The Seahawks signed Al Woods on Friday. Seattle needed a run-stuffing defensive tackle and that is exactly what Woods is.
The Seahawks ranked 30th in the NFL in 2018 in yards allowed per rushing attempt at 4.9 yards a carry. This needed to be fixed for 2019. On Friday, Seattle signed defensive tackle Al Woods in an attempt to resolve their rush defense problem. Woods’ deal is for one year at $2.25 million.
Woods is a good player but not great. He is a respected player, however, and that is important. In 2018, Woods was co-captain of his now-former team, the Indianapolis Colts. This means Woods had the respect of his fellow players.
The Seahawks aren’t simply signing players who they think will help them on the field. Seattle is also still trying to rid itself of the bad taste left by locker room problem players, like Richard Sherman. Woods will help Seattle on the field, but he will also be a stable presence for younger players off it.
Seattle will probably keep a rotation of four defensive tackles. Jarran Reed is clearly the starter at one of the tackle positions. Reed had 10.5 sacks in 2018 and should have been selected to the Pro Bowl. Poona Ford was excellent in limited snaps last year and will pick up a bunch more reps in 2019.
But Seattle needed a veteran who was established. That is Woods. He is 32 years-old but that is not old for a defensive tackle who is mainly a run stopper. Woods is 6’4″ and 330 pounds so he’s big and strong and not easily moved. He won’t be a Pro Bowl player but he will be playing beside one of that quality in Reed. And Woods should be good enough to help Seattle slow down good run offenses.
Woods signing also will not affect Seattle compensatory picks in 2020 as he was signed after May 7th. The Seahawks do seem to be winning in phase 3 of free agency as we thought they might. 2019 might be a very good year in Seattle.