Retaining Leonard Williams ‘definitely a priority,’ says Seahawks GM

Mar 7, 2024, 4:50 PM | Updated: 7:16 pm

The Seattle Seahawks liked what they saw from Leonard Williams after making a trade last season for the veteran defensive lineman. And they by no means want to see him leave now in free agency.

Schneider: Seahawks haven’t ‘shut the door’ on bringing back cut players

On Seattle Sports’ weekly John Schneider Show, the Seahawks general manager and president of football operations made it clear that the team wants him back for the 2024 season even though he’s set to become a free agent in less than a week.

“We’re gonna try to get him back. We’d love to have him back,” Schneider said about Williams to Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob. “He’s definitely a priority for us. We’re in the negotiations right now, and the agents know how we feel and so we’re trying to retain him, no doubt.”

Williams, a one-time Pro Bowler who will turn 30 in June, came to Seattle last October, with a 2024 second-round NFL Draft pick and 2025 fifth-rounder going to the Giants in exchange. After the move, Williams started 10 games for the Seahawks, making four sacks, 11 QB hits, nine tackles for loss, 41 combined tackles and a pass defensed.

Because Williams was traded before the Giants’ bye week and after the Seahawks had already had theirs, he actually played 18 regular season games, something that had not happened in the NFL since 1930.

Schneider said the Seahawks were happy with how Williams played.

“Yeah, he played great … You know, we gave up that second-round pick, we went for it. We thought that he was going to help change our defense, and he played well,” he said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t make the playoffs, but he’s a guy that we want to keep in the mix. You can move him around … you can play him wherever you want, and he’s a great guy. He likes it here. I had a great exit interview with him and yeah, we hope to retain him.”

Seattle has more room under the salary cap to help its effort to re-sign Leonard Williams, as the Seahawks released safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, tight end Will Dissly and defensive tackle Bryan Mone all this week. Schneider also discussed those moves and whether or not he expects more cuts during Thursday’s show.

Who Seahawks’ safety options could be after cutting Adams, Diggs

The legal tampering period of NFL free agency starts Monday, with free agency fully opening next Wednesday, March 13.

The John Schneider Show airs at 4 p.m. each Thursday during Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob leading up to the NFL Draft, including April 25, which is the day of the first round. Listen to this week’s edition at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on Seattle Seahawks and Leonard Williams

Some of the biggest deals in NFL free agency may be re-signings
Rost: Four big questions after Seahawks release Diggs, Adams and Dissly
Huard: Why Seahawks re-signing Leonard Williams is ‘real tricky’
Leonard Williams on trade, how his game fits with Seahawks
Bumpus: How Seattle Seahawks’ Leonard Williams impressed right away

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