3 potential landing spots for Leonard Williams just in case the Seahawks are stupid

Seattle traded for Williams during the 2023 season.

Jane Gershovich/GettyImages
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The Seattle Seahawks should make Leonard Williams one of their top off-season priorities. There is no shortage of destinations for a man of his talents. I believe these are the top three opportunities for him. John Schneider better not let the latter scenarios happen, though.

You might guess from the title that I think the Seahawks have to do all they can to keep Leonard Williams in Seattle for the foreseeable future. If so, you would have guessed wisely. He was one of their few reliable defenders all season. The fact that Williams didn't join the Hawks until Week 9 makes his performance all the more impressive.

Due to a quirk in the bye weeks, Large Leonard played in 18 games in 2023. Hmmm...wonder if he gets an extra game check? Kidding; of course, he doesn't. But we're focused on the 10 games he played for the Hawks.

For a better idea of the impact Williams had in Seattle, we'll compare his stats to those of the other defensive linemen. The Seahawks rotated a few guys into the lineup quite a bit, so we'll look at performance per 1,000 snaps as well as total numbers. Why 1,000? It's an easier point of reference as if we were looking at some beast like Bobby Wagner. The following are the five players who saw at least 100 snaps on the defensive line for Seattle, along with the pertinent statistics. You'll find the data per 1,000 snaps a bit more illuminating.

Exactly why the Seattle Seahawks need to re-sign Leonard Williams

A few things really pop out in these tables, especially when you look a the numbers per thousand snaps. First, Dre'Mont Jones truly underperformed, especially considering that massive contract. As Lee Vowell wrote before Week 16, Jones should not return to the Hawks. He didn't miss many tackles, but that's the only stat that stands out for him. Mario Edwards had nearly twice as many tackles for a loss, far more stops, and nearly the same rate of sacks for about five percent of the money.

Player

Snaps

Tkl

Miss %

TFL

Stops

Sacks

Hurries

J. Reed

809

54

16.1

7

35

7

43

D. Jones

762

49

7.0

5

15

4.5

44

L. Williams

542

41

12.5

9

21

4

32

M. Edwards

392

21

19.0

5

13

2

22

C. Young

200

18

20.8

1

12

0

3

Player

Snaps

Tkl

Miss %

TFL

Stops

Sacks

Hurries

J. Reed

809

66.7

16.1

8.7

43.3

8.7

53.2

D. Jones

762

64.3

7.0

6.6

19.7

5.9

57.7

L. Williams

542

75.6

12.5

16.6

38.7

7.4

59.0

M. Edwards

392

53.6

19.0

12.8

33.2

5.1

56.1

C. Young

200

90.0

20.8

5

60.0

0

15.0

But the standout here is Williams. Per 1,000 snaps, he made far more tackles than any other Seahawks lineman. Jarran Reed had a few more stops and sacks, but Williams had nearly twice as many tackles for a loss, more hurries overall, and missed fewer tackles. Williams was also the only Hawks lineman to grade above 70 in run defense, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). His grade was 70.9; for reference, Jones was at 61.8, Edwards 59.8, with Reed and Young at 53 and 52.9.

Anyone watching the games could tell you that, as the middle got run over time and again. Williams's overall PFF grade was a stellar 76.9. Add the versatility he brings by his ability to play at tackle or end, and he's a standout for any team.

As for how the Seahawks can afford to re-sign Williams. they have quite a few roster cuts that should be made anyway. A post-June 1st cut of Jones would clear $11.5 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com.

As much as I've supported Jamal Adams during his time in Seattle, it's clearly time to move on, as Bob Condotta wrote in The Seattle Times. He detailed that a post-June 1st cut for Adams would shave a sweet $16.5 million off the 2024 cap. Quandre Diggs has been a phenomenal player for the Hawks, but his performance has declined. In 2023, he became the wrong kind of anchor, dragging the Seattle defense further down.

Tim Weaver wrote on the Seahawks Wire for USA Today that cutting the Hawks free safety would save $11 million on the 2024 cap. Julian Love can't hold down both positions at the same time, but that additional cap space could go a long way toward keeping Williams in Seattle.