The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Seahawks bolster defensive line, trade for Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams

Seahawks prove to be all in on this season by adding Leonard Williams to their defensive front
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GRACIE ROGERS

As one of the first moves that would kick off the NFL’s Oct. 31 trade deadline, the Seattle Seahawks showed their hand by trading for former Giants star defensive lineman Leonard Williams. The deal proves that Seattle sees itself within the upper echelon of NFC contenders.

The trade that shipped Williams across the country from New York to Seattle was made official Monday, Oct. 30. Both teams agreed to the terms: Seattle sends its 2024 second-round pick and 2025 fifth-round pick in exchange for Williams.

Williams signed a three-year contract for $63 million with the Giants in March 2021 after playing on the franchise tag the previous year. Still having had $10 million remaining on his $18 million salary, the Giants have agreed to pay a majority of the $10 million in the form of a signing bonus to make the trade go through. The Seahawks will only owe Williams about $650,000 for the remainder of the season. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the year, barring an extension.

The defensive line, and both sides of the trenches really, have been a key need for the Seahawks throughout the season. In the off-season, the ‘Hawks made efforts to improve their roster by adding names like center Evan Brown and interior defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones. They also reunited with interior defensive lineman Jarran Reed, who had 22 sacks in five seasons with the Seahawks from 2016–2020 and has jumped right back into place this season with 4 sacks on the year.

Defensive Coordinator Clint Hurtt said that the addition of Williams to the defensive line allows them much more flexibility down the stretch. “We add another big-time playmaker to the group and it adds to the depth so you can rotate and keep guys fresh,” he said in a press conference on Thursday.

During his first press conference as part of his new team, Williams spoke about the change of scenery and getting the opportunity to compete.

“All in all, I think this is going to be a fun change for me and I’m excited about it,” Williams said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about Seattle, about Pete Carroll…everything they seem to do here is about competition and I think that transitions onto the field.”

Williams has expressed his excitement about being on a winning team.

Williams also touched on being able to reunite with a handful of former teammates he has played with throughout his playing career. Safety Julian Love, who signed with Seattle in the off-season, played with Williams on the Giants since he was drafted by them in 2019. He also played with other defensive starters such as safety Jamal Adams with the Jets, and linebacker Uchenna Nwosu with the USC Trojans in college.

After their week 8 win over the Cleveland Browns, which came down to the wire during a game-winning drive, the Seahawks improved to a 5-2 record to overtake the San Francisco 49ers as the leaders of the NFC West. The 49ers have devastatingly lost three straight weeks and have subsequently opened the door for Seattle to leapfrog them in the standings.

After a tough road loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week, the Seahawks should look to get Williams more involved in the game plan now that he has over a week under his belt in the team’s facilities. He could provide an even bigger boost, especially after allowing 298 rushing yards to the Ravens.

If the season were to end today, Seattle would be comfortably perched in third place in the NFC and would be the third seed for the 2023 playoffs. Last year at this time, it was much more of an uphill battle for their 5-3 record that ended the season in seventh place in the NFC playoff seeding.

As for the Giants, it appears as though they may be hitting the reset button once again. With struggles moving the ball downfield on offense and numerous injuries under center, it’s easy to understand why they are moving on from Williams. He has been a staple of the Giants defensive front since being added via trade from the New York Jets in 2019, racking up 22.5 sacks and 27 tackles for loss in four seasons with the team. They are currently sitting in last place in the NFC East with a 2-7 record and are 13th in the NFC overall. 

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About the Contributors
GABE KAIJA, Evergreen reporter
Gabe is a junior multimedia journalism major from Gig Harbor, Washington.
GRACIE ROGERS, Evergreen Illustration editor
Gracie Rogers is a graphic illustrator for the Daily Evergreen. She is a senior Digital Technology & Culture major from Pullman, Washington. Gracie started working for the Daily Evergreen back in Spring 2022.