After the Seahawks waived right tackle Michael Bowie with the “injured” designation and the Browns claimed him, coach Pete Carroll suggested that the team didn’t really want to keep Bowie anyway, pointing out that he’d shown up for training camp 20 pounds overweight.
Offensive line coach Tom Cable painted a far different picture in a recent appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle, suggesting that the Seahawks still believed in Bowie and that the Seahawks expected the Browns to stay away from him.
“Typically when you waive someone injured, they kind of get through [waivers] and you’re going to get them back, fix them and move on. Cleveland chose to take him, and whether you agree with it or not, I guess that’s business,” Cable said. “It’s kind of an unwritten rule — you just leave each other’s injured players alone and they didn’t.”
If the Browns indeed violated an unwritten rule, they weren’t alone. The Saints, Cowboys, and Patriots made waivers claims for Bowie, too.
Unwritten rule or not, the Seahawks were on notice that at least one of those four teams — the Patriots — had no qualms about making a claim for a player who had been waived with the “injured” designation. The Patriots did it two years ago with tight end Jake Ballard, and again only days before Bowie was waived with running back Tyler Gaffney.
It an unwritten rule indeed exists, it’s not being respected. And it can’t be enforced. The Seahawks could have avoided the issue by continueing to carry Bowie on the 90-man roster until the first roster cuts and then slid him to injured reserve. Instead of making a move with one of the other 89 players, the Seahawks took a calculated risk on Bowie, and it backfired.