The Seahawks have signed five-time All Pro (2004, 2006-2009) defensive tackle Kevin Williams, reports Ed Werder of ESPN. The deal for the 33-year old former Vikings stalwart is worth north of $2M. The timing makes sense for the Seahawks, as free agent additions do not factor into the equation for compensatory picks going forward.
Williams, 6'5 and 311 pounds, was the ninth overall pick in the 2003 Draft and instantly becomes the oldest Seahawk. That said, he's got quite a resume as a member of the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000's with six Pro Bowls and five All-Pro honors. He has 60 career sacks, and makes a lot of sense for Seattle as a rotational player with excellent length and a lot of experience.
For what it's worth, Williams had a positive season in 2013 according to PFF's metrics, grading out at 4.4 in run defense and 1.4 in pass rush, and had 8 QB hits and 14 QB hurries to go along with his 3.5 sacks. It's definitely an interesting addition to Seattle's defensive line and fits the profile of player that they were/are looking for - similar in size/length to current Hawk Tony McDaniel and also Jason Hatcher, who the Hawks courted before he signed with the Redskins.
Arif Hasan, our friend from over at Daily Norsemen, notes that Williams "started at 4-3 defensive end his rookie year, then converted to under-tackle, where he played for most of his career." Hasan adds that Williams also "has strong nose tackle skills." Overall, "he is a strong pass rusher with excellent awareness and quick play diagnosis. He is a fantastic run defender. Expect him to be a 3-technique for run downs; his get-off is not the greatest, but his discipline and awareness more than make up for it."
Hasan's scouting report seems to fit a role that Dan Quinn and the Seahawks coaching staff has talked about as a base-defense run-plugger with some possible upside as a pass rusher. They like guys that can play inside and out or at multiple spots (sounds like he can play both the 3-technique (under-tackle) or the nose, and obviously played outside once upon a time so may fit as a five-technique). The Seahawks have liked guys with good length as well -- to get their hands up into passing lanes and more easily get off of and defeat blocks then corral runners -- so Williams really fits the bill as an interesting signing.
Kevin Williams played 718* snaps in 2013, even after missing a game. Compare that to Michael Bennett (600), Brandon Mebane (531), Clinton McDonald (530), Tony McDaniel (528) and Red Bryant (481), and you can see that Seattle favors a heavy rotation. Their defensive line scheme switches between over and under fronts, and adds in 3-4 'looking' bear fronts when they're playing certain teams. These schemes ask for different alignments from their players so that's another reason Seattle likes guys that can play at a number of positions. You have to be versatile. Either way, in Seattle's rotation, Williams will theoretically stay fresh - a big factor for a guy that's turning 34 in August. When asked how much gas Williams has left in the tank, Hasan replied that it's "impossible to tell, but he's at about the age that cliffs appear."
However, he added "last year was very strong for him, though."