tackles in 21 NFL games.
Simone is the third player currently on the Seahawks roster who played on Skyline’s 2009 Washington state Class 4A-championship team. No. 3 quarterback Jake Heaps and reserve wide receiver Kasen Williams were Simone’s teammates at the school in the Seattle suburb of Sammamish.
Simone got a tryout this month in rookie minicamp, after the former Arizona State walk-on became an honorable mention all-Pac-12 member. His 2016 senior season ended prematurely because of a knee injury.