Seahawks GM shares his perspective on landing Leonard Williams
Nov 5, 2023, 9:40 AM | Updated: 11:22 am
(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
The Seattle Seahawks have a new weapon on defense this week for their meeting with the Baltimore Ravens in a battle of two first-place teams.
Ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline, the Hawks made one of the bigger moves around the league, sending second- and fifth-round picks to the New York Giants for 29-year-old defensive lineman Leonard Williams, a former sixth overall pick and Pro Bowler.
Throughout the week, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has said the Seahawks have had their eyes on Williams for a while. Seahawks general manager John Schneider, who ultimately pulled off the trade, dove even further into the team’s interest in Williams during his weekly pregame chat Sunday with play-by-play man Steve Raible.
“Well actually, we gave it a shot last fall and were politely declined on their end,” Schneider said on the Seahawks Pregame Show on Seattle Sports.
As for this year, Schneider and the Giants began talking a few weeks ago.
“Probably about three weeks ago we had a conversation, a couple of conversations with Joe Schoen, their general manager. He’s a great guy, very trustworthy, able to keep secrets and everything and keep things confidential,” Schneider said.
Much of the trade was dependent on last Sunday when the Giants faced the New York Jets. The Giants lost to fall to 2-6, and the very next day, Williams was shipped to Seattle.
“Yeah, when we were talking last week, I was watching (that game closely),” Schneider said. ” … They kind of wanted to see where they were heading, and we were just very excited to acquire somebody of Leonard’s talents. I mean, this guy (can do everything on the defensive line). He’s a very, very talented guy. Great culture fit for us, as well. I’m excited to get him on (the field) today … He looks great in the uniform. We’re excited.”
As for the message the trade sends, Schneider agreed with Raible that it shows the Seahawks are going for it this season.
“I think it sends a message to our fans, first and foremost. And obviously the players are very excited,” Schneider said. “Leonard has come in and like I said, culture fit. Came in right away in Pete’s fun meetings and everything and had a great week of practice.”
Just how good was Williams in practice this week? Schneider shared a funny anecdote from a conversation he had with a team scout.
“One of our scouts said to me, ‘Hey, he knows we know he’s a good player, right? He doesn’t have to be kicking everybody’s butt in practice,'” Schneider said. “But he had a great week of practice and looked great and we’re excited to see him out here.”
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