Among the Seahawks who were given their walking papers over the weekend as Seattle reduced its roster to 53 was veteran fullback Michael Robinson, a player the organization was quite fond of given his versatility as a lead blocker and a core special-teams player.
That helps explain why Carroll not only said releasing Robinson was among the most difficult moves he's had to make with the Seahawks, but added that the door isn't closed on a potential return.
"Yeah, that was a big deal to us, and unfortunately, we weren't able to keep Mike at this time," Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Danny" Tuesday morning. "Maybe we'll get a chance to get him back somewhere down the road, but at this time that was the way that had to go, and it was very difficult because he's a great kid, he's gonna be a football coach someday. He's a guy that has been in my office a lot, talking about ball and schemes.
"We're very close, so it's very difficult."
The Seahawks parted ways with Robinson in favor of Derrick Coleman and Spencer Ware, who are younger, cheaper and – perhaps most importantly – healthier alternatives. Robinson, 30, was scheduled to make $2.5 million this season and is dealing with an unspecified illness that would have threatened his availability for the start of the the regular season should he have remained on Seattle's roster.
Coleman, undrafted out of UCLA in 2012, is expected to start at fullback when the Seahawks open their season Sunday at Carolina. Ware was drafted in the sixth round out of Louisiana State with an eye toward playing fullback, but he's also shown promise as a ballcarrier during the preseason, rushing 23 times for 102 yards and a touchdown.