Seahawks’ Schneider: How Williams’ deal impacted Brooks leaving

Mar 15, 2024, 9:17 AM

Seattle Seahawks Jordyn Brooks...

Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks looks on during a game against the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 15, 2022. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks’ biggest signing of free agency was one of their own, inking veteran defensive tackle Leonard Williams to a lucrative three-year deal to keep him on the team long-term.

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The Hawks acquired Williams during the season, sending a 2024 second-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick to the New York Giants at the trade deadline.

Now, Williams will play for a new head coach in Mike Macdonald, who comes to the Seahawks after serving as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator.

“He’s a great fit for (Macdonald’s) defense,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday. “He can play from the zero (technique) to the three to five … you can move him around.”

Defensive tackles have gotten a lot of money this offseason, and Williams is no exception.

“We were a little nervous there for a minute – the defensive tackle market was exactly what people said at the combine and actually a little higher,” Schneider said. “We hung in there, his agents did a great job of working with us. Leonard was (on vacation) and flew all the way back here and signed his contract. Like I told you guys last week, I mean, he was obviously our priority. We gave up the pick for him last year, a second-round pick, so that was very important. Just thrilled to get him back in the building.”

While Williams is back, Seattle’s other big pending free agent is not. That would be inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks, who signed with the Miami Dolphins.

“You have to allocate your funds in a specific manner. You have to be flexible and try to understand what’s going on,” Schneider said. “I would say that the running back market and the linebacker market, they went much quicker this year than they have in the past … And then Jordyn … Miami stepped up and swooped in there and did a great job of acquiring him. I’m excited to see him back healthy next year and going.”

Schneider also made it clear that Williams was more of a priority for the Seahawks than Brooks.

“We were working on Leonard – Leonard’s deal took a while and we knew Leonard’s deal was going to affect all of free agency. (The Dolphins) had a deal on the table (for Brooks) and and we just couldn’t move as quickly as they could,” Schneider said. “They had lost out on a couple guys that day, so they were moving quickly. We had prioritized Leonard ahead of the the linebacker position at that point. So it’s basically like D-line ahead of a linebacker.”

Schneider said the Seahawks had to “take the emotion out of it” because of their love for Brooks, who was the team’s first-round pick in 2002.

“We’ve got to take emotion out of it and just do what’s best for the organization, and that’s what we did,” he said. “We prioritized Leonard, Miami moved very fast with Jordyn and again, they had lost out on a couple of people so they could move in a little bit quicker manner than we did.”

Listen to the full John Schneider Show at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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Seahawks’ Schneider: How Williams’ deal impacted Brooks leaving