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Seahawks release Al Woods in latest defensive line shakeup

A big move by the Seahawks to let go of one of their defensive interior stalwarts.

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

The revamp continues along the Seattle Seahawks defensive line.

Veteran nose tackle and fan favorite Al Woods was released by the team on Monday in a somewhat surprising decision. Woods was a defensive co-captain last season and one of the few bright spots for an otherwise lackluster run defense. Cutting him saves over $3.6 million in cap space, but also takes on a dead money charge of $1.75 million.

The 35-year-old Woods had a brief stint with the Seahawks in 2011, then returned to the squad in 2019, and after opting out of the 2020 season for COVID-19 reasons, had his third go-round with Seattle in 2021. He’s best known for being an absurdly strong human being, and over the past two seasons he started 30 games, as well as recorded 50 tackles, nine tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.

Seattle is making wholesale changes on the defensive side of the trenches, and that includes bringing back Jarran Reed and signing Dre’Mont Jones to a three-year, $51 million contract. Woods, Quinton Jefferson, and Shelby Harris are all gone from the 2022 defensive line rotation. Poona Ford remains an unsigned free agent, while Bryan Mone is recovering from a late-season torn ACL.

At the moment, the Seahawks don’t have a natural nose tackle for a 3-4 front.