The Seahawks strengthened their already strong defense one day after taking the lead in the NFC West by agreeing to terms on a trade for former Pro Bowl defensive end Leonard Williams with the New York Giants before the trade deadline.
The Seahawks will send their second-round pick in 2024 and their fifth-round pick in 2025 to the Giants in exchange for Williams. The Seahawks forfeit their second-round pick for the next season, although they do have an extra third-round pick that they obtained in a deal with Denver in the 2023 draft.
In his ninth season in the NFL, Williams—a former sixth-round selection out of USC—began his career with the Jets in 2015 and was moved to the Giants in the 2019 season.
With the addition of Williams, the Seahawks defense line has undergone a revamp in the offseason. Jarran Reed, Dre’Mont Jones, and Mario Edwards Jr. were signed by Seattle in free agency, while Mike Morris, who was placed on injured reserve, was added through the draft.
Williams will reunite with safety Jamal Adams, who was also selected sixth overall two years after Williams, and safety Julian Love, who played his first four seasons with the Giants before joining the Seahawks this offseason, in Seattle. Adams and Love were Williams’ defensive teammates during his time with the Jets and Giants.
The 29-year-old Williams has started seven of the eight games he has participated in this season, totaling five quarterback hits, 1.5 sacks, one pass defensed, and 21 tackles. With 7.0 sacks, 68 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 19 quarterback hits in 2016, Williams was named to the Pro Bowl. In 132 games, he has 39.5 sacks, 59 tackles for loss, and 162 quarterback hits. During his first full season with the Giants in 2020, Williams recorded career highs in tackles for loss (14) and quarterback hits (30), as well as sacks (11.5).