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Patrick Lewis, Kevin Smith waived as Seahawks trim roster to 75

Patrick Lewis started nine games last season but was scheduled to make $1.671 million as a backup. (AP)
LISTEN: Why the Seahawks are keeping Joey Hunt over Patrick Lewis

RENTON – For some time now, the Seahawks have seemed to be past whatever serious questions they may have had about Justin Britt’s viability as a starting center, his third position in as many NFL seasons.

The latest vote of confidence came Tuesday when the Seahawks waived Patrick Lewis, their former starting center and best alternative at that position in case Britt’s conversion wasn’t panning out.

Lewis and wide receiver Kevin Smith were the most notable of the nine players the Seahawks waived Tuesday as they finished trimming their roster from 90 to 75 before the 1 p.m. deadline.

Smith was waived with an injury designation, which means he will revert to Seattle’s Injured Reserve list if he clears waivers. The same is true for the three other players Seattle waived as injured on Tuesday: running back/defensive back George Farmer, cornerback Trovon Reed and defensive end Josh Shirley, a one-time Husky. Seattle also waived linebackers Quayshawn Nealy and Pete Robertson and, as previously reported, rookie running back Zac Brooks and guard Kristjan Sokoli.

None of those moves came as much of a surprise even though both Lewis and Smith contributed to varying degrees last year, with Lewis taking over for Drew Nowak in Week 6 and Smith working his way into the wide-receiver rotation later in the season.

But Britt has been entrenched as the starter and Lewis was scheduled to make a non-guaranteed $1.671 million as a restricted free agent, which the Seahawks likely considered a prohibitive amount for a backup. With Lewis gone, rookie sixth-round pick Joey Hunt is now in line to be Britt’s backup.

Smith, meanwhile, has missed a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury, which hurt the former Husky’s chances of cracking Seattle’s crowded wide-receiver rotation. With Smith out of the mix, the leading candidates for the final spot(s) are fellow ex-Husky Kasen Williams, rookies Kenny Lawler and Tanner McEvoy (who has also been working as a tight end) and second-year receiver Antwan Goodley. Williams and McEvoy returned to practice Tuesday after missing time themselves with injuries.

The nine moves the Seahawks announced Tuesday followed the six that the team officially made on Monday. Seattle released defensive back Brandon Browner, placed defensive tackle Sealver Siliga on Injured Reserve and waived four other players: wide receivers Deshon Foxx (with an injury designation) and Montario Hunter, fullback Kyle Coleman and defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson.

The Seahawks must trim their roster to 53 by 1 p.m. Saturday, which is two days after their preseason finale against the Raiders in Oakland. They will establish their 10-player practice squad on Sunday.