According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Seattle Seahawks are trading a 2024 second-round choice along with a 2025 fifth-round pick for defensive lineman Leonard Williams. Williams is 29 years old and has been in the league since 2015. He has made one Pro Bowl in that time, which was in 2016. Is Williams going to be worth the draft capital that Seattle gave up for him?
Williams is currently under contract for just the rest of 2023. His cap hit is $32,260,000 but will be prorated from Week 9 on, of course (and the Giants will probably take on a big part of Williams' contract for the rest of the year). Since Williams is only guaranteed to be with Seattle for this year, one can assume that general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll think they can win big this year and are making moves to improve the team for right now.
Williams is capable of supplying interior pass rush but he hasn't had more than 2.5 sacks in a year since 2021. Williams is a true defensive tackle, but is very strong and can push offensive linemen backwards. He is 6'5" and 300 pounds. He is graded as the 37th-best interior defender in 2023, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
What it means that the Seattle Seahawks traded for Leonard Williams
Williams is a better rusher than run defender. He has 22 total pressures this year, including 16 QB hurries and 4 QB hits. Williams will join a rotation along with Jarran Reed, Dre'Mont Jones, and Mario Edwards, Jr. One does have to wonder, however, if Williams is already past his best days.
In 2020 with the Giants, he had 11.5 sacks. Every year since he has had diminishing results. That doesn't mean Williams won't be a valuable piece for Seattle, and he also won't be expected to be the main interior pass rusher. But he still adds significant depth and he has shown where he can be a real disruptor.
Seattle also has two third-round picks in the 2024 NFL draft so losing the second-round pick isn't awful. The Seahawks didn't really have to give up too much, especially if the Giants are still paying a big chunk of Williams' contract, to get Williams. Now let's hope he is rejuvenated with a Seattle team that has a decent chance to make a deep postseason run.