Seahawks best defensive lineman given overrated tag by NFL analyst

Seattle might have a couple of overrated players, but one defensive lineman seems to a stretch to place that tag on.
Leonard Williams of the Seattle Seahawks
Leonard Williams of the Seattle Seahawks / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

The Seattle Seahawks were poorly constructed in 2023. 12s can blame general manager John Schneider or former head coach Pete Carroll for the issue of, for example, having Jarran Reed play nose tackle. Ultimately, Carroll had the final say over the roster and had full control over the on-field product.

This offseason, after Carroll had been removed from all of his important duties with the team, Seattle chose defensive tackle Byron Murphy II with the team's first pick in the 2024 NFL draft, but Seattle also re-signed Leonard Williams in free agency after the team had traded for him midway through last season. Schneider, finally under full control of the roster, seemed to have a different idea than Carroll about how the trenches should look.

The question is whether the Seahawks paid too much to retain the services of Williams. The defensive lineman signed a three-year deal worth a maximum of $64.5 million. His contract is backloaded so that if the team is not happy with what Williams accomplished this season, Seattle could release Williams and save a bit over $12 million. The player and team hope that does not become a decision, though.

Pro Football Network believes Seahawks' Leonard Williams is overrated

Pro Football Network believes it might. PFN's Anthony DiBona recently produced an article on each team's most overrated player and he has Williams as the Seahawks' representative. DiBona's reasoning is a bit flawed, though. He puts far too much importance on Williams' pass rush ability and not enough on the lineman's overall skill.

PFN also points out that Williams only had 5.5 sacks in 2023. That is true, but four of them came in 10 games he played with Seattle. 32 of his impressive 54 total pressures came with the Seahawks as well. In other words, Williams was a better player with Seattle even though he didn't have a great scheme to work with once he was traded from the New York Giants.

Did Williams get a huge contract? Sure. But the price of quality of interior defenders was skyrocketing this offseason so what Seattle offered Williams was not out of line. He is 30 years old and Christian Wilkins will be 29 during the season. Wilkins is an extremely comparable player to Williams in both pass rush and run defense.

Next. One Seahawks coach could be one and done in 2024. One Seahawks coach could be one and done in 2024. dark

Yet, Wilkins signed a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders worth an average of $6 million more a season than Williams this offseason. Seattle's deal doesn't seem so bad.

Where DiBona truly gets his "overrated" tag of Williams wrong is that the defensive lineman was not re-signed to solely be a pass rusher. He has been an elite run-stopper in his career and he will also be able to pass on his knowledge to rookie Murphy while both are helping Seattle win games. Instead of being overrated, Williams was likely a steal having him come back in free agency.

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