The Seattle Seahawks have acquired veteran edge rusher Leonard Williams, in a trade with the New York Giants, in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and a fifth-round pick in 2025, a league source confirmed to FanBuzz Monday afternoon.
NFL Network was first to report the deal, Seattle's latest move to bolster one of the NFL's most dominant defenses.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 30, 2023
"Leonard is a great athlete for a big man," an NFC Defensive coach told FanBuzz, on the condition of anonymity to speak freely about another team. "He's going to walk into Seattle and help their interior pass-rush immediately."
Williams, 29, is in the final guaranteed year of his contract and had produced 1.5 sacks with 21 total tackles through the Giants' first seven games of the 2023 season.
It is clear that the Seahawks, and general manager John Schneider is aggressively loading up on talent, especially in the wake of Seattle knocking off the Cleveland Browns in Week 8 to climb into first place in the NFC West standings. Both via smart free agent signings and solid draft classes in recent seasons, the Seahawks have built a punishing defense that has been a backbone of their season in 2023.
Williams was originally chosen No. 6 overall by the New York jets in the 2015 NFL Draft and has logged 39.5 career sacks, with 22.5 of them coming in a Giants uniform following a 2019 trade.
Seattle enters Week 9 of the season with the NFL's 17th-ranked passing defense, surrendering 331.1 yards per game. Williams will likely step in and supplant Mario Williams at defensive end along the Seahawks' front-three, emerging as an immediate upgrade for the regular season's stretch run, and perhaps more than that.
Williams is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024, but the rest of this season will likely serve as an audition for a possible long-term contract.
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